Mayor Bloomberg is the rare billionaire who can preach penny-pinching without putting his foot in his mouth. He’s been wearing the same shoes for 10 years.
“The mayor owns only two pairs of work shoes,” his spokesman, Stu Loeser, told The NY Post. “One day he’ll wear one, the next the other — and when they get worn down, he has them resoled.”
The two pairs of classic black loafers — one tasseled, the other penny loafers — predate his tenure as mayor and both are so well worn, with labels so long gone, that even Hizzoner himself can’t remember what brand they are.
“He could buy any shoes he wanted, but he likes these,” Loeser said. “They are comfortable, and they work, so he says there’s no need for a new pair.”
The mayor wears a 9EE, said exclusive shoe outfitter Allen Edmonds, which has sold Bloomberg several other pairs.
At least one of the pairs is likely a Cole Haan, shoe experts said.
The penny loafer looks like the “Dennehy,” an “old-school Italian leather [model] we specialized in for decades but discontinued” this year, said a longtime Cole Haan salesman at the chain’s Rockefeller Center branch. The shoe retails for $328.
Still, the term limits of shoes can be extended only so long, said cobbler Jim Rocco, 80, owner of Jim’s Shoe Repair on East 59th Street.
“A pair of shoes like that could go 18 to 20 years if you put cream on them, shine them up, resole them every eight to nine months, and depending on how much you perspire, use cedar trees on the inside,” he said.
“It also depends how he walks,” Rocco said, noting that with shoes, as well as politics, longevity is helped by walking with a moderate stance to keep the heels from wearing too much on the left or right side.
Quipped Rocco’s son, Joseph, “In fairness to the mayor, he does only get paid $1 a year.”
According to Loeser, the mayor’s footwear frugality is in keeping with his approach to personal and governmental finance.
“When he buys a cup of coffee, he makes a point of choosing the smallest size,” Loeser said. “He buys only what he wants to drink, only what he needs.”