Although the U.S. is revered as a nation full of sneakerheads, it’s no secret that the UK loves trainers. Between specialist stores and high street retailers that carry everything from limited-edition collabs to every colorway imaginable of the adidas Originals Falcon, there’s a plethora of shopping options across the country.
We scouted some of the best places to stock up on kicks, so next time you’re looking for an independent sneaker shop in London or a renowned chain that actually carries cool trainers in major cities around the country, we’ve got you covered. Read on for our top picks and be sure to check to check out the Scandinavian scene in our “Sole Searching” series, too.
Although it’s had a presence in the UK scene for over a decade, END. just keeps on going from strength to strength. With its original stores based in Newcastle and Glasgow, the brand opened the doors to a massive space in London’s Soho last year, offering Londoners and visitors the chance to shop its specially-curated products. Alongside a stellar selection of mens and womenswear, expect to see exclusive END. collabs with the likes of Vans and New Balance.
Another London institution, Footpatrol is pretty well-regarded in sneakerhead circles. The success of its Soho store led to the opening of a second outpost, in Paris, last year. Alongside an array of rotation staples like Converse All Stars and Nike Cortez’ you can get your hands on special releases like the Swarovski-studded gold Air Max 97 and the vibrant Nike x atmos Air Max 2.
Named after the Glasgow street that it first opened its doors on, 10Montrose has grown from one store in the Scottish city to further outposts in Nottingham and London. When it comes to apparel, there are big names like Junya Watanabe and Moncler alongside UK faves like Stone Island but the trainer selection is where this storey truly shines. Pick up shoes by Maison Margiela, Raf Simons x adidas and even those coveted new Nike Shox.
Stockholm-based Sneakersnstuff opened the doors to its Shoreditch in 2014 and its been servicing sneaker fanatics in East London and beyond ever since. It boasts a wide selection of trainers for women, whether it’s ladies-exclusive pieces like the Reebok Workout Ripple OG and PUMA Thunder Spectra or on-trend silhouettes like the adidas Yung-1 in sizes that actually cater to smaller feet. If you’re further afield, be sure to check out its locations in Paris, Berlin and L.A. too.”
Offspring has been around for over two decades already; it opened its very first store in London’s Covent Garden way back in 1996. In the years that followed, it became a known destination to shop coveted creps that were hard to find on British shores. Apart from it’s standalone stores around London and Manchester, it has found its home as a concession space within luxury department store Selfridges. Additionally, the Selfridges store in London and Manchester as well as within the Topshop flagship specialize in ladies sneakers only. Shop everything from summer-ready Nike Air Max 95s to Vans’ newest collaborations.
As a specialist women’s-only store, pam pam is a must-stop location whenever you’re in East London. The Instagrammable interior coupled with the strong selection of trainers makes this store a real standout, and there’s a small but specially-curated edit of clothes, jewelry and accessories too. Expect to see the likes of Nike’s M2K Tekno and YEEZY’s alongside fellow homegrown London brand Good News.