The Coolest Trainer Shops in London

Greta Samuel /
Greta Samuel / | © Culture Trip

Trainers have successfully made the move from sportswear essential to fashion statement, with shoe fanatics scouring stockists for rare and classic designs. London is home to several trainer hotspots such as Soho and Carnaby Street, as well as some outlying gems, including stores in Islington and Stratford. Here are the best places to buy sneakers in London.

1. Stockholm’s Sneakersnstuff: for rare collaborations

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© Sneakersnstuff
Sneakersnstuff was founded in Stockholm when founders Erik Fagerlind and Peter Jansson saw a gap in the market for buying trainers outside of a department store environment. It carries limited-edition designs as well as traditional styles such as Converse Chuck Taylors, Puma Suedes and Nike Air Force 1s. Ask about this Shoreditch store’s archive of collaborations – the business duo has designed styles for Asics, adidas, Reebok and New Balance.

2. Local skate brand Palace: London’s streetwear king

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Palace is one of the most authentic streetwear labels in London. Initially designed for skateboarding enthusiasts, it has since garnered a wider following. Its flagship store in Brewer Street, in central West London, features sleek Italian marble floor tiles inset with oversized P lettering. Displays are minimal, with a few select clothing and footwear designs on show. Look out for the Palace x adidas collaboration, a series of limited-edition, premium tumbled leather sneakers that combine skater style with a luxe aesthetic and a globally recognised logo.

3. Footpatrol: brimming with limited-edition designs

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Footpatrol London
© Footpatrol London
Footpatrol on Berwick Street in Soho is a carefully considered concept store with an impressive sneaker collection. Interiors are appropriately urban and have floor-to-ceiling recycled scaffold boarding, but it’s the limited-edition designs that keep sneaker fans coming back. Past collections include a unique collaboration with Converse inspired by the Soho streets, but there are also classic options to be found – don’t dismiss this one-of-a-kind destination if you’re in the market for a fresh pair of Nike Air Maxes. This is one of the best sneaker shops in London for rare finds.

4. Slam City: the place to pick up a top-notch skate shoe

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Slam City was established in 1986 and is now one of London’s best-known skating labels. The shop is in Shoreditch, with an outlet in Enfield, North London. Stock spans household names such as Vans and New Balance, but also includes specialist labels such as Lakai and Huf.

5. Axel Arigato: a slice of Swedish cool in Soho

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© Axel Arigato

Loved for its clean-cut leather and suede designs, Swedish streetwear brand Axel Arigato puts a smart spin on sneaker style. The Soho store on Broadwick Street is one of the more pared-back trainer shops in London, having opened in 2018 with stone walls, floor-to-ceiling mirrors and few other interior touches, leaving the full focus on the product.

6. END. in Soho: a wall of sneakers to browse

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© END.

Newcastle-based luxury menswear retailer END. opened its first London store in Broadwick Street, Soho, in 2018. The two-storey space feels bright, modern and well curated, and features a full wall of sneakers as well as oversize digital screens so customers can experience the full range of brands and collections on offer. Expect contemporary labels with a streetwear influence. Acne Studios, Common Projects and Champion set the tone.

7. Offspring: the range will leave you spoilt for choice

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Offspring originated in London and the first store opened in 1996 on Neal Street in Covent Garden (it’s no longer open). It has since opened multiple stores across the UK and has established itself as a credible destination for sneaker connoisseurs. The shopping experience is personal and the brand has maintained a boutique sensibility despite expansion. Offspring celebrated its 20th anniversary with the launch of a permanent residency in Selfridges on Oxford Street.

8. The flagship Vans London store: catch live music while you shop

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Vans launched in 1966 and has maintained its skater-inspired aesthetic to this day, making it one of the most wearable streetwear labels in the world. The events that it hosts in the Carnaby Street flagship store are what make this space special; Funeral for a Friend and Millencolin are among the bands who have performed for customers here. There are also Vans stores in Covent Garden, Camden and Westfield Stratford City.

9. The Other Side of the Pillow: the go-to for exclusive footwear

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The Other Side of the Pillow is a unique footwear destination based in London Fields, Hackney. It stocks rare and classic designs sourced by Vans enthusiast and shoe collector Henry Davies. This is the place to come if you want to blend in with the trendy locals and buy some truly London sneakers.

10. Supreme: hard-to-find sneakers at the New York label’s London store

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Supreme is a New York brand, but its first European store sits well in London’s Soho. It stocks original and current designs and celebrates ongoing collaborations, including the much-coveted collection with luxury fashion label Louis Vuitton. The interior features a photo-collage by Ari Marcopoulos and a sculptural installation by skateboarder and artist Mark Gonzales.

11. Sefton: fashion-focussed variations from mainstream brands

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Men’s clothing and footwear store Sefton opened on Upper Street, Islington, in 1999 and has stocked a considered curation of premium, contemporary labels ever since. The brands on offer are well known, but the store steers clear of mainstream styles, so expect to find fashion-focussed variations from Nike and adidas to complement Sefton’s own minimal clothing label.

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