I’ve always loved trainers with a gum sole – that’s the slightly yellowish, slightly see-through sole that tends to be used on more retro-style trainers – since I got my first pair of adidas Superstars back in 1995. You may have read me talking about these trainers before, because I loved them so much I slept with them on my pillow so they’d be the first thing I saw when I woke up the next morning, and I think they are my favourite trainers of all time. Well they were, until I hopped on to the mi adidas website and designed a pair that are the absolute dream.
I’ve been holding off using the amazing function on the adidas website to design my own pair of trainers, because they didn’t used to have the option of a gum sole. But on a recent play around (it’s worth a play, even if you have no intention of buying) I noticed you could choose a gum sole with a pair of Sambas. And before I could prevent it happening, I was buying my ultimate sneakers, and my requirements were sent off to Germany to be made up. These beauties were the result – and yes, it does say En Brogue on the side!
Adidas, in their ultimate wisdom, have also brought out gum soles with their new reissue Gazelles (in case you missed it, adidas have decided that 2014 was the year of the Stan Smith, 2015 the year of the Superstar, and now 2016 is the year of the Gazelle). They’re available in six shades, and even more options if you fancy the classic white sole instead. Gazelles are another of my all-time favourite styles; I love that slightly slimmer line as it’s really feminine and looks great with skirts and dresses.
For me, a gum sole just looks so much more cool than plain white. It feels like a more considered look – a more fashion option, and with that ever cool hint of times past. And it’s not just adidas that are at it – I love these Novestar pumps (above) from uber-cool east end trainer mecca Pam Pam. You really can’t argue with that price, and they’re made using ethical practices, too. Fred Perry’s tennis shoes are also an absolute classic, and you can always rely on Gola for a dose of retro.