Manchester beats London to be crowned the ‘Sneaker Capital of the UK’

Manchester, London, Nottingham and Newcastle are home to the UK’s biggest sneakerheads –

Bradford, Stoke-on-Trent and Hull aren’t so fussed about their casual footwear –

 15th January 2019, LONDON  New data analysis by The Sole Supplier, the UK’s hub for casual footwear, reveals Manchester is the Sneaker Capital of the UK.

The Sole Supplier has ranked the largest UK cities* out of ten for their sneaker culture, judging the quality of their shoe shops, search-traffic for popular trainers on Google, hype around new releases and the number of visitors to The Sole Supplier website**.

Most trainer-obsessed UK cities
Overall rank City Overall score (out of 10)
1 Manchester 8.49
2 London 5.77
3 Nottingham 5.43
4 Newcastle-upon-Tyne 5.41
5 Liverpool 4.82
6 Belfast 4.81
7 Glasgow 4.68
8 Birmingham 4.43
9 Sheffield 4.15
10 Coventry 4.07

Manchester takes the top spot (scoring an impressive 8.49/10), helped by high marks for the number of sneaker-related Google searches and hype-levels around new releases. London, Nottingham, Newcastle and Liverpool make up the rest of the top 5 most trainer-obsessed UK cities.

Surprisingly, London misses out on the crown despite its status as one of the world’s four fashion capitals. London did however take second spot overall, let down mainly by the quality of its shoe shops.

Belfast ranked highest for its shoe shop rating, with a perfect score of 10 but only finished in 6th place overall, dragged down by low hype around high-heat releases.

Manchester, Newcastle and Liverpool have the biggest ‘hypebeasts’ searching for the most anticipated trainer drops, like this year’s Off-White x Nike Air Jordan 1 ‘White’ and the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 colourways.

At the other end of the table, Stoke-on-Trent placed last with an average score of just 1.83, with Hull, Bradford, Sunderland and Brighton following closely, suggesting residents aren’t too fussed about their casual footwear.

Least trainer-obsessed UK cities
Overall rank City Overall score (out of 10)
11 Edinburgh 4.07
12 Bristol 3.91
13 Leeds 3.33
14 Leicester 2.72
15 Cardiff 2.68
16 Brighton 2.53
17 Sunderland 2.30
18 Bradford 2.28
19 Hull 2.22
20 Stoke-on-Trent 1.83

George Sullivan, CEO at The Sole Supplier commented:

“The UK has become a nation of sneaker-heads as streetwear becomes the era-defining style. It’s interesting to map the hotspots for trainer culture and exciting to see Manchester, London, Nottingham, Newcastle and Liverpool lead the pack.

 “When it comes to brand loyalty, the UK’s largest cities all pledged allegiance to Nike in 2018 based on traffic to The Sole Supplier release pages, except Glaswegians who were most keen to get their hands on the Yeezy Powerphase Calabasas Grey. Let’s see what 2019 holds in store!”

To see each city’s results in full, please visit The Sole Supplier’s dedicated webpage here.

*The 20 biggest UK cities selected based on population size.

**Data points for each city for each of the four respective categories analysed were normalised using minmax normalisation. This results in a score between 0 and 10 for each data point, and each city is ranked accordingly based on its overall average score:

Sneaker Shop Rating

Ratings from up to a maximum of 60 shoe shops were recorded from each city using Google Places API.

Most Searched Sneakers

Average monthly search volume for 11 common trainer categories was taken for each respective city per capita using Google Keyword Planner data.

The Sole Supplier Score

Internal Google Analytics data was used to determine the number of users from each respective city to The Sole Supplier site, between 1st January 2018 and 31st October 2018 per capita.

Most Hyped Releases

Based on 8 of the most anticipated launches of 2018 search volume for the month of launch was used from Google Keyword Planner to determine which cities had the most interest per capita.

Overall Average Score

The average of the normalised scored from each of the four categories described above were calculated to determine the Overall Average Score and which city takes the crown as the Sneaker Capital of the UK.