White sneakers for men should have a place of honor in any guy’s wardrobe. They’re a not-so-basic staple that works with anything. So, sidestep the latest over-hyped Yeezy drop, which reeks of sad desperation, and instead, invest in an effortless pair of white kicks that work year-around.
A simple pair of crisp white runners can be paired with jeans, sweats, even a suit. Need proof? At the 2018 Toronto premiere of Hotel Mumbai, Armie Hammer accented his dark two-piece suit look with bright white sneakers. And back in 2018, Beautiful Boy Timothée Chalamet wore white joggers to his premiere, along with a dapper red suit.
To get some guidance on all things sneaker, we turned to stylist Micaela Erlanger, author of How to Accessorize: A Perfect Finish to Every Outfit. She also helps Common turn it up in the fashion department and has worked with Jared Leto and David Boyega.
“I love the sneaker game. Go for all-white sneakers that are plain, with a low-top,” says Erlanger. “The sole should be light. You never want a thick sole, so keep it to probably an inch. That is the requirement.”
The brand you choose is up to you, depending on whether you want to go more accessible with a pair by Stan Smith, or full-on red-carpet with sneaks by Saint Laurent or Ferragamo.
“You can dress up any outfit with sneakers. You can wear them with a suit that shows your ankles. That’s my go-to,” says Erlanger. “You don’t want anything super-flashy. Think the three Cs: Classic, clean, cool.”
Add a fourth C to the list: Cleanliness. White sneakers quickly show wear and tear, so here’s a tip to keep them pristine. Use a toothbrush, dip it into warm water and soap, and very gently scrub the dirt spots away. Do not put them in the washing machine. Instead, if all else fails, just hand wash them and let them air dry.
Best White Sneakers for Men
Fun fact: The Samba white sneaker was originally designed in the '50s as an indoor athletic shoe.
Yes, it’s possible to bring something back from the 1950s, leave it as is, and let it become an icon on its own. Like the originals, these white sneakers come in leather with a suede overlay at the T-shaped toe.
These retro-casual white sneakers are soccer inspired, and look just as dope on the pitch as anywhere else in your life.
There’s no fashion offsides with this white sneaker. You get a leather upper, a rubber sole, and lace closures. Pair ’em with jeans, slacks, even a jacket and pants.
These are the little brothers of the Chuck Taylor high-tops. And we're not remiss in calling these kicks a true icon. You can wear them anywhere, with anything.
With these Chuck Taylor white sneakers, you get both comfort and durability. They have a canvas upper and rubber soles, plus the padding of ortholite insole cushions. These have been around since 1917, so it’s a safe bet that you step one foot wrong.
One of Erlanger's staples, these Stan Smith sneakers fully capture the clean style of the '70s original and never look dated.
Think tennis icons like Jimmy Connors or John McEnroe. Those dudes inspired this Stan Smith classic, which features a sleek upper with three perforated stripes for breathability. They have a full grain leather upper with a soft moisture-wicking lining, so your feet won’t stink (much). Hey, even Kanye and Alexander Skarsgård have worn them.
If you're in the market for something edgier, from a brand you won't spot on a dozen other feet, check out these sneakers.
What makes these white sneakers stand out is both the intricate white leather detailing on the panels, plus the ultra-luxe jersey lining. The sole is made from wild rubber sourced from the Amazonian rainforest.
If you're into the royals (the family, not the team), it's worth noting that Prince Harry is a fan of these Adidas Gazelle sneaks.
First released in 1991, the Adidas sneakers have never lost their luster. You get an ultra-soft suede upper and a leather lining, plus those cool serrated three stripes and contrast heel tab.
If you want to take things up a notch, get these OPP white sneakers with their black and blue detailing.
If plain white kicks aren’t your thing, check out these OPP sneakers. They have a leather upper, a rubber outsole, a classic round-toe shape, and a low heel. And they’re hand-made, to boot. We particularly dig the bright pops of color.
If you want a more vintage '80s vibe, go for these Tretorns. The brand's signature style features a flexible upper and a EcoOrtholite high performance sockliner.
The Nyliteplus sneaker has a canvas upper, a non-marking rubber outsole, and sole that’s less than one inch thick. And you can’t put a price on wearing sneakers that are so damn retro they’ve never gone out of style.
When Adidas just won't do, take a look at these Ferragamo sneakers. They're made of calfskin and calfskin and have a patent leather heel patch.
Ferragamo shoes need no introduction. And these classed-up white sneakers are buttery-soft, and the black liner gives the shoes some added drama and an instant style upgrade.
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