It’s a brilliant time to be a trainer fan. The last few years have seen a slew of young brands challenging the status quo, bringing fresh impetus to the market and producing unique designs that are anything but cookie cutter.
To keep you ahead of the game, here’s our round-up of the up-and-coming names that all true sneakerheads should know.
They might look like simple plimsolls, but the little details on this Swedish brand’s sneakers are tuned to perfection – contrast heel tabs, cotton linings, waxed laces, premium materials, and a thick vulcanised sole that’s quickly garnered them a cult following amongst shoe obsessives.
“The choice of materials is great – suede and canvas are ideal for warmer months, while the leather versions a safe bet for colder ones.” says Stephen Cross of the Newcastle boutique End Clothing, an early adopter of the brand.
- Eytys Mother Sneakers
- Eytys Lace-up Sneakers
- Eytys Thick Soled Sneakers
- Eytys Odyssey Leather Hi Top Sneaker
- Eytys Odyssey Canvas Hi Top Sneaker
- Eytys Odyssey Suede Hi Top Sneaker
Pronounced ‘fight’, this Aussie brand produces handmade sneakers that are ethically conscious too.
Expect clean-lined, smooth silhouettes with visible hand-stitching, incredibly soft leather construction and a minimal, crisp finish.
The brand’s range of low- and hi-tops are not only highly rated by those in the industry – Feit’s Bio Trainer (below) is a luxe running sneaker that’s “the world’s first 100 per cent biological handmade trainer” – but they are also some of the most comfortable on the market.
- Biotrainer Semi Cordovan Black
- Hand Sewn Low Semi Cordovan White
- Galaxy Biotrainer Suede Marine With Gold
- Hand Sewn High Suede Greige
- Biotrainer Mid Leather Black
- Pntha Hi Leather Marine
While many brands prefer the pared-down, minimal look, there’s something refreshing about Article Number’s unabashedly retro, out there designs.
Bringing an edge to traditional minimal, monochrome sneakers, the brand mixes advanced materials like neoprene with classic Nappa leather, creating statement silhouettes for the peacock in you.
- Article No Black Python Effect Leather Hi-top Trainers
- Article No Red Python Effect Leather Hi-top Trainers
- Article No White Python Effect Leather Hi-top Trainers
- Article No. Panelled Hi-top Sneakers
- Article No. Panelled Sneakers
- Article No. Lace-up Sneakers
Straight out of Stockholm, Beyene aims to combine the sophistication and class of a dress shoe with the comfort and casualness of a pair of trainers.
Prioritising quality over quantity, the label’s range currently includes a single low-top model, the ‘Bey One’, in three classic colourways – tan, white and black – with each piece expertly crafted by hand in premium leathers sourced from esteemed Portuguese factories.
We can’t wait to see what’s to come from this young upstart.
A little more affordable than most premium trainer brands, Filling Pieces are renowned for their high quality construction and textures – expect snakeskin, paint splashes, neoprene and paisley.
“Filling Pieces occupies the space between street style and luxury,” says Cross. “In a short space of time, they’ve produced designs that are subtly branded yet recognisable, and there’s a real feeling of cohesion across the whole range.”
- Filling Pieces Red Python And Leather Trainers
- Filling Pieces White Python And Leather Trainers
- Filling Pieces Mountain Cut Black Neoprene Trainers
- Filling Pieces Mens Black Leather And Neoprene Quilted Sneakers
- Filling Pieces Mens Black Leather And Neoprene Sneakers
- Filling Pieces Mens White Leather Sneakers
“They’re a perfect blend of timeless silhouettes, premium materials and understated luxury,” says Cross of ETQ.
The brand has already been rated as one to watch this year by us, but it’s worth reiterating – these are truly stylish, handmade designs that look like they’re worth at least twice the price.
The lack of overt branding also ensures versatility and means they’ll get good use for many years to come.
- Etq Amsterdam Black Croc Embossed Mid Top 1 Sneakers
- Etq Amsterdam Blueberry Runners
- Etq Amsterdam Blueberry Low Top 1 Sneakers
- Etq. Low Top 1 Sneaker
- Etq. Perforated Panel Runner
- Etq. High Top 1 Sneaker
Last but not least, NYC label Number 288 takes classic silhouettes and reworks them in premium materials and refined colourways.
There’s something extra special about the brand’s designs – the slip-ons are a wearable and sophisticated take on a tricky style, and the whole range is packed full of individual detail, such as the Roman numerical stitching on the heel.
- Number 288 Mens Grand Low Sneaker From Ss15 In Navy
- Number 288 Mens Prince Low Tennis Sneaker From Ss15 In Off-white
- Number 288 Mens Grand Low Sneaker From Ss15 In Grey
- Number 288 Mens Mulberry High Top Sneaker From Ss15 In Off-white
- Number 288 Mens Mulberry High Top Sneaker From Ss15 In Navy
- Number 288 Mens Jersey Mid Sneaker From Ss15 In Grey