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Shoes get the boot as trainers takeover

10th March 2014 Print

Trainers are no longer just for the gym.High street retailer Debenhams reports sales of sports shoes are soaring as celebrities and fashionista’s embrace the latest trainer-led trend.

The fashion sneaker has seen a 67% increase on last year as customers snap up the latest pairs including styles featuring neon, animal prints, metallic panels and mesh.

Fashion editors across the globe were spotted during Fashion Weeks sporting the latest ‘kicks’ on the front row, proving they are the only shoes to be seen in this season.

Last month’s Chanel Paris Haute Couture show saw Karl Lagerfeld send all 65 models down the catwalk in sports shoes paired with tweed and crochet skirt suits including model of the moment Cara Delevingne who opened and closed the show in an iconic wedding dress.”

“Women no longer need to reserve trainers for their daily commute, carrying their trusty heels in their handbags like Melanie Griffith in Working Girl” Said Natelle Baddeley, Head of Design, Debenhams.

“Thanks to fashion editors and celebrities such as Kristen Stewart, Naomi Watts and Cate Blanchett, who have all worn them on the red carpet; it’s now completely acceptable to wear trainers with dresses, skirts and even trouser suits.

”Raf Simons followed suit with a handful of models sporting mesh slip-ons with ball gown at the Dior Couture show last month.

“The pairing of trainers with couture gowns shows how far they have come in fashion circles, Rihanna, Lilly Allen, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Miranda Kerr have been huge advocates of the trend even before the catwalks, showing us how to wear them without looking like a teenybopper!”

“My advice is to avoid tights, go bare-legged or add little ankle socks if pairing with dresses and skirts or wear with tailored trousers and slim cut jeans if the weather isn’t on your side,” added Natelle.

The modern athletic shoe began with the introduction of the 'plimsoll' in the mid-19th century; they were widely worn by vacationers and also began to be worn by sportsmen on the tennis and croquet courts for their comfort at the turn of the 20th century.

British company J.W. Foster and Sons designed and produced the first shoes designed for running in 1895; this style of footwear also became prominent in America at the turn of the 20th century, where they were called 'sneakers'.

During 1918 – 1939, athletic shoes began to be marketed for different sports, and differentiated designs were made available for men and women.

As well Nike, Adidas and New Balance, brands such as Faith, Call It Spring and Debenhams own brand ‘Red Herring’ are extremely popular with the 200 year old retailer’s customers.

The top 5 best sellers are:

Call It Spring Black 'Mikeskova' Colour Block Trainers - £30
H! By Henry Holland Metallic Lace up Trainers - £35
Nike purple 'Flex 2012' Trainers - £69
Red Herring Pink Mesh Trainers - £32.50
Adidas dark pink 'Chill' Trainers - £60

A selection of trainers starting from £22.50, are available at Debenhams in store and online at, all at up to 25% off in Debenhams New Season Spectacular.

More Photos - Click to Enlarge