TRAINERS BY NEAL HEARD remains one of the best-known and respected books on our favourite subject and this fourth edition comes at a time when interest is at an all-time high. Neal is one of the most knowledgeable and personable guys out there, having spent much time in the field doing his research and genuinely living the life that comes with sourcing rarities.

Packed with more than 300 trainers, from classics to rarities, this new edition of his book is the most up-to-date version available, with plenty of new information and images to absorb. It includes a handy guide to collecting, sourcing and maintaining your trainers and there are in-depth features on the scene and people within it.

We asked Neal about how the book has developed and evolved since the first edition and for his thoughts on today’s scene:

“The alterations in the ‘trainer landscape’ from the book’s first edition print in 2003 to its latest release this year can be compared for trauma and impact to God creating the earth in 7 days. That’s how much has changed, but in a slightly longer timescale.”

In this day and age, anybody with an internet connection and a smartphone can be an expert. Some of the information thrown into the first edition, which can seem common-place now was unheard of back then. The whole industry has played catch-up to the kids off the street. For instance, in the first edition, virtually the only pairs of old skool Vans you could locate in the UK came from my own collection, and all feature in the book with the Made in the USA heel tags. Now, you couldn’t go to your local shop without seeing someone in a pair, or no city lacks a Vans shop. The majority of the shoe models featured, which can seem commonplace now, were literally unseen back then: the adidas Jeans, Air Jordan 1, etc. etc. etc. were all as rare as rocking horse *~!%. Now you can choose your colour and country issue…”

“Whilst it’s great to share the love, I do bemoan the homogenisation of the scene, people from Lagos, Lisbon to London, using the American term ‘sneakers’ depresses me tbh. Don’t forget, trainers are all about ‘tribes’ expressing themselves, being different, making a statement, not following the pack. Anyway, the world’s woken up and caught up. Long may it continue and I hope the book runs and is imitated for another 15 years! Enjoy!”

TRAINERS BY NEAL HEARD officially releases on THURSDAY 16TH APRIL and there’s a special book signing taking place at the LE COQ SPORTIF store at 21-23 EARLHAM STREET, LONDON, WC2H 9LL from 7-10PM in association with us here at The Drop Date. DJ sets from DON LETTS and FRASER MOSS will provide the soundtrack for the evening, with JAMESON providing the accompanying beverages.

As well as the signing and entertainment, there will be 50 special edition dust cover versions of the book for sale, packaged with a limited edition t-shirt made on the in-store Atelier Flocking machine. To guarantee entry, RSVP with your name and your +1s to [email protected] by close of play tomorrow. Make some room on your bookshelves and we’ll see you there!


Organising the Chaos

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