Much like its cultural character, London’s sneaker scene (or should we say, ‘trainer’ scene) is as eclectic and rich in history as anywhere in the world. Often overlooked – and criminally so – London’s love for sneakers, when compared to renowned hubs like New York and Tokyo, isn’t quite as noticeable at a glance. However, all you need to do is take a peek at Londoners’ feet, and you’ll soon realise: the footwear folklore here runs deep.
Influenced by the city’s passion for football, London’s sneaker culture is comparably tribal. Whether it’s Air Force down south or Air Max up north, sneaker rotations do tend to vary depending on location. Don’t let that fool you, though – wherever your sneaker allegiance lays, you’ll find exactly what you’re after, and more, on a trip to London Town.
Whether you’re hunting for a grail, an everyday beater, or just a quality afternoon of trainer spotting, these London sneaker stores are your calling.
Mr. Sneaker – Bethnal Green
Unfortunately, insane rent prices and a sluggish retail environment have forced many independent boutiques to shut-up shop in the past decade. However, local mainstay Mr. Sneaker continues to fly the flag for London’s sovereign sneaker hubs.
Revered as the first independent sneaker store in the city, Mr. Sneaker will be one of your go-to destinations for uber-rare drops if you’ve got some pound to throw around.
Footpatrol - Soho
Soho has long been a barometer for London’s progressive fashion landscape, so it was only natural for Footpatrol London to rethink its old set-up and evolve. The result? A complete store overhaul, with a new and improved layout and look.
Fresh off the stunning renovation, Footpatrol London levels-up its standing as one of Europe’s most distinguished sneaker hubs. Stocking the latest and most exclusive sneakers from all your favourites, including selections from NikeLAB, Jordan Brand, adidas Consortium, and Vans Vault, it’s simply a must-stop shop on your itinerary.
Presented By - Fitzrovia
Consignment sneaker stores in London are few and far between, which makes Presented By all the more impressive. Stocked to the brim with shrink-wrapped grails on its chic wooden shelves, Presented By delivers arguably the most comprehensive limited-edition release lineup in the city.
The space was created alongside sneaker care stalwarts CREP Protect, so if you don’t want to break the bank, you can still walk out with a clean pair thanks to the high-tech CREP trainers care area. So fresh!
The Other Side of the Pillow - Clapton
The Other Side of the Pillow brings a bit of California to Clapton, stocking the largest inventory of USA-made vintage Vans in the world. It’s hands-down one of the most memorable sneaker experiences you’ll have in London, whether you’re a die-hard canvas connoisseur or a casual.
There are plenty of museums and galleries to visit on your trip, but we think The Other Side of the Pillow just about qualifies as one.
Sneakersnstuff - Shoreditch
Whether you’re keen on a bagel or a different kind of ‘Bred’, the district of Shoreditch has got you covered. Representing one of the city’s most cosmopolitan corners, it’s no surprise the globetrotting Sneakernstuff have based their London flagship store there.
SNS’s worldwide clout is well warranted, as they continue to deliver the latest releases – both GR and limited – to a legion of avid sneakerheads, not only in London, but also Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, and NYC to boot.
NikeLab 1948 - Shoreditch
When you’re done getting stuffed, take a short stroll down to Nike 1948. Designed as a retail space and creative playground, the store’s minimalist layout encapsulates the overlapping space between culture and athleticism.
You’re bound to stumble across the ginormous Nike Town on Oxford Street at some point during your stay, but this Swoosh outpost offers a more curated arsenal of exclusive apparel and sneakers, without the hassle of being engulfed by London’s wild foot traffic. If you’re lucky, you may even score a rare pair for retail!
Currently undergoing renovation, the space is set to re-open in October, 2019.
END. - Soho
While in London, your sneaker and streetwear expedition will probably reach its summit in Soho. With size?, adidas Fouberts Place, Supreme, Palace, Patta, Dover Street Market, and the aforementioned Footpatrol all within a short stroll of one another, you better prepare your wallet for a pounding.
You may be experiencing retail bliss, but until you’ve checked out END.’s brand new flagship store, you haven’t truly fulfilled your footwear fantasy.
END.’s two-storey megastore is simply jaw-dropping. Constructed with marble, stainless steel, mirror and maple, the space is a monolithic landscape of sneakers and apparel unlike anything else London has ever seen.
Is your wanderlust kicking in yet? Stay tuned for more sneaker itineraries from Berlin, Melbourne, Sydney, and New York. In the meantime, be sure to check out our comprehensive Sneaker Store Guide to plot your next kickspedition.