My name is Bobby McCarten, im 41 and i live in Hoylake with my Wife and 3 boys, I’m a Liverpool fan and i’ve been wearing adidas trainers since i was a kid, they have always been there throughout my life.
As a kid running round the streets playing footie, i had some crap trainers, nicks, jet777 and Dunlop plus other junk, so i had to earn from an early age to get what i wanted, then came adidas Brisbane an all white cricket shoe that cost me £13 in the bargain basket in a local sports shop called Howard sports, no box just the laces tied together and thrown in the basket but i worked a few saturdays and bought them myself which felt great then my first runners were adidas Sydney, id love a pair now! By 1990 i joined the Merchant Navy, was earning good dough and making up for trainers i should of had as a kid, like most lads back then i bought a few pair wore them then bought more and binned the old ones, if i’d only kept them..
I didn’t start collecting until about 10/11 years ago, i didnt think of it as collecting at the time, i was just buying loads of trainers which was nothing new but i was taking better care of them, keeping the boxes, looking for them in vintage clothes shops, charity shops and asking people if they had any old trainers from years ago, to which i got a few strange looks! 😮
As i have got into it more i have found in recent years that it has really changed, i was talking to someone recently about how my T-Master, unworn in their original box sat on Ebay for a few days whilst the seller and I came to an agreement over the price! can you imagine that now?! they would be gone within minutes!
Everyone seems to be a trainer collector these days and that has changed how this thing of ours works, it was good when it felt like there were a hand full of like minded lads around the country looking out for each other, maybe on a couple of forums, a bit of buying selling and swapping but now it is all about lads having lists of trainers they search for daily on auctions around the world, lads looking for certain models that they know they could use to secure their grail off another collector, some aspects of it are good but what i saw recently with regards to the adidas Ardwick was pathetic, a cracking trainer released around a load of hype but the insults and nastiness thrown around by grown men was bad to see, no need for it, hating for the sake of it.
Haha.. i’ve been going through all my trainers in my mind over and over again for weeks, how do i leave Wimbledon out? how do i leave Galaxy out? how do i leave… and so on, its impossible so i will give you ‘a’ top five but its like asking which of my kids is my favourite!
1 – Dublin MkII
I bought these off a lad from Lytham years ago as Azzurro MkII i couldnt settle for that so i dug deeper and found a code inside that matched the code on the front of my Dublin (MkI) box, i asked adidas about them and they said that they were prototypes made by Horst Dassler, a sample if you like, a one off called Dublin MkII 😮
2 – Cord – I have 2 pair of Cord, the suede ones which everyone has and a very rare pair of soft leather, i have only ever seen this pair, Rich Osbourne done his magic on them and they look the bollocks now
3 – New York – made in Argentina
Earlier this year i was lucky enough to contribute and help curate the adidas Spezial exhibition in Manchester, a massive thing for me and a great experience, i met some cracking people and friends for life, and got my name and trainers in a book! These New York were one of the pairs found in the shop that time forgot in Argentina, i have collected early to mid 80s Runners, ‘US cIty’ runners as they are known for a few years now and i have always wanted a pair of New York but every time i found a pair they were either not my size or they were battered so when i did manage to get a pair i was lucky enough to get a pair from Carlos’s shop
4 – Oregon
These are one of the most important trainers of my life, i was sent to boxing as a skinny little kid, getting picked on in a new school etc anyway, i turned up at boxing with my school PE kit in my kwik save carrier bag and went over to the guy that runned the gym at the time, he told me to go and get changed, on the way to the changies i walked past the ring where two lads were sparing, eye level to me were these amazing trainers one of the lads were wearing, it was like slow motion, i didnt blink, grey and maroon, criss cross midsole stunning looking things, that was the first time i saw adidas Oregon and they have always been my favourite runners since, i only ever wanted originals, i’ve never bought the reissues in the original colourway, it took me years but i found a bnib pair. I have two pair of unworn vintage Oregon now, one pair were made in Taiwan the other Argentina but they were also made in West Germany, all three pair are different
5 – T-Master
One of the most hunted of the rarer vintage adidas on the planet, as i said earlier i found an unworn pair, when they turned up they hadn’t even been laced up!! stunning soft material on a Continental sole, adidas at its very best in my opinion, well thats it folks, my ‘top’ 5.. it’s changed already since i started typing!!!
thanks for taking the time to read this and thanks to Lee and Philip for asking me to do it, im honored..