Wiley

London’s grime king rates Stan Smith

“I can’t remember my first pair of trainers, I’ve had so many… wait: Reebok Classics. Everyone in east London was rocking Classics, and long before Mike Skinner, too. I like Nike Air Max, but I’m mostly in Adidas. I’m rocking Stan Smith’s a lot at the moment. The most I’ve spent on trainers is about £150 for some Bathing Apes, actually my Gucci trainers set me back about 200 notes. I don’t know how many pairs I have, I’ve got a room full and I’m always giving stuff away. It’s ridiculous. My tip for looking after trainers is drive everywhere, so you don’t wear them out.” Wiley’s album See Clear Now is out now

 

Mubi Ali

Creative assistant at fashion e-tailer oki-ni.com has 780 pairs to choose from!

“I have accumulated about 780 pairs of sneakers since I started collecting them in 1998, which include Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Vans and Lacoste. My all-time favourite would have to be the Nike Air Jordan IV, designed by the legend of the sneaker world: Tinker Hatfield. Fortunately I’ve been able to transfer my passion into my work and I’m working with many of the brands I love on sneaker-related projects such as the new Lacoste Revan 3 High, due to be released exclusively on oki-ni.com.”

 

Kim Jones

The menswear hotshot chooses one of his own designs. Funny that…

“I prefer ‘classic’ styles of trainers – something I’ve tried to embody in The Runner from the Umbro by Kim Jones collection. It’s a favourite of mine, a ‘terrace culture’ style, with a simple, clean aesthetic. The colour palette is South American – bold and bright. But there are more subtle options which will go with anything.”

 

Example

Mike Skinner‘s latest protégé remembers his first 'proper' pair.

“When I was little, my parents never treated us with clothes. All the other kids would wear brand new trainers every week, but my first proper ones were Nike Air Jordan III’s in white with the red trim when I was nine. I wore them all day, every day. I’ve got a deal with Puma so I get them free these days, but if I’m doing a gig, and I know my feet will get trodden on, I’ve got some old Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66s that I wear.”

 

RZA

“When I was a teenager – you know: 16, having sex, smoking drugs – the coolest sneaker I ever saw was the Gucci sneaker. They cost $350. At 17 I bought a pair, and I thought ?I was the coolest guy on the planet. Back then they only had one colour: white, with the Gucci stripe. The Gucci sneaker is the epitome of the fashion sneaker – it ain’t for playing basketball in. But when you’re rocking some cool-ass jeans and a girl looks down at your feet and she sees a pair of $350 Gucci sneakers, trust me – you’re going to get some.”

 

Howie B

The knob-twiddling pal of U2 and Björk on his mock croc pumps

Kicks are an obsession for me so I tend to wear them most days and to almost any occasion. The ones I wear the most are a pair of metallic mock crocs that Hvana did a couple of years ago – they’re the boom. The best way to rock a pair of kicks? Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd: it’s okay to be the black sheep and not follow everyone else. Trends come and go but trainers never go out of style.

 

Digitalism

Rave anthem-producing Germans choose their faves

“My mum bought me the old school white and blue Pumas,” says Isi from the band, “and I had the Converse All Star, all in red. I wore those when I started raving then stopped when they got worn out. But now the ‘worn’ look is cool, I’ll recycle them. These days I like the Adidas Spider. Jence [Isi’s wingman in Digitalism] likes the Adidas Y-3 Yohji Yamamoto. The shoe is completely black, but it’s got a white sole and hand-painted stripe.”

 

Tim Westwood

Boom! Radio 1’s raddest one loves his Air Force, er, Ones

“I’m pretty consistent, man: Nike Air Force Ones all the way. I buy a pair of white on white like every three weeks; none of this shit lasts for ever, especially in the clubs. You want that box fresh look – when they dead, throw them out. You don’t keep every pair of underpants you ever owned. For me, it’s all about co-ordination; I’ve got mad different colour laces to set shit off. Match your T-shirt to your jacket, to your jeans to your sneakers and match them to the laces.”

 

Danny Dyer

The Real Football Factories host’s kicks to kill

Dyer’s trainer tastes were moulded in the white-hot forge of the rave days. “When I was a kid, I saved up to buy my first pair of high-top Fila F13 trainers.” How did they go down? “They were the ultimate for any kid at my school and all the girls loved them – the ?‘F’ badge was a real iconic logo to be wearing at the time. ?At the moment I’m into my plain white lace-ups and different old styles from the ’70s and ’80s that have been re-released again.”

 

Kano

British rap’s number one goes for Stan Smiths

“When I was little it was usually Reebok Classics I wore, but I think the first pair ever were Kangaroos, those ones with the little pocket on the side. ?As a teenager you had to have Nike TNs. We called them ‘One-tens’ because they were £110. Now I’m into Adidas: Rod Lavers, Superstars ?and, most of all, Stan Smiths. Stan Smiths last me about two wears then ?I’ll give them to my cousins or something.” Kano’s new mix LP is out now.

T2

UK garage prodigy who did Heartbroken is Adidas partisan…

“The trainers I really wanted when I was little were the ones with flashing lights on the bottom. LA Gear, I think. As a teenager, it was Nike Air Max ’95, no question. Usually the all-black ones. Right now I’ve got a large amount of Adidas, practically every design they’ve had in the last two years. The current favourites? A green pair from the Muhammad Ali range.”

 

Noel Clarke

Dr Who sidekick and Kidulthood/Adulthood scriptwriter wears Puma

“My first pair was some crap no-name ‘Wooly Wizards’ and then I had these Nike’s that looked like Air Force Ones. I was convinced they made me run faster. Then when I was 16 I got some Adidas Torsion with the yellow bar on the sole. At the moment I’ve got an Adulthood pair from Puma that I designed. I like my trainers plain white – all these clown shoes that the kids are wearing, I’m too old for that now. Bring back the old days: T-shirt, blue jeans, white trainers, and girls.”

 

Thierry Henry

Barca’s mercurial ex-Gooner is a strictly Reebok homme

I’m really weird with my sneakers, but I guess everybody is. You can’t go wrong with white Reeboks. My favourites at the moment are the Exofit Hi, but my first pair of trainers were Reebok Classics which I kept pristine. I always cleaned my trainers and still do. People think I’m crazy but just because you can buy a new pair whenever you want doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of your stuff. My Dad taught me that.

 

Sam Sparro

Electro crooner runs the training shoe gamut

“The first pair of trainers I ever had were black and red British Knights hi-tops that I thought looked really bad-ass. Hey, it was the ’80s! I also remember coming back from Sweden aged 16 with these crazy-shaped white Adidas with embroidered stripes that I tried desperately hard to keep pristine. I’m not really into customising my trainers but I do love metallics and bold colours. Hence, right now I’m loving the pair of Raf Simons ‘astronaut boots’ that I wear in my new video – we shot it the other day and I fell in love with them.”