Whether you wear them for practical reasons or obsessively fill entire rooms with boxes, the trainer is — for some — a lifelong obsession.Here are some of our favourite trainer shops across the city from the smart look of Mayfair to the grungy skate feel of Hackney.
The Other Side Of The Pillow, Hackney
161b Lower Clapton Road
A strange name for a shoe shop, but The Other Side Of The Pillow has a great range of sportswear and trainers. However, it's the never-ending collection of original Vans shoes — piled high — that keeps the shoppers coming back. With a range of shoes that can reach upwards of £150, the shop boasts limited edition ranges, needlepoint designs from 1969 and super rare Disney designs. If you love your Vans flats, you'll fall in love with this Hackney gem.
Scorpion Shoes, Camden
16 Chalk Farm Road
Camden's independent shops may be dropping like flies, but you can still avoid the ease and trappings of Offspring and Size by visiting Scorpion Shoes near Camden Lock. You can still browse a healthy selection of cool sneakers and dazzling trainers from all your favourite brands. It also stocks the trainers that the chain stores can’t afford to take a risk on — so head here if you're aiming to stand out from the crowd.
NikeLab 1948, Shoreditch
Arches, 477-478 Bateman's Row
Nike have established themselves as the trainer for connoisseurs the world-over. After conquering the Skateboarding world, alongside every other cultural niche possible — the 1948 shop in Shoreditch is seen as a nexus for the brand's rare, alternative and niche crepes. Be warned — you may spend a fortune at this sneaker-freak's dream so get that credit card ready.
ProFeet Lab, Putney
867 Fulham Road
Some people LOVE to play sports, and ProFeet offers tailored and tasteful solutions for runners and those with orthopedic needs. You have to book by appointment to speak to a specialist but this well-known stockist will help to custom select the perfect shoe whether you're running late at night, looking for the snuggest tennis shoe or doing any other sporty activity you may wish to take on.
Foot Patrol, Soho
80 Berwick Street
There are trainer shops and then there are destination trainer shops. Foot Patrol — which moved premises to Berwick Street a few years back — has been in business since 2002 and as the name suggests, this Soho based emporium is a London authority on the freshest sneakers around. It’s the city's original. Enough said.
Sports Dimension, Shepherds Bush
248 Uxbridge Road
Sports Dimension has been operating out of the Shepherds Bush Market area since you picked up your first pair of Pumas. It's known for being bang on top of their US imports, apparently securing them faster than other major retailers. Also operating out of sister shop Lock'd in Harlesden, the outlet is considered one of the best for street-wear cool and affiliated designs. Take a trip to Shepherd's Bush and walk knowingly straight past Westfield to this certified gem of a store.
107-108 Shoreditch High Street
The Swedes are renowned for their sense of style and design and this trainer outlet opened it's first UK outlet in Shoreditch last year. The price tags are often high, but that's what you get if you're looking for the rarest, most exclusive trainers in the world, ranging from Air Jordan 1's to leopard print Adidas crepes and lots more exclusive releases.
Mr Sneaker, Bethnal Green
Bethnal Green Road
This one is nestled away in among the hustle and bustle of Bethnal Green's busy market. A modest shop run by local residents, the trainer selection here is enviable, featuring a range of brand new designs and makes from a host of mainstream manufacturers. If you missed the last pair of a brand new range, then Mr Sneaker is guaranteed to still have some, just for you.
By Joe Gamp