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Sneaker pimp s

Why appearance and (M...

performance needn't be mutually - exclusive concepts in trainer design. Worries: David Stanners

ho \yould haye thought the IUXlls

could ol'l'er such glorious nostalgia

in the \yot'ld ol' lashion'.’ Very l'eyy. admittedly. But \y hen it comes to training shires/rttliners/sneakers call them “hat you “ill the decade that taste l‘orgot proyided a supreme halance hetyyecn quality perl'ormance and aesthetics.

But haye you taken a trip down your local sports shop lately I’ l'pon entrance you could he hlinded hy the da//|ing array ol' \yliites shining l'rom the running shoe section. Is this reality'.’ Are sports manulacturcrs try ing to rob us ol' any sense ol aesthetic justice"? What I'm driying at here is simple: cast your mind hack l5 Ill years \yhen hig corporations like Adidas and To Nike prmided Us with style as well as pt-i-im-tmnt-ta 'l‘alse mt- .s'irt- .-\ir Max. In the mid—80s these new the godl'ather ol' style. .\'ot only could this shoe turn heads in school playgrounds. where the spoiled kid \\ as reyered by his jealous peers. hut it \y as also at the cutting edge ol' technology.

ln days gone by trainers ollet'ed this dual purpose. successfully comhining sport and fashion. Now these elements haye dramatically polarised. \Vhile technology has adyanced the perlormance ol‘ trainers. stylish design

is lagging behind. 01' is it‘.’ ‘I don't really \ see my running shoes as l'ashion accessories.

they're just l'unctional.' says a representatiye at specialist running store. Run and Become. Does this mean cosmetic Considerations aren't on manul'aclurers minds any more'.’ Robert \Vard at .\'e\\ Balance l'K heliey es appearances are still important. hut \\ hen questioned about the proliferation ol cheesy \yhite trainers. he admits: 'Some companies tend to oyer-elahorate in their design process.‘ Big brands such as Nike. Reebok. .-\sles and .-\didas produce the \ery highest perl‘ormance shoes. htit their designs are cheapening their products. New Balance. on the other hand. is a cotnpany on the right track. .-\s \yell as nurturing neyy styles. it is well auare ol' the increasing consumer interest in retro styles. and has accommodated this by remarketing heritage shoes. The New Balance 9‘” model is a perl‘ect example ol‘ a dual purpose shoe. scoring high in performance and design. :\s retro styles are currently shaping the market. let’s hope other companies \yill lools hack hut moye l'oryyard by losing the simple. stylish designs ol' old with the technology ol. the future. ()h. and easy on the white.

(1) New Balance 577. £65. (2) Nike Dunk. £49.99. (3) Reebok Gold Medallist. £60. (4) Reebok Supercoun. £45. (7) Reebok 5 Carter. limited edition. (8) Adi-star Runner. 1390.

(5) Nike Cltyknlle. £54.99. (6) Air Max Due. £75. (9) Adl-eter Cushion. £39.99.

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