What your trainers say about you, by the Tab

You’re soooo Stan Smith


Everyone wears trainers, and the ones they choose to wear say a lot about the person they are. There’s the people who just really want you to know how much they care about trainers, the ones who bought Stan Smiths because they saw them in Urban Outfitters, or the ones who don’t have a clue.

Adidas NMDS

You are so avant-garde right? You had these with the blue and red tags on before people started buying them to be a bit Je Suis Charlie. We see through you. You got them because they weren’t the free run and didn’t make your arch collapse. But make sure they’re not the basic ones, otherwise you’ll be grouped with the crew still shuffling at the back of the rave.


Adidas Stan Smiths

Two kinds of Stan Smiths wearer exist, they are Adidas employees and people whose shoes are still bought by their mum. They really are the best way to identify the recently-graduated-from-the-Russell-Group-but-redefining-myself-in-East-London creative whose fingers are just a little too far from the carotid artery to feel a pulse. Tinder bio reads either “screaming into the void” or “wonderlust ?☄️”.

Adidas Gazelles

After being called a ninny muggins one too many times for wearing Stan Smiths, you bought Gazelles. I thought these were only for dads? There aren’t really any redeeming qualities about these aside from the fact that they protect your feet from the floor.

Adidas Ultra Boosts

The only people who wear these casually are the people who wear gym clothes everywhere and never go to the gym. Will Pure Gym really want you flinging their company name around all willy nilly with such atrocities on your feet?

Asics Gel Lytes

Henry knows a lot about trainers and wants everyone to know it – but in a subtle, understated way which basically says: “if you know, then you know”. So he bought something more refined, more niche, more original. He’s a seasoned connoisseur, spending huge amounts of time and money scouring Wavey Kicks and Crep Check for “VVVNDS” to add to his extensive collection of special collabs and exclusive colourways.

In his spare time Henry likes to mix a new, progressive sound he calls “ketty bangers” on the CDJ 2000 Nexus his mum bought him for Christmas. He goes to secret raves in art galleries and owns an extensive vinyl collection. He’s likely to be pissed off at this article. Takes himself a bit seriously, does Henry.

New Balance

Oh, the trainer that Neo-Nazis declared as the “Official shoes of white people”. Oh, okay. Have you declared your allegiance to Trump – or better yet, the Ku Klux Klan? Either that or you haven’t heard of Twitter/have been living under a rock. Regardless, it’s not a vibe.

Old Skool Vans

There’s a reason why these bad boys have changed so little over the years, and it’s that they’re really, really fucking cool. Just like the people who wear them. If you’re a girl with fishnet tights so everyone knows you practically live in Urban Outfitters and are the Kardashians’ long lost sister. If you’re a guy, you can get away with these even if you don’t skate.

Black high top Converse

You can’t admit to your friends that you still listen to My Chemical Romance and Panic at the Disco for enjoyment, so wear these instead. “They’re my work shoes” you say as you still don’t change out of them before you go to the pub, thinking that since they’re black they’re still acceptable outside of the kiosk you hide behind all day.

Yeezy Boost 350s

If they’re fake, it’s obvious. If they’re real, everyone’s going to think they’re fake anyway. And even if you tell people they’re real, you’re still the mug who spent six hours queuing and several hundred quid on a pair of ugly running shoes designed by a rapper who beefs with Taylor Swift.


Fake Yeezys

Hey look, it’s Fake Yeezy Guy! He’s so mad! Fake Yeezy Guy bought his Fake Yeezys for €8 on the Barcelona beachfront when he was away on his hols with the boys, and they look like the real bloody deal and he wore them when he pulled a Spanish chick that night! And by gosh, will he tell you the story!

In reality, of course, he wants you to think they’re real, but it’s hard to afford real ones on an Estate Agent’s salary and he has Creamfields tickets to pay for. Best think of a cheeky story to go along with them and hope no-one sees you for the mug you are.

Nike Air Force

Quite a middle of the road, safe trainer for the cautiously discerning student. Poppy wears Air Force 1s, she bought them in a youth size. She’s from Surrey, but you’ll see her in Warehouse Project, puffer jacket wrapped around her waist and fishnet socks peeking out the top of her grubby, grubby Air Force 1s. She’s beautiful, never brushes her hair and has so many silver rings on her finger it concerns you. See the can of Red Stripe, untouched for the whole night? Yeah, that’s deliberate too. All this means the trainer has been ripped from the original Harlem context Nelly rapped about and, rather clumsily, adopted by Poppy from Surrey.

Asics Gel Lytes

These were huge this time last year, if you could afford them. The thick sole and varied materials hiked up the price but if you got your hands on some, they’re so comfy you probably would never take them off. You probably have a bunch of Adidas but got these just to stand out slightly more so you can look extra edgy amongst all the Stan Smiths.

Reebok Classics

If these are your faves, you appreciate comfort. Wearing them is to walk on air and makes you feel like you’re an Emperor as you stroll through the library, floating on effortless cool. You’ll panic at first when the suede gets a little dirty but then you’ll get over it as it adds a little “actually I’m too edgy to care if my brand new shoes are dirty” vibe.

Nike Air Max thea

Basic as fuck, you probably got them as there were no more 90’s left in Schuh but you just had  to have the coveted air bubble. It seems even if you bought them when they were hot you already don’t care about them. There’s plenty more fish in the sea.

Puma Suede

I thought we left these in 2013?