The Sheffield business bringing worn-out trainers back to life

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Trainers have been around, believe it or not since the early 19 th century when a type of rubber was invented to be used on the soles of shoes – think like school plimsols.

Now the trainers market is one of the biggest selling in the world, with technological advances bringing us trainers for every occasion beyond sport and brands such as Nike, Adidas and Puma becoming clothing lines and household names.

International fashion designers have collaborated with trainer brand too such as British designers Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen.

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Trainer collecting isn’t new either, with many people spending hours sourcing a vintage pair of trainers, a rare edition of a particular design or short run.

A display showing trainers before and after they have received the Glistening Kicks trainersA display showing trainers before and after they have received the Glistening Kicks trainers
A display showing trainers before and after they have received the Glistening Kicks trainers

Many collectors keep them in pristine condition and don’t wear them – but what about those of us who do regularly wear our kicks?

Those of us who throw them on to walk the dog, sort them our for schoolbags ready for PE, grab some fresh air on a run, or style them for a day or evening out, how can we maintain them looking fresh and clean?

Step forward Sheffield-based business Glistening Kicks, who like nothing more than to bring any pair of trainers back to life.

We went down to their shop to find out more.

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Phil and Rachael Ridley.Phil and Rachael Ridley.
Phil and Rachael Ridley.

The team at Glistening Kicks is headed up by husband and wife Phil and Rachael Ridley.

They will happily take in trainers and give them a clean, bringing them from what we saw looking as good as new.

Phil explained how it started “Well one of my son’s wore a pair of my Adidas Gazelles to go plastering in – enough said about how they came back!

I decided to research if I could clean them up, and I did. I quite enjoyed it, so asked friends if they had any trainers they wanted me to practice on, and suddenly I was being recommended.”

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United Adidas gazellesUnited Adidas gazelles
United Adidas gazelles

They will take trainers in any condition (they can sort nearly everything they’ve ever seen), remove dirt, clean soles, add weather protection, sort laces – the list goes on of what they can do, including customizing trainers.

In store we saw pairs for any football fan, an exclusive pair for the band Shed 7, even some supporting Sheffield Children’s hospital bears appeal!

“Originally I was working and doing this all from the conservatory at home.

"After being made redundant during the covid pandemic, I said to Rachael I think we could do more with this. So we began promoting on Instagram, getting busier and then realizing that working from home we had outgrown.”

Wednesday Adidas gazellesWednesday Adidas gazelles
Wednesday Adidas gazelles

said Phil.

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He added: “Being based on Woodseats Road is great, as now people can pop in have a look at what we do, get a quote and drop and collect their shoes.

“We couldn’t be happier – or busier here!”

Whilst we were there customers were both dropping and collecting, and also looking at some of the trainers for sale in store.

This is a very unique venture that supports sustainable fashion by restoring what you already have and recycling your own footwear.

We suggest looking for that reliable pair of trainers you own and taking them for a well-deserved makeover, you’ll certainly have a spring in your step once you get them back!

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Top Tip: For a day trip, The Design Museum in London currently has an exhibition “Sneakers Unboxed – Studio to Street” until October 24.

Glistening Kicks is based at 739 Chesterfield Road, Sheffield, S8 0RD. Follow them at @glistening_kicks

Price Guide: Starting from £20

This fashion column is brought to you by The Fashion Exchange, a fashion styling and events company based in Sheffield.

In each edition we will share catwalk trends, on offer from local retailers modelled by local readers and street style spotting, looking at individual style that’s already all around our wonderful city!

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