When it comes to sneakers for men, there’s no shortage of options. From the classic dad sneakers (which are now popular with a certain type of trendy young woman) to laid back Adidas and over-hyped Yeezys, sneakers can reveal a lot about a guy. But whether a sneaker head or not, a good pair of white sneakers should be a staple in any semi stylish man’s wardrobe.
A simple pair of crisp white men’s sneakers does double duty. They can be paired with jeans and sweats, sure. But they work with the right suit, too. But there are some rules to keep in mind. And, to offer some guidance on all things sneaker, we turned to stylist Micaela Erlanger, author of How to Accessorize: A Perfect Finish to Every Outfit, who’s worked with everyone from Common to Jared Leto.
Her advice? “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 sneaker brand you choose is up to you, depending on whether you want to go more accessible with a pair by Stan Smith (Obama is a fan), or full-on red-carpet with sneaks by Saint Laurent.
“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.”
There’s another C to add to the list: Cleanliness. Clean sneakers quickly show wear and tear, but the best way to clean white sneakers is with a toothbrush, dipping it into warm water and soap, and very gently scrubbing the dirt spots away. Skip the washing machine, which is too tough on delicate white sneakers, and instead hand wash them and let them air dry. In terms of finding a pair of white sneakers for you, here are our choices.
A classic. Low, clean, and durable. Fun fact: The Samba white sneaker was originally designed in the '50s as an indoor athletic shoe. 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. 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 a true icon. You can wear them anywhere, with anything. They have a canvas upper and rubber soles, plus the padding of ortholite insole cushions.
One of Erlanger's staples, these Stan Smith sneakers fully capture the clean style of the '70s original. 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.
These sleek leather kicks will go with everything. They're equal parts functional, tailored, and put together.
Every product on Fatherly is independently selected by our editors, writers, and experts. If you click a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.