Sneakers—or trainers, we should say—have always been an integral part of Britain's fashion landscape. This is largely thanks to the notorious terrace-wearing Casuals who, back in the mid-‘70s, would bring back the most exclusive sneakers from European away games to flex on their home turf in front of rival supporters. This constant pursuit of one-upmanship was instrumental in transforming sneakers into highly covetable products, thus fueling sneaker culture in Britain and beyond.
Of course, a lot has changed since the ‘70s and other subcultures have nurtured their own styles into Britain’s sneaker scene. From grime MCs in Nike Air Max and the Camden punks in Chuck Taylors to Palace-donning skaters, London’s sneaker culture has become as rich and diverse as that of cities across the pond. Because of this, Britain's streetwear and sneaker retail landscape once dominated by a few sport store chains has become much broader. Whether you prefer copping your kicks in high-fashion boutiques, specialist sneaker stores, second-hand resellers, or large sports retailers—London will deliver.
One man who has witnessed London’s sneaker scene develop is collector Kish Kash. Kash has been collecting sneakers for close to three decades and his collection, which reportedly counts over 2,000 pairs, is worth more than £250,000. Needless to say, for anything London sneaker-related, Kash is the man to talk to. So, as part of our City Experiences series with American Express, we ask Kash to weigh in on five of the best sneaker stores in Britain’s capital.
Footpatrol has had two locations throughout its incarnation and now it sits right on Berwick street. The guys who work there are wicked and the level of product that you get there is the pinnacle. It's just about to have a refurb and it's gonna come back even bigger and better, I do believe, so I cannot wait for that.
Just off Tottenham Court Road on Percy Street, you have the consignment store, Presented By, which is part of the Crep Protect brand. You gotta check that out cause that store, as a shop fit, oh my gosh, it is so, so sick.
If you take things further east, as well, you've got Sneaker Limited, run by my boy Iffy in Ilford. You've gotta check that spot out. He's by appointment only so you better ring ahead or email him to make sure you can get in, but he's got some of the most killer stuff there.
In the South, you have one of London's finest sneaker stores dedicated to the ladies, Kickslove London. They’re located underneath the railway arches in Deptford and in a wicked store that looks amazing—what Lisa has done there is phenomenal.
Dover Street Market
Then at Piccadilly Circus, you've got Dover Street Market, one of the world's finest and most prestigious stores without question, and the level of sneakers that they get there is all pinnacle.
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Next up; the best sneaker stores around the world.