I’m no sneakerhead, but I can for sure say, without any further research, classic white sneakers are the most versatile footwear in the game. And, as an American, I reserve the right to hold that opinion, no matter how much new information is provided to me, or how many new pairs of Crocs X Balenciaga heels grace this mortal plain. White sneaks go perfectly with every outfit—they’re perfect for everyday use, you wear them with a suit (or a sweatsuit), and they match with literally every outfit imaginable. But, there is one thing I’ll note before you dive into the white sneaker game: You’re gonna need more than one pair.
Yep, that may be the one downside to being a white sneaker aficionado: They get dirty, fast. Which is no big deal, really, but there’s nothing quite like sporting that bright-white pair of fresh sneaks with a new outfit. That’s why you’ve gotta have three pairs (at least). You need one pair for everyday use that you know is going to get dirty—this is the pair that’s going to see the most action during the week, from trips to the grocery store and laundromat to grimy, weeknight dive bar seshes with your buddies. The second pair you need is the “pretty nice” pair. These are in solid condition, the laces could probably use a swap, but there aren’t any stains or scuffs, and you’re comfortable wearing them out to a party, date, or well-lit get togethers. The final pair is the immaculate, crisp, whiter-than-Chip-Skylar’s-teeth set of sneakers that you can wear to formal events, holidays, anniversaries, and other big-time occasions.
Now, shit happens, and your perfectly white pair will, inevitably, get dirty. Not to worry, though—once your shoes get cruddy, you can just continue the cycle. Your perfect pair becomes your “pretty nice” pair, your “pretty nice” pair becomes your everyday pair, and your everyday pair either gets tossed or donated, if it’s in good enough condition. That’s the beauty of white sneakers: They all kind of look the same and serve the same purpose, so interchanging them is no big deal. There are, however, some that are better than others, which is why we put together this handy-dandy list of some of our favorite pairs out there.
Whether you’re walking off the tennis court or down the street, some classic, white Reeboks are a perfect go-to sneaker option for nearly any outfit. They’re sturdy, low-profile, and come with different color accents that you can tailor to your OOTD.
Adidas Stan Smiths
These are, without question, my favorite white sneakers. They’re plain, but not boring, come with a colored heel for outfit-matching, and the leather tops mean they’ll last a while. I find that I usually get around six months of constant wear before they get downgraded to my kickaround, beat-up pair.
Some good ol’ Vans
If you didn’t have these growing up, there’s a good chance you’re wearing them right now. Vans work with nearly every aesthetic and outfit for good reason—they’re comfortable, easy to match, and have a classic, pared-down look that’ll never go out of style. I’ve probably owned around eight pairs of slip-ons in my day, but the Old Skools and the True White Authentics are just as easy to integrate into your everyday wear.
Besides being some of the best shoes for weightlifting, Chuck Taylors have stood the test of time, and have never really fallen out of the internet’s good graces. These whited-out canvas shoes are kinda divisive, and personally, I’m not a huge fan. However, if they work for you—like they do for my roommate and millions of other people—they really work for you.
No, we didn’t forget Nike. You’re right to expect some tried-and-true Air Force 1s on this list, but instead of the usual all-white jawns, we’re throwing in the gum bottoms, along with a less-clunky pair of Court Royale 2 Lows. Either of these will check your Nike box, and look great dressed up or down.
Monarchs fit for a king
Now… Now we’re talking. It’s almost always a catastrophically bad day to be a grill or unmowed lawn when someone’s got a pair of these bad boys on. In all seriousness, though, my girlfriend got these for me for Christmas, and they slap. They’re ridiculously comfortable, and are now ironically cool, or so I’m told. See you at Chili’s.
Now, go forth and squeak.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.