Trainers, sneakers or plimsolls, whatever you decide to call them and however you wear them, have become an essential fashion statement. Sports shoes are no longer designed simply for running or working out. It's no longer enough for a sports shoe to fit the wearer and be bouncy: it must have style, offer protection against injury and give the wearer enhanced performance potential, adidas, Nike, New Balance or Puma, shoes that perform well, sell well, especially if they are endorsed by a cool sporting-world figure. In the late 1990s people who would never go running selected trainers as their casual shoe. True enthusiasts purchased two pairs at once - one to wear, the other to keep shrink-wrapped as a future collector's item. The Nike Air Rift, with its split toe, for example, is a design classic. Fashion labels, too, wanted a piece of the action. Fendi, Gucci, Hermes and Donna Karan have all featured trainers in their collections. The Trainer pays tribute and charts the rise and rise of the sports shoe. With everything from this year's streetwise trainers to the legendary Converse All Star, all photographed in colour, with close-ups of key features in addition to a portrait of each shoe, this is the complete compendium of trainer style.