Photo: Getty


It's time to embrace fashion-free trainers

Is it the year of the Gazelle or the Stan Smith? Or is it, in fact, the Reebok Club C? Exhausting, says Hannah Banks-Walker – here are the styles that won't make you feel like a fashion victim 

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By Hannah Banks-Walker on

When I was seven years old, my greatest ambition was to own a pair of light-up trainers. Each and every step taken would be illuminated by colourful flashes of red and green, hidden in the heel of these (as it seemed to me) ingenious shoes. Consumed by desire for this novelty footwear, it was but a year later when my allegiance switched to Heelys. Part shoe, part roller skate, they were the stuff of dreams. 

Of course, I only really wanted them because everyone else did. They were installed in the psyche of every seven year old, deemed the coolest and, therefore, the only trainers to include on the Christmas list. 

While we (thankfully) no longer have to face the playground politics of "having the right trainers", it doesn't mean we've completely left it behind. For example, in 2012, Isabel Marant relased her wedge-heel trainers. Selling out faster than they could be re-stocked they caused wide-spread hysteria, as women clambered to get the trainers that had been declared resolutely "in". 

When Céline's Phoebe Philo wore a pair of Adidas Stan Smiths during the finale bow of her autumn/winter 2011 show, the classic lace-up was catapulted into the fashion arena, becoming the only trainers to be seen in that summer. Last year it was Vans' black and white Old Skool trainers that were named the trainer of the season, while Adidas' re-worked Gazelles were seen on nearly every social media sensation going. This summer, it's the newly launched Reebok Club C tennis shoe that everyone supposedly wants. And that’s without even mentioning the current deluge of "statement trainers", as they’re called on the (high) street, that come decorated with pom poms, faux gemsstars, slogans and stripes.

Exhausting, isn't it? But don't despair– for those who are thoroughly over chasing the latest trainer pin-up, I've collated a selection of classic, clean, and resolutely fashion-free styles from the high street. From slick, leather lace-ups to simple plimsolls these are the trainers that look great, but won't be out of fashion in a matter of months. 

Click here for the fashion-free trainer edit


Photo: Getty
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