Shoes Speak Louder Than Words Laces Out! - Liverpool's Sneaker Festival

Shoes Speak Louder Than Words

“Everybody has a few pairs that take them back to their youth…”

In Liverpool shoe love is true love and the most feverishly sought-after footwear of choice is usually new trainers.

In this city, shoe-envy is always rampant and a new pair of ‘trainees’ are likely to get more admiring glances, and raise more questions than an entire new wardrobe of shirts, jeans or jackets.

Yes, they may have stopped us from getting in hundreds of bars over the years, but you never really fall out of love with the humble, but highly prized trainer, a casual but colourful highlights to an often otherwise ordinary outfit.

That’s why Laces Out! is definitely our favourite Liverpool fashion festival. If you want to kick-ass you need kick-ass trainers, and if you’re into your sports shoes, there’s no better place to get your kicks.

We met up with Laces Out! Boss, Rob May to learn more about what makes the festival so special.

Rob May's trainers, 26 Feb 2016
Rob May’s trainers, 26 Feb 2016

First things first Rob, what trainees are you wearing and where did you get them?

“Adidas Consortium Superstar 80V x UNDFTD x BAPE, and I got them as a gift”

Nice. It’s difficult to get the fellas in our office excited about fashion – that is apart from trainers. What is it about these shoes that generates such enthusiasm?

“It’s easy to get excited about trainers, they mean different things to different people, but I think ultimately, a good pair of trainers can save the worst of outfits.

“I think nostalgia plays a big part in a lot people’s love for trainers too, everybody has a few pairs that take them back to their youth. Also, that one-upmanship of having the best rig out at the match, or in the pub… it all comes down to your trainees.

Versatile and characterful, you never tire of training shoes.
Versatile and characterful, you never tire of training shoes.

“A lot of it for me though, is simply the appreciation of good design. I enjoy the packaging and the concepts behind the shoes just as much as the shoes themselves.”

Liverpool is trainer mad. Always has been. Why do you think this is so?

“Liverpool was at the forefront of the casual sportswear movement in the late 70’s.  Football fans from this city were the pioneers of this culture and that influence is just as strong today.”

So Liverpool fits perfectly as the host city?

“Definitely, Liverpool is also my home city so it was a natural choice. We’ve got so much history within the culture, so it’s only right that Liverpool has an event like this.”

Laces Out! 2015
Laces Out! 2015

Camp and Furnace is a spot on choice for Laces Out. How did that come about?

“It came about simply by me spending a lot of my Friday nights in there over the past three years and realising that it’s the perfect venue for an event like this.”

What’s special about this year’s event?

“We’re really focused on enhancing every aspect of the event this year, as well as celebrating peripheral sneaker culture with our new Laces Out! Lab.

“Trainers have a foothold in almost every other aspect of popular culture, music being the most obvious one, so we’re bringing people an unmissable line-up of DJ’s. This includes international Sneaker legend Bobito Garcia and self-confessed trainer fiend DJ Semtex, from Radio 1Xtra.

Bobbito Garcia, DJ and author of 'Where'd You Get Those?'
Bobbito Garcia, DJ and author of ‘Where’d You Get Those?’

“A special panel will also be lokking at the Culture of Sneakers, featuring respected names from the industry including Megan Munro, the style editor at Complex Magazine and Alex Synamatix, editor at The Daily Street’.

“The feedback on the this year’s programme has been overwhelming and it’s our ambition to continue to grow and get better each and every year.”

What are your ‘Holy Grail’ trainers?

I’ve got a few, but the main two I’d have to say are the Adidas Trimm-Trab “Liverpool” 1/100, for obvious reasons, and the Nike Air Max 1 Patta X Parra “Cherrywood” which is a collaboration with one of my favourite illustrators ‘Parra’.

What’s ‘trending’ right now in trainers?

“Buying Yeezy’s and re-selling them for 10 times their value is trending right now, it’s crazy times.”

What’s your ‘call to action’ to people who’d lost their trainer mojo?

“The trainer crowd are already out in force at the event, but Laces Out! is an event for anyone with feet. Look down at your trainees. If you’re not too impressed at what you see, come down and get some new kicks. They’ll put a new spring in your step and brighten your year. Laces Out! will sort you out.”

Lace Out! takes place on Saturday 5th March at Camp & Furnace. Indulge your foot fetish and head along.

Tickets are £8, VIP tickets are £15. For more information click here. 

Published: 26/02/2016