For all the convenience of online shopping, you can’t beat going into a real brick-and-mortar trainer shop. Buying sneakers online can be like trawling the Raiders Of The Lost Ark warehouse, shapes and colourways blurring into forever. In the face of that endless choice, many shops feel like capsule collections, where a small selection of sneakers is brought together with care, respect and – well – love.

Because that’s the other thing the internet can’t offer: interaction with staff who know their trainers. Who are obsessed with suede uppers and gum soles. Who’ll debate the best ever reissues as you decide between Samba or Munich. You never have to wonder whether your pick goes with those trousers, or whether to believe those true-to-size claims. And, most importantly, you don’t have wait overnight to get your new kicks on your feet.

The Hip Store, Leeds

The Hip Store is not the spot to cop grail Jordans. You won’t find any of Rick Owens’ sculptural trainers. But this Vicar Lane space is a haven for the more discerning sneakerhead: 1,600 sq ft of the kind of shoes you want to own when you’re a grown-up.

New Balance fans are particularly well-served, as are those whose tastes tend classic; alongside a glut of Converse (that’s OG silhouettes, not the Nike era’s more progressive pieces) there’s a load of more characterful takes on the classic canvas low-top, from Slovakia’s Novesta and the 1970s basketball-slash-hip-hop staple Pro Keds. Swish.

thehipstore.co.uk

The Hip Store, Leeds

Pick Of The Kicks

Saucony Shadow Original White/Grey, (£85). A low key, Sunday-best sneaker.

Saucony Shadow Original White/Grey Trainers

5 Pointz, Bristol

Most people overlook Bristol’s importance to modern British streetwear. But it’s always been a critical barometer of cool – it was one of the first places to latch onto skate culture and hip-hop – and boasts some of the best independent menswear shops in the country.

One of the most revered is 5 Pointz, founded by Dave Perry in 2004. A sprawling haven dedicated to modern streetwear, with a focus on the kind of well-priced, hardwearing clothes you could beat up on a skatepark.

The trainer selection is equally sporty, big on Nikes of every denomination: a rainbow of Air Max 1 nestles alongside AF1s and new-old shapes like the Mayfly and Sock Dart. This being Bristol, the staff are more than happy to help you sort through it all.

5pointz.co.uk

5 Pointz, Bristol

Pick Of The Kicks

Nike USA Air Pegasus 92 (£89.99). A trainer that wears its influences on its upper, without coming over all copycat.

Nike USA Air Pegasus 92

Sneakersnstuff, London

In London, they say you’re never more than six feet from a trainer shop. But Sneakersnstuff, founded by Swede’s Erik Fagerland and Peter Jansson, is The One when it comes to very good footwear in the capital.

Just ask the legions of trainer fans that queue up on drop day. Often they’re in line for the pair’s own designs, penned in collaboration with one of the many brands that have Sneakersnstuff at the top of their hook-up list. But if you can’t face the camp-out, the rest of the store is still chock-full with exclusives, a result of the pair’s insatiable appetite for the lesser-spotted.

The duo launched the store in Stockholm in 1999, in the days before the internet made copping grail sneakers a one-click affair. Back then they travelled far and wide to track down rare finds, to sell back in Sweden, and that collector’s eye still informs the shelves at the brand’s two-storey Shoreditch flagship (as well as its spots in Mälmo and Paris).

It’s the kind of store where each visit reveals something you’ve never seen before – new colourways, variants, collaborations. Which makes it kind to your trainer rotation, but cruel to your wallet.

sneakersnstuff.com

Sneakersnstuff, London

Pick Of The Kicks

Puma x Sneakersnstuff Camo Blaze Of Glory (£99). One of Puma’s best silhouettes gets a camo makeover – in the same pattern used by the Swedish military. Naturally.

Puma x Sneakersnstuff Camo Blaze Of Glory Trainer

Hanon, Aberdeen

Hanon – or Hanon-Shop, for the pedants – has a simple MO: “Providing limited edition, vintage and hard to find sneakers and trainers.” Mission accomplished.

But it’s taken a while for the rest of the world to cotton on. Perhaps it’s because no one ever goes that far north, but the boutique spent a long time beneath the radar, quietly providing Aberdonians with pre-release grail trainers.

Then came the collabs. Recent team-ups with Puma, le coq sportif, Reebok and Asics brought Hanon some well deserved time in the spotlight. If you like to do your sneaker shopping in a beautiful port town, where the hypebeasts camp out amid cobbles and granite, then you’re in luck.

hanon-shop.com

Hanon Store, Aberdeen

Pick Of The Kicks

Reebok Classic Leather ‘Horween’ (£129). A classic (or Classic) updated with luxe leather from one of the US’s oldest tanneries.

Reebok Classic Leather 'Horween' Trainers

Oi Polloi, Manchester

You might know Oi Polloi – an ode to menswear that doesn’t take itself too seriously – from its links with Noel Gallagher. But look deeper, past the haircuts and the Clarks Wallabees, and you’ll find a shop that just loves clothes.

Expect racks of well-made, well-designed pieces, and none of the pretension that often surrounds the fashion industry. The store is a hub; it pulls people in. In the north-west, it might as well be menswear’s North Star.

Adidas Originals know the score – the shop and the brand have a longstanding relationship – but it was last summer’s spin on the Reebok Classic, recreated in a retro chalk-and-paper colourway, that proved co-founders Steve Sanderson and Nigel Lawson could design as well as they buy.

Yeezy fans, jog on. These are trainers for people who just really, really like trainers.

oipolloi.com

Oi Polloi, Manchester

Pick Of The Kicks

Adidas Stan Smith (£70). The trainer that Oi Polloi boss Lawson said “changed [my] life”.

Adidas Stan Smith trainers