What are Trainers?

The term trainers are most commonly used when referring to athletic activities. If you were looking for a pair of shoes to go running in or other physical activities you would look for a pair of training shoes or Trainers.

What are Sneakers?

Sneakers are more likely to refer to a fashion trainer, a sneaker would be a trainer styled shoe that is worn outside of athletic activities.

Difference between Trainers and Sneakers

A main difference between the term sneaker and trainer is down to different country terminology. In Britain trainer could be used to describe any athletic shoe and fashion sneaker but in the US they are more likely to distinguish between the fashion sneaker and the athletic Trainer.

As styles have changed the lines between the athletic Trainer and the fashion trainer or sneaker has blurred. People have adopted athleisure as a common style to just wear to the supermarket or out shopping, just because someone is wearing a pair of leggings or trainers doesn’t mean they plan on working out at all that day it is now a conscious fashion choice to wear your sneaker out. Having said that fashion trainers are commonly worn with dresses, jeans and other stylish outfits, sneakers are not just a stable of the Athleisure wear.

History of Trainers

At the start trainers were mainly worn by athletes and weren’t seen a fashion item. It wasn’t until the 1960s when the lines between athletic shoes and fashion shoes became blurred. About 90% of college and professional athletes were seen wearing Converse High Tops and continued wearing them off the pitch. Soon they were being worn by stars such as Jane Fonda in movies and this garnered a cult following of people who wore them as fashion trainers.

In the 50s Marilyn Monroe wore a pair of classic white plimsolls and in the late 60s Audrey Hepburn wore a pair of canvas trainers in her film Two for the Road but in the early 70s Yoko Ono choose the classic white sneaker as her wedding shoe to John Lennon and the shoe became a household name. Everyone wanted a pair of white trainers because they were seen as the item worn by all major style icons and the versatility of the white sneaker was an instant success.

After new athletic companies were seeing huge success by marketing their shoe to athletes and non athletes alike, big designer houses were soon producing luxury sneakers and designer trainers that became collectors, must have items.

One of the most well known sneaker is Nikes Air Jordans, the athletic company partnered with up and coming basketball legend Michael Jordan on a namesake pair of sneakers. The Air Jordans grew in popularity as Michael Jordan himself became a household name, after his Rookie of the Year award the popular sneaker took off and has since been released in different colours year after year. Sneaker fanatics collect Jordans and the original pair could be sold now for under £7,000.

By the late 90s sneakers were seen everywhere, trainers were on the pitch and fashion Trainers were seen on almost every celebrity, on and off even the runway and red carpet. Big 90s names such as Winnona Ryder even wore then to movie premieres and every grunge pop star would own hundreds of pairs making them a signature 90s fashion item.

As fashion trends changed, the sneaker never wavered. It adopted the style and transformed to meet demand, when big, outrageous and extreme fashion was big in the late 90s the fashion trainer morphed and developed large platforms to keep the playful feeling of that fashion period.

In late 2010s the ugly sneaker trend was everywhere, chunky Trainers previously only worn by the fashion impaired classic dads were now a conscious style choice amongst celebrities and influencers.

How to keep your Trainers clean?

With Trainers being worn on and off the athletic field, it’s important to keep your sneakers looking clean and on point. We’ve broken down the best way to keep your fashion trainers looking straight out of the box clean.

Remove the laces and place your sneaker laces in a bowl of warm not boiling water. Add some washing powder to the bowl and if it’s a pair of white trainers you can add some bleach. Leave the laces in the bowl for a few minutes before placing them on a tea towel to dry.

Next for the body of the Trainer, wipe the shoes down with a damp cloth that has been rinsed out with the same detergent warm water combination. After you’ve wiped your sneakers down, get a toothbrush and dip it into the warm water detergent bowl and then scrub the outside of your trainer. This should remove most of the marks and scuffs.

The penultimate step is to get your trainer looking brand new, get a new bowl of warm water and some shoe cleanser to the mix or just add some fresh detergent. Place a thicker bristled shoe brush into the water and scrub your Trainer. However, if you have a suede pair of trainers be more gentle as the brush bristles could damage the suede sneaker.

Finally, rinse the shoe off to make sure all the detergent and soap has disappeared. Make sure you pat the shoe down with a towel and leave to dry. Once the sneaker has dried re lace the shoes up and now you will have an almost brand new pair of trainers. We recommend spraying your trainers when you first get them to ensure they last.

How to style your Trainers

Whist you can wear fashion Trainers with any outfit some of they key styling options which really suit the sneaker look are listed below.

A mini dress and sneakers. The feminine mini dress is perfect with the more laid back sporty sneakers because it produces such a cool and effortless overall look.

Another easy look which has quickly by many been adopted as the airport uniform is pairing your trainers with a laid back leggings, jumper look. It’s a comfortable look and the addition of a fashionable pair of sneakers bring the over all look to an on trend masterpiece.

A great sneaker summer look is pairing your fashion trainers with a cut off pair of denim shorts, a fun playful top. The look is perfect for summer because the cute top and denim shorts is a classic stylish go to which will remain on trend for years to come and the addition of the trainers means exploring in summer will be comfortable and keep the effortless style going.

Radley Trainers for women we love

Haven Sports Trainer


Our new women’s low-top lace-up trainers are crafted from fine suede and leather for a designer twist on a sporty style. A dark exterior there is either a Black Trainers or a Navy Trainers both of which are accentuated with an elevated white rubber sole that lends understated chic to smart and casual separates. Our signature Radley logo is subtly embossed into the side of the shoe.

Slip them on with a jumper and jeans, or pair with a modern silk dress. Either way, the cushioned insole and non-slip sole allow for comfort and movement wherever your day takes you.

Radley fashion Trainers for women we love

Malton Tipped Back Trainer


Our new low-top women’s trainers effortlessly combine leisure with luxury. In classic black leather trainerswith gold accents, metallic silver trainers and white trainers with nude tipped accents.

Expertly crafted using panels of soft leather, with a deep flat white sole and a rounded toe they have a decidedly retro appeal. Finished with matching laces to accentuate the detachable Radley dog-shaped keeper.