I’M not quite sure when it happened but at some point over the last three or four years, I gradually fell out of love with buying new trainers.
Even writing that feels weird because for as long as I can remember, I’ve loved – and I mean loved – trainers.
At school it was the hip-hop and, for want of a better word, ‘casual’, scenes that inspired my purchases – Nike Cortez, Puma Clyde / States, Diadora Borg Elite, adidas Gazelles – and so it had started.
Any money I came by funded new trainers which, as I got older, pretty much excluisvely turned out to be made by adidas.
Abroad, I’d scour the back streets to try and find tiny sports shops that sold something you just couldn’t get in England. In fact, I’ve still got a pair of box fresh [not by choice, they’re too tight] adidas Gazelle in dark brown suede with a dark brown sole that I picked up in Amsterdam on a pre-season tour with Liverpool.
I love those trainers and I’ve never seen them anywhere other than that shop in Amsterdam. If I remember rightly, Mark Platt, then a journalist on liverpoolfc.tv, now a producer on LFC TV and celebrated author also bought the same pair. If he didn’t, then another mate certainly did – they were that nice.
They were also pretty rare. Which I guess was part of the fun. Buying trainers no one else had was the whole point. Now, with the introduction of the web, ebay, specialised trainer collector sites and all the rest, it seems everyone can get anything. Even going abroad to buy trainers now has lost a lot of it’s appeal as every shopping street in every major European city now looks the same – Footlocker, Gap, Starbucks and McDonalds.
Then came the re-issues, which were great at first – as you had the chance to buy some of the great lost trainers of your youth or ones you just couldn’t afford first time around. I remember being excited by the fact that adidas were reissuing their City series and promptly bought a pair of Dublins the day they went on sale in Open.
But now, they’ve re-issued the re-issue. It’s the same with the adidas London – I recently bought a pair in brown suede but as soon as I saw that everyone else had bought a pair too, I sold them on ebay without once wearing them out. Now, you can’t walk down the street without seeing someone in a pair of them – whether they’re red, black, yellow, brown, green or blue.
I still love adidas Originals – but these days you can’t be any less original if you kit yourself out in the brand with three stripes. The whole of Liverpool – in fact, the whole of the UK – is wearing adidas.
Now, I reckon it might just be an age thing and I’m turning into my dad or something – but I don’t want to go out dressed like every 16-year-old in town (or Jamie Oliver for that matter).
My tracksuit tops – the only item of clothing I probably spent just as much money on as trainers – were recently sacrificed to ebay – three Fila, four adidas – and now, when I do put on a pair of trainers, it’s my trusted (and now slightly battered) white adidas Stan Smith 80s which most often get the nod with a pair of straight leg jeans. (If they’re good enough for John Lennon on the inside cover of a solo album, they’re good enough for me.)
These days I’ll take a pair of Clarks Originals – in the last few years, I’ve bought a pair of suede Jinks, two pairs of suede Madison Magics and a pair of Desert Boots – or a pair of suede Pointers (I’ve got three pairs) anyday over the latest ‘limited-edition’ retro trainer reissue. ‘Limited Edition’ until the new colourway comes out or the re-issue is re-issued again in 12 months.
At the age of 38, I thought to myself, I’ve finally grown out of being obsessed by trainers.
Well, that was until I saw these little beauties below – due to be released next month. In limited edition, no doubt. Still, at the ridiculous price of £105 for the blue ones – £65 for the black or green ones – maybe it’ll price out the kids and it’ll only be me and Jamie Oliver knocking about in them.