How To Wear Trainers When You’re Not Going To The Gym

Sports shoe fanatic and trainer collector Erica Forshaw shares her tips


by Pandora Sykes |
Published on

Happy Nike Air Max Day, Debriefers! What, you didn't know it was a bonafide holiday? Wait – you didn't get today off as a trainer-loving bank holiday? Nope, us neither. But who cares, you can still celebrate Air Max's 27th birthday by doing a little shuffle tap under your desk, wearing your favourite rubber-soled flat shoes and reading this very piece. In which we grill sports shoe fanatic and trainer collector Erica Forshaw for some top trainer tips.


The Debrief: Happy Nike Air Max Day, Erica! What are you doing to celebrate?

**Erica Forshaw: **I have a pair of white leather Air Max 1s with a purple snake-print toe box that I adore so I'm letting them see the light of day!

**DB: Now tell us a little bit about the life of a trainer fanatic. **

EF: Well, I'm 20 years old and live just outside of Leicester city centre in a little house with my boyfriend. I work for independent online clothing and footwear retailer Wellgosh where I work with the PR team, as well as managing customer services. In my free time I also review women's trainer releases for The Drop Date.

DB: And when did you become an avid trainer collector? What pair started it?

EF: Trainers have always been my preferred footwear. I lived in Reebok Classics at primary school, but didn't start collecting until I could afford to fund the habit aged 15. Some of the first trainers I spent my wages on were actually Nike IDs – pretty garish designs looking back! But I loved them at the time.


DB: And now you're a social media trainer phenomenon.

EF: Yeah, I'm always sharing photos of my collection, some of which do make me look like one of those crazy hoarders from a Channel 4 documentary! I've also met people in the industry through trainer-based events such as Crepe City, which is an annual sneaker festival.

DB: An annual sneaker festival? We had no idea that even existed. So do you get excited about a new pair of kicks every single day?

EF: I do, I get excited over every pair I have, so I'm always sharing new pick-ups and often just what I'm wearing on a daily basis. Social media is a great way of seeing which new releases are getting people excited and equally those that are getting totally overlooked.

DB: The real question is, how many pairs do you have? Are you the young woman who lived in a shoe… box?

EF: I get asked this a lot and the honest answer is that I actually don't know. I'd say way over 100 pairs, but I don't think I have quite hit 200. I keep them all over the place, so counting would be rather a tricky task. I'd love to tell you that I have a high-tech colour-coordinated racking system but that would be a lie. Any trainer-shaped space in my house is promptly filled, from the kitchen cupboards to under my bed, nowhere is safe.

DB: What's the most expensive pair you own?

EF: Probably my Black and Red Air Jordan 6, which I bought via my mobile while eating a pizza in Zizzi's! I often have people make offers – I've been offered £250 for them – but I love them too much to part with them. Usually I'll get trainers when they are just released to avoid having to pay extortionate reselling prices.

DB: Where's your fave place to buy them?

EF: I get new releases from Wellgosh for obvious reasons, but when I'm on the lookout for an old release I'll head over to Small Feet Big Kicks. I get lucky with kids sizes a lot, which makes trainers for me pretty purse-friendly! If I'm feeling unusually patient, I'll have a good scan of eBay.


DB: What are your all-time favourite styles?

EF: The Nike Air Max 90s, Adidas Superstars and Asics Gel Sagas. Those for me, are classics that are perfectly versatile for wear day in, day out. Not forgetting, of course, the Nike Roshe Run, which I live in – whether it's in the gym or teamed with a dress in the summer, I rarely go a day without wearing them.

DB: Who are your favourite gals who wear sneaks?

EF: I think young women such as Lily Allen have been instrumental to my love of trainers, I remember seeing her rocking a pair of Air Max 90s with a dress in the video for 'Smile' and heading straight out to the shops. Back then for me it was something new and exciting. To this day, Lily is rocking basketball silhouettes with formal dresses and for me she pulls it off every time.

DB: What do you make of everyone – even girly girls – suddenly wearing trainers?

**EF: **I love to see how people - young and old - rock different styles and brands. Personally, I'm all for teaming anything and everything with trainers. Obviously there are certain occasions where trainers aren't appropriate but I'll wear mine whenever I can get away with it!

**DB: What would be your biggest tips for wearing trainers and not looking like you're going to work out? **

EF: I often find myself stepping out of the house looking like Sporty Spice but that's not always a bad thing, right?! As for not looking like you're heading to the gym I think with simple low-cut silhouettes such as the Nike Flyknitsor Adidas Stan Smiths you can really team them with any outfit, no matter how smart.

DB: And what are your favourite new styles for this spring?

EF: I'm really loving the Jordan Futures, they're so different from anything we've seen from Jordan Brand in the past – I'm just patiently waiting for Nike to release them in girls' sizes! For running, I really like the Adidas Energy Boosts and I'm looking forward to seeing what prints Adidas will treat the Silhouette to over the course of the summer.

  1. Energy Boost 2, £115 Adidas; 2. Stan Smiths Shoes Snake, £66.99 Adidas Originals; 3. Gel-Noose Tri 9, £105 Asics at Foot Asylum; 4. Flyknit Lunar2, £135 Nike; 5. Womens Gel Saga Trainer, £99.99 Asics at Foot Asylum; 6. Women's Classic Leather Trainers, £55 Reebok

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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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