President 1100

Running for President: What's On the Feet of the Commanders-in-Chief

Date: March 27 2019

By: Cesca Benson


Ever since the jogging boom hit in the 1970s, images of presidents (and their protective details) going for a casual run have become a firm fixture in the public conscious. Spotting the head of state doing well by his body engendered the feeling that he was doing right by his country — nay, the world.

But what were they wearing? You’d think, being the president, they could have whatever they wanted and, we must say, all-in-all, they chose well. Here’s a look back at what the Commanders-in-Chief have had on their feet.

Running For President Jimmy Carter Nike Bermuda

Phil Stewart

Running For President Jimmy Carter Adidasbettmann Archive

Bettmann Archive

Jimmy Carter

So familiar has the image of a jogging president become, it’s hard to believe Jimmy Carter was the first POTUS to pound the pavement, having been an avid runner since his army days. Who wouldn’t welcome the stress relief of a good ol’ jog after getting the country through the oil crisis of '73 or going toe-to-toe with the Soviets during nuclear negotiations? But what saw him through the kilometres? A big fan of the Three Stripes, Carter often rocked the Dragon, but wasn’t against the Swoosh either. In fact, he was wearing Nike Bermudas when he famously nearly collapsed during a road race in 1979.

Running For President George H W Nikebettmann Archive

Bettmann Archive

Running For President George H W Bush Air Tech Challenge
Running For President George H W Sauconygetty


Running For President George Hw Bush Nike Air Pres

George HW Bush

Bush the elder may be remembered more for Desert Storm and his prudent presidency than for his sartorial choices (makes sense — wars should figure more highly in public memory than sneakers), but he was no stranger to rocking heat.

In between negotiating the end of the Cold War and commanding the army to victory in Kuwait, he would take to the track in Tailwinds, have a hit in Air Tech Challenges, or stretch in Sauconys.

You’d expect, as president, there’d be some perks, and boy there were. George H.W. was the lucky recipient of the Nike Air Pres — a presidential take on the newly minted Air Max 90.

Running For President Bill Clinton Nb 998
Running For President Bill Clinton Nb1500 Whitehouse
Running For President Bill Clinton Nb 1500 Winter
Running For President Bill Clinton Nb 1500 Stretch
Running For President Bill Clinton Nb 1500 Stretch 2
Running For President Bill Clinton Asics Gt 11
Running For President Bill Clinton Asics Gel Saga Running

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton was a breath of fresh, young air after the austerity of George Snr, and the erstwhile Arkansan governor was more than happy to showcase his youth — not to mention his upper thighs — on the sidewalk.

Famous for securing trade benefits for US exports, it’s no surprise that Slick Willie was partial to New Balance ‘Made in USA’ 998s for his daily jog (accompanied by a crony in OG Air Max2 Lights, might we add), though was also known to cross the pond with ‘Made in England’ 1500s too.

He may not have had sexual relations with that woman, but boy did he love him some ASICS. Flouting the best efforts of the secret service, Clinton would take to the streets in GT-IIs and other tiger-striped silhouettes.

Running For President George Bush Runners World
Running For President George W Bush Nike Air Challenge Pro Low
Running For President George H W W Bush

George W Bush

Dubya may not have had the famous running rep of his predecessor, but he was no stranger to a trot. Hell, he was even on the cover of Runner’s World. Unlike Clinton, Bush was a solo jogger, preferring the privacy of his ranch to the streets of DC.

Now, being the long-distance, serious-runner kind of guy, he wore performance models when running, and kept the heaters for more leisurely wear. Whether he was standing over his dad in Air Stabs or kicking back in Air Challenge Pro Lows, his rotation, like his involvement in Iraq, ran pretty deep.

The Sneaker Evolution Of Barack Obama Header Site 1 181213 172325
The Sneaker Evolution Of Barack Obama 8

Barack Obama

Oh Barack, how we miss you. Your humility, your intelligence, and your killer rotation all have us misty-eyed with nostalgia for a bygone era. 

Obama was less a jogger than a baller, favouring Jordans and Under Armours when he hit the hardwood, and opting for ASICS pre-game. 

There's more to Obama's stash than performance sneaks though. For a look at the ins and outs of his collection, hit his Sneaker Evolution.

Donald Trump Torch

Donald Trump

Trump, from the looks of things, hasn't exercised since this. It was the Olympic torch relay in 2004. 'Nuff said.

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