Laces Out Sneaker Festival – Terrace Culture Alive and well.
Laces Out was our second outing to a sneaker convention in the UK. Sneaker culture is well established there and as we learned has sub-cultures thriving within it.
Terrace culture began in Manchester and Liverpool as a practical change for football hooligans in the 70’s and 80’s. Instead of Doc Martins, they began wearing Adidas Samba and Gazelle trainers to get away quickly from rival fans during fracas before the matches. It became competitive in nature with men trying outdo one another sartorially on the terraces so having the right sneaker became important. It even spawned fashion rivalries, with fans from other clubs wearing different brands of trainers in retaliation e.g. West Ham and Diadora. Terrace culture has since moved away from football hooliganism and become more of a hype trend. Adidas has become so intertwined with Liverpool FC culture that the fans ‘Player of the Season’ is awarded a spray-painted gold Samba each year.
At Laces Out, the trend continued with queues of ardent Liverpool supporters queuing up early to get the first glance as vintage and rare Adidas Sambas and Gazelles. The sneakers as still firm favourites with men flocking to stalls for the latest styles for the new football season. The demographic seems to be older with men in their 40’s and 50’s in the main. This contrasted starkly with the younger cohort at the festival selling the latest trends. Some vendors there catered solely to vintage Adidas and their stalls were constantly crowded. Speaking with blogger Brendan Dunne from Sole Collector, he gave insight into how the sneaker has grown massively to become a statement of identity. He believes we see this again with terrace culture. It was certainly something new to behold and something to learn more about before I return to Liverpool as it’s something we have yet to see in Ireland.
In the more general realm of sneaker culture there was good competition, with most of the attention on Nike Undercover, Air Jordan 1 Spiderman, and lot people asking for Travis Scott. The Scott’s had surged in price that day on the reseller’s market online so the prices soared for walk in customers. I was happy with my stock and quality in comparison with my British counterparts and we did well on the day. We will definitely be back and thanks for having us!