The last 5/10 years has seen a massive increase in the number of people wearing trainers as casual footwear, especially in cities, where comfort is key. Guys, especially, have always tended to wear trainers as their choice of casual footwear is for more limited. The appeal for girls has grown more recently with strong trends making a pair of trainers a staple for most.
The trainer industry has taken on a life of it’s own and is a whole different ball game to all other footwear. For some the appeal of trainers may be down to its link with the urban music scene as trainers have always been a massive part of r&b, hip hop and rap culture, and thanks to social media you can instantly see what your favourite artist is wearing. For others (like fashion in general) it’s simply an expression of their personality, I personally think you can tell a lot about a person by looking at their shoes.
The last 5 years has seen a constant shift in whats ‘in’ in the trainer world. Venture back to 2009 and everyone was rocking those cheap and cheerful Primark plimsoles which may have inspired the comeback for classic brands Converse and Vans. With both brands consolidating their place in the market they have managed to remain relevant throughout while many trainers have come in and out of fashion.
Vans especially have become a lot more mainstream, while they firmly remain a skate wear brand they have definitely become more fashion credible. Their success is probably down to a rise in the popularity of skate wear brands in general (such as Palace and Huff), as well as having celebrity fans such as Wiz Khalifa.
The first big sneaker trend I can remember was Nike blazers around 2011 this was closely followed by Nike Air Max 1’s and if you were a bit ahead of the game Air Max 90’s. Since then Puma, Adidas and Reebok have also had their time in the market. Currently on top are Adidas Superstars and more recently Nike Janoskis. However style seekers will already be ditching their Superstars and looking for the next trainer that will set them apart.
Manchester more than any other city in the UK has a definite tendency to dress with an urban edge, this combined with the current retro sportswear trend means that trainers are a must, especially for students. Not only during the day when you are running for that 9am lecture but also on nights out (you would struggle to spot a pair of heels in Sankeys or Antwerp).
Keep a look out for my next couple of posts all about what people are wearing on their feet in clubs as well more of a look into urban artists and their own fashion collections and collaborations.
By Lucy Moss