From Nike Air Max to Converse, we recall the trendiest trainers from over the years that have made it into our hearts and soles.

When taking a look back over the years, you realise how many fun and interesting styles of trainers we’ve seen – some of which are still fashionable today. So what is it that makes some trainers popular?
Is it their shape or colour, or is it their price? What gives trainers longevity? Who knows, but it’s funny how often fashion seems to go full circle, and when older items are classed as vintage, they become massively more expensive! I knew I should’ve held onto those Adidas Sambas…

In the 80s we had Reebok Pump, which certainly made an impact. The tongue of the trainer had a pump which when pressed would fill the trainer with air! Eventually, the fad seemed to fizzle out. Maybe that’s because adding air to your trainers was just a gimmick, and didn’t really add much comfort. Or maybe because they cost around £100, and that was over 30 years ago!


Reebok Classics were a huge hit in the 90s.
Reebok managed to keep the Classics alive for a very long time simply by changing the colour of the stripes and sole. The posh kids even had metal tags on theirs (but not me). Ellesse also seemed to be in close competition
with a similar style trainer and metal tags. But for me, Reebok always had this in the bag.

Retail giants Nike have obviously always been in the game. Nike Air Max and Nike TNs were huge hits both featuring a kind of basketball style. Nike Air Max trainers are still very fashionable today which just goes to show: if you get a design right, it can stay fashionable for years. Supply and demand!


For so long, you actually had to wear shoes to get into pretty much every nightclub, but when that changed, I feel that the design of the trainer changed too. More varied designs started to become the “next big thing”, and that wasn’t exclusive to just sporty looking trainers. Converse hit the streets with their canvas style plimsoll. At one point, every kid in Shoreditch had a pair. Vans also launched their cool slip-on trainer in many different
colours and patterns. (Another style which is still fashionable today).


There are so many options nowadays when it comes to choosing footwear; what with the designs which have maintained their credibility, along with the fresh new ideas. What will the next look be?
What will the next big brand be? Apple trainers? Trainers that send emails? Or maybe trainers that update your Facebook status or remind you of your essay deadlines? Only time will tell.