There’s no business like shoe business for Donald Trump

Trump spruiks his $600 sneaker line to a mixed reception in Philadelphia.

Trump spruiks his $600 sneaker line to a mixed reception in Philadelphia.

Donald Trump has opened a window on the deep division in American society by turning up at a sneaker show and drawing conflicting reactions from the capacity crown in Philadelphia.

Trump was met with both boos and cheers at the city’s Convention Center as he introduced what he called the first official Trump footwear at a gathering that bills itself as the “The Greatest Sneaker Show on Earth”.

The shoes, gold lame high-tops with an American flag detail on the back, are being sold as “Never Surrender High-Tops” for $US399 ($A612) on a new website that also sells Trump-branded “Victory47” cologne and perfume for $US99 ($A152) a bottle.

The website says it has no connection to his campaign, though Trump campaign officials promoted the appearance in online posts.

On Friday, a judge in New York ordered Trump to pay a whopping $US355 million ($A545 million) in penalties, finding the former president lied about his wealth for years, scheming to dupe banks, insurers and others by inflating his wealth on financial statements.

That penalty came after Trump was ordered to pay $US83.3 million to the writer E. Jean Carroll for damaging her reputation after she accused him of sexual assault.

With interest payments, Trump’s legal debts might now exceed a half-billion dollars – an amount it is unclear he can afford to pay.

Clashing chants

Trump’s appearance was met with clashing boos from his detractors and chants of “USA!” from supporters who arrived at the sneaker event decked out in Trump gear.

“There’s a lot of emotion in this room,” Trump said of the reaction, after holding up and showing off a pair of gold shoes, then placing one on each side of his podium.

“This is something that I’ve been talking about for 12 years, 13 years,” he said.

Some of those who attended said they were unaware Trump would be there, and continued to shop as a crowd gathered around the stage.

The attendees skewed younger and more diverse than Trump’s usual rally crowds.

Trump’s campaign is hoping he will be able to win over more young and minority voters, particularly young Black men, in a likely rematch against President Joe Biden in November.

This isn’t the first money-making venture Trump has announced since launching his third campaign for the White House in 2022.

Trump last year reported making between $US100,000 and $US1 million for a series of digital trading cards that portrayed him, through photo editing, in a series of cartoon-like images, including an astronaut, a cowboy and a superhero.

Trump’s new sneaker website states the new venture “is not political and has nothing to do with any political campaign”.

The website describes the shoes as a limited-edition, numbered “true collector’s item” that is “Bold, gold, and tough, just like President Trump.”

“The Never Surrender sneakers are your rally cry in shoe form,” the description reads. “Lace-up and step out ready to conquer.”

-with AAP

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