I have a confession… I have been to the otherside… the old ‘enemy’, Liverpool. So why would I commit such a sin you may ask. Well, as a sneaker freak I was lured there by the current exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery Fashion V Sport – a touring exhibition that originally ran last year at the V&A in London.

Fashion V Sport explores the relationship between global sports brands and high fashion – and what happens when the two collide – often with extraordinary but sometimes horrific results. As well as imparting perfect pub quiz triva regarding all-in-one football kits.

Anyways this inspired me to ask my Tweeps for their top shops for trainer procurement in Manchester. Along with some of my own thoughts here’s the lowdown:

1) Footasylum – Arndale Shopping Centre, Manchester / Numero uno and the by far the best store within the Arndale. Footasylum has a vast range of trainers on offer and clearly has a passion for fantastic footwear. Here shoes become more than about keeping your feet dry they embody a lifestyle and they always have something a little different on offer.

2) Wood – 55 Oldham Street, Manchester / Retro heaven – perfect for an ’80’s child like myself – if you love that ‘worn’ look then head this way.

3) Nike – Market Street, Manchester / Who wouldn’t love the idea of creating the perfect pair of runners. Nike iD has given us all the ability to be mini-designers and create our own unique style – for this I salute them, it’s a revolution! The Market Street branch of has it’s own iD creation stations, and you have to love them for the range of day-glo items on sale right now… it’s so wrong but so right. 

4) Oi Polloi – 70 Tib Street, Manchester / Small but perfectly formed store tucked away in the Northern Quarter. Trainers only form a ‘ickle percentage of their stock but they know how to pick some goodies.

5) Ran – 7-8 St. Annes Arcade, Manchester / Hidden in the St. Annes Arcade (just off St. Annes Square in Manchester City Centre) Ran is one of Manchester’s long standing sneaker boutiques. Stockists of some exclusive little numbers including Alexander McQueen Vs Puma a real collision of high street and high fashion. They also offer a fab range of Birkenstocks for those of you that like to let your feet breathe in the heat (maybe not in Manchester) of summer.

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