Trainers started life as an item worn only when participating in sport. Over time, they have morphed into fashion items.

Now buying the right trainer is the starting point for many people when putting together their wardrobes. But an appropriate environment is needed in order to shift high-end shoes of this kind.

Solebox, in the middle of Amsterdam’s canal area, is a case in point.

The Berlin-based purveyor of training shoes, which tries to make each of its stores a one-off, has just opened a shop here with an interior that has more than a whiff of the chemistry lab about it.

Practically, this means an interior of white tiled mid-shop tables with extractor flues above, display units constructed from what look like cast-off retort stands and decorative accessories of glass flasks and microscopes. 

The lab feel is reinforced by a periodic table lightbox dominating a wall of this modishly spartan environment.

None of this has much to do with training shoes or sports but it does feel modern, fashionable and reassuringly expensive.