Fresh crepes: Meet the girls who collect trainers

One of them had 135 pairs

Remember the time when trainers were just for sport? You’d buy a pair that were practical, wear them until they were falling to pieces and throw them away without a second thought. But times have changed, trainers are more popular, cooler and sexier than ever. A good pair of trainers make say you know your shit when it comes to clothes, without looking too try-hard.

From £44 Reebok Classics to £600 Yeezy’s, there’s so much variety they’ve even become a collectors item. The demand is high – find the right pair and you can sell them on for triple their price.

I found the girls who know their Air Max 1s from 95s, who favour trainers to heels on a night out, and who have spent thousands on buying more to add to their collections.

I spoke to them about how they began collecting, where they find them and what it is that makes trainers so special.

Indigo Chorely, Studio Assistant at JD Sports


How many pairs do you have?

I have 34 pairs in total.

How much have you spent on trainers?

Over £2000. I get alot of the money back from selling them on sites like Depop or Ebay though. I basically sell them to get money to buy new ones.

Where do you buy them from?

I normally get trainers that other people don’t have already, I prefer rare and limited edition ones. I mainly get them from Ebay and Depop as you can get really rare or discontinued ones on there. Also, you can get them so much cheaper than brand new pairs which everyone buys. Obviously they’re not all from second hand sites though, I have some from online sites like, and a few from shops such as JD, Size and Office. I’m lucky my feet are small so I fit into kids shoes, which makes my trainer obsession way cheaper.


Shes even got metallic light-up trainers

Would you consider yourself a collector?

I wouldn’t say I am a collector of trainers, I’d definitely say I have a trainer addiction though. All my friends know me for my trainers, I’m always looking for new one’s and there often the focal point of my outfits.

When did you realise how much you loved trainers?

I’m not sure, maybe when I got my first pair of K-Swiss Tounge Twisters when I was 11. I really wanted that specific pair, and was so happy when I finally got them. That was when I stopped wearing trainers just for practical reasons and started wearing them as a style thing.

Do you have a favourite pair?

Definitely my limited edition blue Liberty Air Max 1s. I’ve had them for years and was so happy when I found them. I wear them on nights out, but I take really good care of them. I don’t think I have seen anyone else wearing them yet. I also get so many compliments when I wear them.

Indigo in her limited edition Liberty Air Max

What is the most you’ve paid for them?

These are probably my most expensive pair too, they were about £150! The cheapest pair was actually my black and baby pink Air Max 95’s which were about £4.00 off Ebay, such a bargain.

What brands do you like?

God that is a tough one, there’s just so much to chose from – which is exactly what I love about trainers.  I love Adidas one’s like Superstars, but would probably say Nike have a better variety of shapes which I prefer. Air Max, Thea, Air force, Roshe Run – there’s just so many to chose from. They’ve got some great prints too.


Indigo’s got different trainers for different types of nights out

Do you wear trainers most of the time?

Yeah, I can wear them to work so I pretty much only wear trainers. I always wear them on nights out. I even have different trainers for different nights  have some cleaner smarter ones for when I’m going for nice drinks and then get my skanky Air Max out for proper nights out.

Do you prefer them to heels?

Yeah, they’re my favourite type of shoe without question. It’s probably because I prefer they way they look, they’re more comfy and you can wear them with anything.

Any trainers you’ve got your eyes on at the moment?

I’ve always wanted but never been able to find the liquid silver Air Max, the grape Air Max 95s and the Reebok x Palace workout.

Zandy Cohen, Newcastle Graduate


How many trainers do you have?

At one point I had 136 pairs of trainers, but I sold quite a few of them on Ebay cause they were limited editions, so actually sometimes went up in price. But at the moment I have 30 – 40 pairs.


Zandy has bought over 135 pairs of trainers

Do you buy them second hand?

They are all bought new, the thought of buying second hand trainers creeps me out a bit, other people’s smelly feet in them previously isn’t really my thing. They usually come from shops. I’ve bought a couple pairs off Ebay, but only new ones, and from ebay sellers that I know are genuine. You see so many fake trainers about these days, and its getting hard to tell the fakes from the genuine.

What’s the most you’ve spent on a pair?

I think the most I’ve spent on a pair of trainers was £295 and that was the wheat Air Force 1s.


Zandy’s Gourmet trainers

How long have you been collecting for?

I started collecting five years ago i think, when i was 17. I’d always loved trainers but got by by having two or three pairs at a time.

Do you remember your first pair?

I think my first pair were Vans when i was about 10, but after that I really started collecting when i was 17/18. The first pair of my addiction was a black and gold pair of high top Adidas, they were pretty rank to be fair. Then i bought my first pair of Air Max 90s in the first week of freshers, and after that couldn’t stop myself.

Would you say it’s an obsession?

Buying trainers is a bit like getting tattoos, I’ve got a fair few of them too. After your first one you just can’t stop.

Zandy would never date a guy with bad trainers

Do you look at other peoples shoes?

I always look from the trainers up when I meet someone, people often think it’s because I’m judging them.

Does it affect your taste in men?

I’ll never go for a guy that doesnt wear nice trainers. No can do.

What was the cheapest pair you’ve bought?

Luckily I fit into kids sizes, so when I buy the plain trainers like black/white Air Max I can get them for about £50-£60.  I actually think the cheapest pair I’ve bought were a pair of Reebok Originals, but before they got cool, so think i got them for about £20. Oh and some Green Flash, they cost about £20 too.


Do you have a favourite pair?

Oh I don’t think i could pick one, I love them all.

What brands do you go for?

Favourite brands would have to obviously be Nike and Adidas. I can’t stand New Balance,  I hate everything about them. I also love Ash trainers, but they are a bit more pricey usually ranging from £200 to £300. I love them because they have platforms to make me look taller.

Why trainers?

I think the thing about trainers is they are just so comfy and they can dress a lot of things down. For example, a lot of people are sporting dresses and trainers now. I’m not sure there is anything in particular that makes them better than other shoes, though. I still have a load of other shoes, I would say my addiction is actually shoes.

Do you wear trainers on a night out?

Where possible I will always opt to wear trainers on a night out. It really depends where I’m going. Now I have a job I’ve had to start dressing a bit smarter outside of work, just in case I bump into clients. If I’m going out in London I’ll usually wear some boots just to be on the safe side if we end up else where after a night out. But when I was at uni in Newcastle I don’t think there was a night I didn’t wear trainers. Nothing beats not waking up with swollen and sore feet from the big fat heels you wore the night before.

Lisa Carr, Cardiff Postgrad


How many pairs do you have?

They’re spread across home and uni, but I have about 20 pairs.

How much have you spent on them?

I buy them all new, so at least £100.

How long have you been collecting?

I’ve been collecting for a couple of years now but I really do need to stop as I won’t be a student for much longer and I can’t just wear them every day.

Why trainers?

I love trainers because you can get them in such bright colours and different styles. I wear black most days all I need to do is switch it up with a pair of trainers and it’s a whole new outfit.

What brands do you collect?

I love Reebok Classics and Adidas Originals most of all, but I don’t collect a specific brand I like to switch it up a lot.

Do you have different trainers for different occasions?

Yeah for sure. I have specific trainers for going out that I don’t mind getting ruined and I have more dressy trainers.


Do your friends borrow your trainers?

Sadly, my friends aren’t that jealous of my huge collection. They more just think I’m a moron for not spending my money on something more worthwhile.

Do you do anything in particular to maintain them and keep them clean?

I maintain them by rotating them a lot so I don’t just trash one pair by over wearing them. And I only wear certain trainers on a rainy day that I can just wipe clean with a sponge.  Makeup wipes are really useful for cleaning them, they work better than anything else.

Kathryn Fletcher, Sussex Graduate


How many pairs of trainers do you have?


How much money have you spent on them?

Oh god, probably up to £2,000 in the past two to three years.

Where do you buy them from?

I usually get them in stores like Size? or Office but sometimes order them off Asos or Urban Outfitters. I don’t buy second hand ones.


Do you have a favourite brand?

My favourite brand is definitely Nike because I highly rate all the Air Max range. Also,  I tend to go for trainers that aren’t too out there.

Why trainers?

Trainers are just sick because they’re super comfy. I personally don’t like to be too dressed up or girly, and I think trainers look so much more laid back. I wear a lot of black and plain clothes and baggy tees, and when you get a nice fresh pair of trainers I think it can change the whole outfit.

Also, if I wore anything but trainers to the club nights I go to, I’d look so out of place. I mainly go to Garage and Hip Hop nights, everyone there is wearing trainers.

Have you always preferred trainers?

Yeah pretty much. Actually, when I was in second year I broke my ankle jumping round showing off my new pair of Air Max 1s and since then have never been able to wear heels anyway.

Sarah Whibley, Manchester second year


How many trainers do you have?

I think I have about 15 pairs of trainers at the moment, most of which I have at uni with me.

Why trainers and not heels?

I wear trainers basically everyday including every night out I go on, I don’t remember the last time I wore heels. I go to uni in Manchester, and no one really wears heels here. Trainers always look cool and are comfortable, I don’t think you can go wrong with them.


Sarah wears trainers every day

Where do you buy them?

I normally get my trainers directly from Nike or Adidas shops but also like going to the outlet in Wembley because you can cop some amazing bargains. My cheapest pair were like £7 and are karrimors copy of free runs which I wear to the gym. I tend to steer clear of really expensive pairs but I think my most cost just under £100 and are a pair of Nike Air Maxes.

Do you have a favourite pair?

My favourite pair are probably my black leather Stan smiths which I got from an adidas outlet for £40, they’re a bit small though as I had to get 6.5 instead of 7 and they are very limited.

Rosana Mendes, Marketing


How many trainers do you have?

I have about 40 pairs of shoes, many of which are trainers.

How much do you spend on them?

I spend about £70-£80 on each pair and have ones for each occasion. I try to have a few basic pairs in white or black and colourful ones to brighten up a boring outfit.


Why trainers?

I’ve been really into them for the past year or so because there is so much more choice. There’s something that can work with every outfit – colourful ones, and really girly ones too. Also, they’re so comfortable, and you can wear them for anything. They can look just as good worn to work as they do on a night out.


Where do you buy them from?

I search a lot for trainers, and the ones that have already sold out I normally can find on Offspring. They always have ones that are sold out everywhere else or rare trainers in stock, saving me from a sad day. Recently I have been searching on Depop a lot because I want some Nike air 95s or 97s, but older versions. They have so many trainers on there that aren’t available anywhere else anymore.

Fia O’Loughlin, Manchester third year


How many pairs do you have?

I have 12 pairs at the moment. But I sell ones to buy new ones, so I’ve had over 30 pairs in the last few years.

How much is your collection worth?

I reckon I’ve spent way over £500 on trainers in the past five years.

How long have you been collecting for?

I started collecting in college, so a good four years.

What’s the most you’ve spent on a pair?

I normally get used ones for much cheaper, so my £70 New Balances were the most spenny.


Are you ok with buying second hand trainers?

Yeah, I rarely buy brand new trainers.

Where do you buy them from?

Mostly from Ebay or online brand websites like Reebok or Adidas.

What are your favourite brands?

Reebok and Nike definately, but I fucking loved New Balance last year so I still have six pairs of them.

Would you ever sell your trainers ?

Yeah, I’ve sold loads of them on Ebay and Depop.

Why trainers?

Trainers are so much better than regular shoes because you can wear them almost anywhere, and if you have joint problems like I do then they make walking around so much easier. They’re comfy and versatile and they’ll never not be good.

Do you ever wear heels?

Never! I actually get annoyed if I ever have to wear heels on a night out. I go to uni in Manchester and there’s absolutely no point wearing heels or nice shoes here. There’s not many nights that are good that you’d wear them to, none of my friends would wear heels on a night out here.