The UK is a world leader when it comes to sneaker culture. With the constant flow of new, exciting UK brands and artists, it makes sense that the subcultures they originated from have spread all over the world. But today isn’t about the rest of the world. Today is specifically dedicated to the UK and their local sneaker stores. Here’s our top 5 UK sneaker stores.
Shop // END. Clothing
When listing the UK’s top sneaker stores, you’d be a fool not including END. Clothing on that list. By combining high-end luxury pieces, sportswear and contemporary menswear, the END. founders have managed to create a market leading chain, perfectly suited for the modern day sneaker world.
Currently with three beautiful stores, END. have come a long way since their somewhat humble beginnings. The two university friends, Christiaan Ashworth and John Parker teamed up in 2005 to start END. Clothing in order to fill a gap in the male fashion industry. With a £40,000 investment, Ashworth and Parker opened a cozy 2-story shop in Newcastle in 2005. A year later, the co-founders opened the virtual doors to the END. Clothing website. A site most of you are probably familiar with. Fast forward to present day and END. is one of the market leaders in high fashion streetwear & sneakers. Their three floor flagship store in Soho, London, the online store as well as stores in Glasgow and Newcastle ship over 6,000 pieces a day and stock over 400 brands. At this point it’s almost easier to list the brands END. don’t carry instead of the 400+ featured on their website.
END. also have a rich history of collaborations behind them. The immense amount of link-ups include collaborative sneakers with the majority of all big sneaker brands from Saucony Originals to adidas. With a turnover of £100 million in 2018, and an estimated £350 million by 2020, END. are clearly doing something right. Whether it’s the pieces they carry or the culture they stand for, visiting the stores should top your “to-do list” next time visit any of the END. locations.
Shop // OFFSPRING
When you think sneakers and the UK, it’s hard to not think about OFFSPRING. The classic UK sneaker chain started up in 1996 in order to make fashionable sportswear more accessible to the general crowd. When the doors opened to OFFSPRING’s first shop, on Neal Street in Covent Garden in London, the main focus was clearly on sneakers. OFFSPRING was one of the first “Sneaker Boutiques” to open in the UK, and thankfully, they’re still going strong. Like really strong. 24 years later OFFSPRING have seven stand-alone stores in England and Ireland, as well as four concessions in Selfridges all over the UK.
Whatever your liking may be, OFFSPRING carry some of the best shoes in the game. From the majority of adidas franchises, such as Yeezy, Raf and Y3. To the most popular silhouettes and big names like Fear Of God, LI-NING and OFF-WHITE, they have it all. And they go big on raffles. So why not test the raffle luck a bit more until finally giving up?
Shop // size?
size? is another UK giant in the sneaker world. Chances are big you’ve already visited a size? store if you live somewhere in Europe. With shops in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, the size? concept is a clear worldwide success. Originally established in 2000 by the JD group, size? was set up to test flashier and edgier products that would eventually end up in JD’s original assortment. But as time went, size? grew into their own original roster, with their own exclusive pieces and releases. As for all the other stores on this list, their brand list is also impressive. And worth a serious run through. With names like Carhartt, Karhu, and Stüssy, size? is absolutely worth a visit no matter what country you’re in. Did we also mention their highly sought after City Series with adidas?
Shop // Footpatrol
Footpatrol started off as a small sneaker store in St Ann’s Court in Soho, London. Between 2002 and 2008, owners Michael Kopelmand and Simon Porter ran the concept with great success. Stocking both deadstock and vintage stock sneakers, the store quickly became a meeting point for sneakerheads to buy and discuss sneakers. In March 2008, the St Ann’s Court store shut down. But it didn’t take long for the name to be sold to sportswear giants JD. The idea was for Footpatrol to sit above size? in the JD group. The store would carry shoes that were too exclusive for both size? and JD, making it a luxury sneaker store. Under JD’s reign, Footpatrol have come to be one of the most exclusive sneaker stores in the whole of Europe. Currently sitting on two ridiculously beautiful locations, Footpatrol stock all the big sneaker brands. Their flagship London store has a clean, metal interior with focus on the sneakers and their Paris follows the same guidelines. Make sure to check Footpatrol out for some of the most exclusive & hyped releases in the game.
Shop // HANON
Spot number 5 goes to another classic store, HANON. A store that started off as a passion project between Brian and Edward Toft. The two brothers opened a small store in their parent’s house in the late 80’s and gradually gained the finances to get their own store in Elgin, North East of Scotland. Streethreds, as it was called at the time, relocated to Aberdeen in 1993, and that’s where the story of HANON began. By carrying deadstocks of some of the rarest sneakers along with a variety of streetwear, HANON put themselves on the market, and they haven’t left since. By constantly updating their assortment and collaborating with classic brands like Le Coq Sportif, Diadora and Reebok, HANON have remained a top contender on the sneaker-market. Currently sporting brands like Acronym, Karhu and Brain Dead, HANON are a guaranteed stop when in Aberdeen.