Lawmakers Celebrate Footwear Innovation, Industry Leaders on Capitol Hill at Second Annual Sneaker Day

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Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle came together on Wednesday to celebrate Capitol Hill’s second-annual sneaker day.

Hosted by the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) and the bipartisan Congressional Sneaker Caucus, the event brought together close to 100 House and Senate members and congressional staff to celebrate the vibrant culture of sneakers and discuss critical issues affecting the footwear industry.

The day began with an insightful session led by Pensole and Black Footwear Forum founder Dr. D’Wayne Edwards in the Capitol, where attendees gained valuable insights into the latest trends and innovations in the footwear industry. Dr. Edwards discussed key topics such as footwear design, innovation, education, expanding opportunities, and the importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Next up, participants then gathered in the Capitol’s Lincoln Room for a group photo, followed by the presentation of prizes for the five best sneakers. The winners were selected based on their unique designs and impact on the sneaker community, the FDRA said.

“This event showcased the incredible talent and creativity within the footwear industry,” Matt Priest, president and chief executive officer of FDRA, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to see such a strong turnout and engagement from members of Congress and industry leaders. The collaboration and enthusiasm observed highlighted the significant role of footwear in our culture and economy, advancing the crucial discussion on the current impact of tariffs on the market and its implications for consumers and retailers.”

The event also provided a platform for discussing current issues in the footwear industry with congressional members and staff, the FDRA added.

Sneaker Day, Capitol Hill, Congressional Sneaker Caucus, Congress
(L-R) Thomas Crockett, Dr. D’Wayne Edwards and Matt Priest.

“There’s a huge amount of people who wear sneakers around the Capitol,” Rep. Jared Moskowitz (FL-23), said in a statement. “As new members enter Congress and our workplace gets younger, I think that’s bringing a new culture and style to the Hill. The Sneaker Caucus idea was forged as a bipartisan way to get people in the room to talk about something else other than politics so that we can learn something about each other. Both this year and last year’s sneaker day had great turnout, and this most recent one was another successful opportunity to put our best foot forward and build bridges.”

Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05) added, “As co-chair of the Congressional Sneaker Caucus, I’m proud of the bipartisan spirit that sneaker day brings to the Hill. This event not only highlights the incredible innovation within the footwear industry but also underscores its significant impact on our economy and everyday lives. It’s inspiring to see industry leaders and lawmakers come together to discuss the challenges and opportunities we face, particularly in light of current market dynamics. Events like these are crucial for fostering collaboration and driving progress.”

Sneaker Day, Capitol Hill, Congressional Sneaker Caucus, Congress
Dr. D’Wayne Edwards and Matt Priest along with congressional members.
Sneaker Day, Capitol Hill, Congressional Sneaker Caucus, Congress
Dr. D’Wayne Edwards along with congressional members.

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