Hi Tec trainers have had two totally distinct identities at different times of my life. Originally, they were the shoes that kids were mercilessly teased for wearing (Patrick football boots also gets a nod) instead of Puma Kings or Nike Tiempos or whatever crap their mothers had bought them from Brent Cross. Then all of a sudden, everyone 'discovered' that the Silver Shadows (and the squash shoes) were actually great trainers, and so the brand that etched sorrow into the minds of so many British children during PE, had been redeemed. There's a Tom Hanks film in there somewhere. More info here on the shadows:
Videotime and I often imagine what the Hi Tec offices are like. We usually come to the agreement that it's a portacabin on the edge of a cliff near Beachy Head; where they share an outdoor toilet with the CEO of Gola or Carlton Sports. Sometimes they bring each other cups of tea, and try to avoid getting trapped in conversation with their neighbours on the other side of the portacabins, the research and development team of Winmau, the manufacturer of dartboards.
The matronly uncoolness of the brand is something to be admired. They're the trainers of headteachers, swing voters, Mondeo men, Games Workshop employees and sporty grandparents; and I'm sure the marketing team would be the first to tell you that if you want to look 'cool', then Hi Tech isn't for you. "Go to Dolcis or Clarks on your high street", they'd say, "buy yourself some proper shoes and get yourself a panda pop and go to your local roller disco - then upload it on youtube, because that's what your lot do nowadays". "When you want proper trainers to do sporty things like not-very-fast jogging or playing badminton, come to us, we're the 4th portacabin along, next to Carlton Sports. Please bring milk."