Sneakerhead: 6 Tools of the Trade
Your “Keeping Up With The Jones'” Guide To Trainers
There are people that wear trainers, there are people that like trainers and then there are a special breed of people who go one step beyond.
The people that are totally, utterly, unwaveringly obsessed.
They live and breathe the latest colourway, they set calendar alerts for drops and trowel ebay for all-black Huraches in a size 10.
These hardcore lovers of all things trainers related, go by the name “Sneakerheads”. The surge in Sneakerheads in the UK has been nothing short of a Fashion revolution. We’ve come a long way since the era of Gucci loafers and Patrick Cox in clubs – casual is the new smart and sneakers, the new shoes. The urban counter culture has become the mainstream and the growth of the sneaker scene has exploded with it.
Now, as a Brit, I find it pretty hard to reconcile myself with the use of such an Americanism, however “trainershead” sound just about as right as “soccer hipster” might. As such, please just put my use of this american phrase down to my heavy viewing of American shows such as City Guys, Saved by the Bell and Sweet Valley High during my formative years.
Check out our list of six tools of the trade for every Sneakerhead worth their salt:
1. The humble toothbrush
Not just a a weapon for oral hygiene, toothbrushes have been used since the dawn of *Sneakerheadism to get into those difficult to reach grooves and remove dirt, restoring kicks to their former glory. The really dedicated sneakerhead will opt for an electric version. Personally I recommend a medium Oral B just like my dentist does.
*This is definitely not a word.
2. Custom laces
If your exclusive trainers aren’t quite exclusive enough, there is one simple way to stand out when entering the next Crepe City Event. Get yourself a pair of laces. There are a whole host of designs you can buy. Stars & Sripes, Gold or leopard print!
For me though, I’m leaning towards the Rope style laces and wearing them in a complimentary colour to the trainers.
A spiffing shoe tree
Shoe trees are a key purchase for two reasons. One, they help to retain the shape and structure of the trainers and two, they allow air to circulate, reducing the moisture and potential stink factor of a well worn pair of kicks.
Now, you can spend a fortune on the shoe tree equivalent of an iMac, but essentially, a simple set of cedar wood shoe trees will do the job. An underrated purchase, yet a critical one.
3. Stain repellent
A scuff on a man’s trainers one day one is upsetting, but it’s pretty much the end of the world when they become permanently tarnished. Unlike with women, the sneakerhead’s motto is not “Treat em mean, keep up keen”. Trainers receive more love and care than a baby panda in the Zoo. Protect them with the most trusted stain/dirt repellent shoe spray.
Crep Protect is the go to UK brand of choice when it comes to stain repelling and protection at the moment, and is endorsed by UK Grime MC J2K. It certainly a better choice than wearing a pair of Tesco bags around your feet.
4. Sneakers Bible
Every sneakerhead needs to know the words of the good book. In this case Sneakers: The Complete Limited Editions Guide (The sequel to the popular Sneakers: The Complete Collectors’ Guide). The book is a global survey and reference guide to the very best and most collectible limited-edition sneaker designs released over the last decade. You can’t own them all, but there is nothing wrong with looking.
As much as we would like to spend every second of every day wearing our favourite crepes, there comes a time where you are forced to de-shoe and bare your socks to the fresh air. What you don’t want is to be meeting the girlfriends parents for the first time and upon liberating your feet from their captors, to find the stench of your sweaty feet is overwhelmingly putrid, before you’ve even had the chance to shake hands. Odour eaters may not be the coolest thing to be seen purchasing, but they are certainly cooler than stinking out a room.