Trainers Take Centre Stage At Museum-Foot World UK

Trainers Take Centre Stage At Museum

The ubiquity of trainers on the streets might make the average person take them for granted, but the question of how they came to dominate the footwear scene is one of the issues considered in a new museum exhibition.
Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street is now running at the London Design Museum until October 24th. “Step up and discover the footwear phenomenon that has challenged performance design, inspired subcultures and shaken the world of fashion” is how the invite the museum gives to a curious public.
The event has certainly gained plenty of attention from the press. The Guardian called it a “fun show” that offers plenty of answers about sneakers, including “how to get really fat laces”. The Evening Standard calls it “A technicolour medley of shapes and styles” and Vogue describes it as a post-lockdown must-see”.
It may be surprising to see the Financial Times giving the exhibition so much attention. After all, the world of leisure footwear seems a world away from the polished shiny shoes that would accompany the city gent’s pinstriped suit, even if the bowler hat has long since gone out of fashion.
The reason for this interest is the status of retro trainers as investments, an emerging market that might be scoffed at by collectors of fine art or vintage wines, but has the same essential principle behind it; such things are rare and desirable, meaning some will pay very well for them and this makes collecting them in the first instance either a great investment or a hobby for the dedicated.
A prime example cited by the paper was that of the 2005 Nike Dunk SB low staple ‘NYC pigeon’ shoes, which bore a small pigeon on the heel. The New York Times had suggested residents of the Big Apple might queue all night to get their hands on a limited edition pair.
The idea seemed daft, but, as the FT notes, the consequence was the ‘Pigeon Riot’, as apparently it is known “in sneaker circles”.
Nonetheless, the fact that, 16 years on, a pair could be resold for £25,000 is evidence enough that the investors are onto something. Visitors to the exhibition can see a pair for themselves and make up their own minds.
From the exhibition’s perspective, the central issue is how sneakers have become culturally iconic. That a pair of Nike Air Yeezy worn by Kanye West sold for $1.8 million in April this year is not just a financial fact, but a demonstration of the cultural premium now placed on the association with such footwear with celebrities.
This market, now worth $2 billion, is inflated further by the increasing association of sneakers with the female market, not least because of the large number of female celebrities seen sporting them.
Thus it is no surprise to see attention increasingly being paid to this; the Daily Mail, always one to tell the world what a lady is wearing, was swift to point out what supermodel Kaia Gerber had on her feet, while another model, Hailey Baldwin, has been the subject of much debate over whether her combination of sneakers and swimsuit is a good look.
Whatever one’s opinion on this, it is clear enough that the cultural significance of trainers has now reached such proportions that it is small wonder rare limited edition trainers are now highly sought after.
If you’re looking for rare limited edition trainers in the UK, visit our website today.
Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street - Design Museum
Nike, robots and a ‘breathing shoe’: the future of trainers | Financial Times
Kaia Gerber sports a cherry print dress with Jacob Elordi in LA (
Hailey Baldwin Defends Wearing Sneakers with Her Swimsuits |

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