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Rishi Sunak Sambas
Via Rishi Sunak

8 trainers to wear now that Rishi has killed Sambas

From pearl-embellished Simone Rochas to the elusive Kiko Kostadinov Asics, we select some of the hottest sneakers that, as far as we know, don’t call Rishi Sunak’s wardrobe home

They’ve been feeling pretty oversaturated for a while now, but last week, the bell finally tolled for adidas’ beloved Samba sneaker, all thanks to Rishi Sunak. The British prime minister and loathed Tory rat slipped his dainty feet into a pair of the gum-soled kicks, presumably to push the idea that he’s just ‘one of the lads’ as he doled out his latest dire tax plan via Instagram Live – and lo, in that split second, it was all over.

With the Samba first dropped in the 1940s, the silhouette has slowly risen up to become inescapable across social media in recent months, picking up where the Stan Smith left off to become the go-to for off-duty models, influencers, and hardcore sneakerheads alike. But when one supreme dies, another rises, which begs the question: what’s next?

From cute, pearl embellished Simone Rocha styles and the mega-hard-to-get-your-hands on Kiko Kostadinov Asics, to kicks from big guns including adidas, New Balance, Nike, and Reebok, we’ve put together a list of some of the hottest sneakers out there right now that, as far as we know, don’t call a place in Rishi’s wardrobe home.

Would these be accepted in a list like this by a bonafide sneakerhead? Probably not, but it’s me writing it and I say they’re trainers, OK? Sure, you probably couldn’t run track in them, but they’re definitely cut out for the commute and what’s more physically demanding than barging your way out of Oxford Street Station at rush hour? Exactly.


This three-way collab between Kiko, Heaven, and ASICS flew off shelves when it first landed, so good luck getting your hands on a pair. But if you can face trawling through resale sites, then these marshmallow-coloured kicks are some of the most hyped on the market right now. Keep your eyes peeled for future drops, or otherwise look to Kiko’s main collab with ASICS for a wider, easier-to-score selection.


Just because time has been called on the Samba doesn’t mean you should divert your attention away from adidas, which has been on a roll in recent years when it comes to covetable, fashion-forward sneakers. Case in point is the reissued SL 72, which sits in a similar, easy-to-wear realm as the Samba. Reimagined by Wales Bonner on multiple occasions as part of her sell-out collab with the German behemoth, the SL recently got the seal of approval from Bella Hadid, so you know it’s only a matter of time before the girls start following.


Forget that your fuckboy ex fucked hard with ALD: the NY-based designer is doing big things with New Balance right now, with his last collaborative collection selling out across the globe. Coming this spring is a new offering which gets mega techy – resulting in a fresh new take on the 1906R. Set a reminder: the style drops on May 4 and won’t be around for long.


OK, so these are a curveball, and who knows if they will actually go into production, but Noir Kei Ninomiya’s take on the already subversive Reebok Instapump Fury silhouette was a standout sneaker from the AW24 women’s shows in Paris. Turning the dial up to 11, the Comme-affiliated designer gave them a cartoonish, couture spin by plastering them with flowers and beading and sending them down the runway on a cast of RPG players. And it’s not the first time high fashion has fallen in love with the Instapump, with Galliano also reimagining them for Margiela in 2019.


Marine Serre debuts a new sneaker patched together from a selection of surplus fabrics, and slaps it on top of a gum sole embossed with her signature Moon symbol. What’s not to love?


Queen of coquette-core Sandy Liang turns her attention away from her signature Mary-Janes and ballet pumps and towards the technically innovative Salomon sneaker, which she’s reimagined in a bubblegum pink and dark green iteration – though there’s not a single bow in sight.


In a similar realm silhouette-wise to the adidas SL, the Cortez is a classic for summer with its clean lines and minimal detailing. This year sees a rerelease of the brand’s iconic ‘Forrest Gump’ iteration – a red, white, and blue style inspired by the movie of the same name.

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