Why People Are Comparing Jill Biden And Melania Trump's Post-Hurricane Footwear

One of the more difficult aspects of being an American president and first lady is having to address national tragedies and provide stability during a time of stress and sadness. President Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden recently did just that, as they traveled to Puerto Rico and Florida to survey the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian. The Florida stop on October 5 featured a strange bedfellows moment as the president joined forces with Governor Ron DeSantis. Normally political foes, the two were unusually friendly as they offered praise for each other and pledged support for recovery efforts, per BBC. (The visual of DeSantis in front of the presidential seal had his supporters freaking out and raised hopes of a 2024 White House run.)

But the first lady's choice of outfit stirred up a different storm. Dr. Biden wore a businesslike pantsuit, a white button-down shirt, and a pair of heeled shoes. This didn't escape the attention of right-wing outlets such as The Federalist. The site pointed out that when Former First Lady Melania Trump wore stiletto heels on a visit to a hurricane-damaged area of Texas, she made headlines for appearing elitist. (Trump did change into sneakers once on the plane, per Inside Edition.) By contrast, none of the major news media seemed to have a problem with Dr. Biden's choice of footwear. 

This shoe controversy sparked a lively debate on Twitter, with some crying "double standard," and others pointing out differences between the two first ladies.

Some Twitter users pointed out an even more eyebrow-raising shoe moment

The "hurricane shoe" debate went largely along party lines. "First Lady Jill Biden wore high heeled shoes as she joined the president to tour the disaster damage in FL after Hurricane Ian," tweeted a self-described MAGA. "The shoes themselves aren't a big deal. The first lady can wear whatever she wants, but when Melania did same in TX after Harvey, the press went [nuts]." Another conservative writer pointed out, "Melania [Trump] changed into sensible running/tennis shoes when she arrived in Texas. She didn't tour the damage in heels. Jill Biden wore her heels the whole time, even touring the damage. That's out of touch."

Supporters of Dr. Biden noted one significant difference between her footwear and Trump's: the heel height. "You are so right; the comparison is way off," said a commenter. Fort Myers was completely decimated but by God did u see Jill Biden's barely-there heel ? My Crocs are higher than her shoes." Other Twitter users noted that Trump once wore an even more controversial outfit. "Dr Biden didn't wear some "I don't really care ... do you" jacket, right?" wrote one. "Yeah, she would NEVER own one."

Still other tweets proclaimed the true winner of the shoe wars: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose high white boots inspired a hilarious comparison to Nancy Sinatra. Declared a user, "Those go-go boots will go on forever."