5 Classic Trainers

by | Clothes | 4 comments

Quotoole adidas trainers

For me, football’s never been about supporting a team I’ll never see in the flesh, who spend sums of money I can’t conceive of, on players I don’t care about.

Football’s never been a vehicle for me to prove I’m better than you because my billionaire chairman is willing to spend more money than your billionaire chairman.

Going to the football has never just been about watching eleven guys in red kicking a ball around.

Football’s always been about the culture, the things that mean even when the game’s shite there’s still a good reason for going to the match.

Music, clothes, trainers and football have always been inextricably linked in my mind. Each enriches the other. I like them and I like speaking about them. We caught up with some liked-minded souls and asked them about their all-time favourite trainers and what they mean to them.


Peter O’Toole: Illustrator

Peter O’Toole is a freelance illustrator & graphic designer who has worked with the likes of Nike, Clarks Originals and Casual Co.

Pete also had the privilege of designing his own trainer when he collaborated on a firm Unmodern Man favourite: the adidas Consortium Quotoole , a stunning re-imagining of the classic ZX 420.

By night, Pete is a Huddersfield Town fan and it’s safe to say he’s a wee bit excited for their first appearance in this season’s top flight.

adidas hawaii promo

“My favourite shoe of all time has to be the 2005 issue adidas Hawaii.

I know what your thinking, yes I’m an OG fan too, but my choice is based on style and comfort; fashion and function. You can’t traipse around London in a pair of OG adidas without getting your feet cut to shreds or your soles coming unstuck. A lot of shoes I’ve been into since I started collecting a few years before this incarnation of the Hawaii model came out were of the ‘flat- footed’ variety; a casual staple. For me the Hawaii epitomises a great OG shape with added modern comforts.

What’s more, this shoe is scorchingly well rendered.Great quality suede, really nice ‘globe’ style Freizeit label under the tongue and -true to the OG style- a gold foil sticker with the shoe size on the insole. The devil really was in the detail.

Upon release I originally opted for the pale blue version, quickly snapping them up from Sneakersandstuff but their ability to attract dirt and my ability to walk home from a night out through muddy fields made them impossible to wear. Instead  I sourced the more common brown colourway. This colourway goes with almost anything; though they look majestic with a pair of beige corduroys (not a phrase I thought would enter my vocabulary before I was 65).

2005 adidas hawaii trainers

I had just turned 20 when this shoe came out and I was full of enthusiasm for casual and trainer culture. At that time you could still raid stock rooms of old sports shops for vintage models; you could still pick up a pair of 1991 baby blue Gazelles with no laces on eBay for a tenner.

As the years advance, I went to art college for two years, University for three more, moved out of my parents house, rented with my girlfriend, started a business, got a mortgage, got married and had kids.

In those intervening years the trainer culture went from a niche subculture to a global phenomenon. The appeal of adidas models in the UK went through the roof: the 2008 re-issues of the London, Dublin and Stockholm were massive and by 2009, when The Firm re-make and Awaydays were released, their popularity was at fever pitch. Casual culture had spawned a new generation.

People I had known locally for years, whose interest never went further than wearing what everyone else was wearing, started collecting and it was at this point I began to fall in and out of  love with the trainer culture. As a student, when I needed more money than what my two days a week Morrison’s wage could give me, I sold more than a few pairs of trainers off. But the Hawaii stayed put throughout.

The enduring appeal of the Hawaii isn’t just about the look and the comfort, it’s also the fact I view them like a time capsule. A window to a time before fear and responsibility, before I knew what lay ahead. A time before you could log on to Facebook and part with the obscene amounts of cash to get the rarest adidas collection. A time where you actually had to hunt for and track things down.

My trainer collecting days are over now, you’re more likely going to see me spending money on fixing a leaking pipe or a new set of car mats; I’m old and boring. But I still have a small collection that I treasure, and I still love it when I walk in to a room full of adidas trainers, and no one is wearing the pair that I’ve got on.”

peter o'toole adidas trainers collaborator