White sneakers have rapidly become a menswear cult in Australia and around the world. Their versatility, practicality and timelessness have solidified their place in any modern man’s wardrobe.
Whether you are heading to a job interview, summer wedding or just a dinner at the local with some mates, the cool white sneaker style is appropriate for all occasions. Pair them with jeans, shorts or even a suit, it’s safe to say, no matter what’s planned, pull them off correctly, and you’re in for a home run.
If you instead would prefer a fleet of white sneaks’ there is a multitude of different options that suit any and every budget and style. To make your decision (somewhat) easier, we at DMARGE have scrutinised the expansive white sneaker market and have compiled a list of our favourite low-top, high-top and slip-on white sneakers.
Know Your Styles
In recent years low cut white sneakers have transitioned from an on-court icon to every day essential – even if it’s as simple as wearing sneakers with a shirt or sneakers with a suit. Brands like Common Projects, Veja and Brunello Cucinelli have redefined what white sneakers look like and what their role in a wardrobe is. No matter if you’d prefer a clean-cut silhouette or chunky sole, leather or canvas, there is a white sneaker to fit all styles. No matter your preferences for materials or style, there is a low-top white sneaker for you – even in the cheap sneaker category.
Live in a colder climate? Love Basketball? Want to be Casey Neistat? Whatever your reason, high-top white sneakers can be a great addition to your wardrobe. Whilst they might seem like a summer staple, white sneakers can add contrast to both dark winter days and outfits as well as providing more practicality and durability to their low-top alternatives.
Know Your Materials
As you’d expect, white sneakers can not only come in a variety of silhouette styles but in a variety of materials too, and the material you choose can potentially have an effect on when and where you can wear them.
Leather is by far the most popular choice when it comes to white sneaker material. Leather not only helps your sneakers look clean and fresh for longer, owing to the fact it is easy to clean, but real leather is also incredibly durable. The majority of luxury brands, especially the ones on this list, will use real leather in the construction of their shoes. The common trend of late is to source the leather from tanneries in either Italy or Portugal, and from sustainable tanneries at that. You might still have vegans in a quiver for your material choice, but you can at least be safe in the knowledge the cows that provided the leather were treated in a humane way.
But that segues nicely onto vegan leather, a material that some luxury sneaker manufacturers are making a conscious effort to use in their white sneakers. Vegan leather by its very nature isn’t real leather but is synthetic. Don’t let that make you think it’s of a poorer quality though, as it most certainly isn’t. However, the one disadvantage it does have over real leather is that it isn’t as breathable, so you’re more likely to end up with sweaty feet. But hey, at least you’ll have a planet to live on.
Suede is a type of leather, made from the underside of the animal skin. It’s much softer than the outer, ‘full-grain’ leather obtained from animals, so lends itself to being used for sneaker linings. It can, however, be used as the main material for sneakers, but because of its more porous nature, is better suited for wearing in summer months when there’s much less chance of rain.
Championed by the likes of Converse, canvas is a perfect material for casual white sneakers – although it can be fashioned in virtually any colour you can think of. By its very nature, canvas is more of a cloth, so doesn’t provide much in the way of support for your foot and ankle. It’s because of this that you usually find canvas sneakers coming with a thick, chunky sole to help provide cushioning and support. You may also think canvas isn’t easy to care for, but on the contrary, as long as you remove surface dirt first, you can throw your white canvas sneakers in the washing machine to help bring their fresh white colouring back to life.
How To Wear White Sneakers
Now you’re clued up on the styles and materials, it’s time for you to learn how to style your white sneakers with a variety of outfits, from casual ensemble jeans and t-shirts to a suit. You can find how to wear white sneakers here.
White Sneakers FAQ
How to clean white sneakers?
Leather sneakers are best treated with soapy water and a leather pen. Canvas sneakers can be thrown in the wash.
What goes best with white sneakers?
Luckily white sneakers go with most jeans, shorts and chinos. In some cases, a crisp pair of white sneakers will go with a suit. Just ensure your suit is well-tailored and the trousers are the correct length.
Why are white sneakers so popular?
White sneakers are popular because of their simplicity and versatility. They can be worn with almost anything. We would also hazard a guess that with so many factories around the world making sneakers, they have become very affordable too.
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We’re big fans of Oliver Cabell, why? It’s because they make incredibly high-quality white sneakers (and other sneakers) without the insane markup. Founder Scott Gabrielson believes in cutting out the middle man and doing away with the hefty profit. Instead, you have sneakers as good as the luxury brands but for a lot less.
Like us, you’ve probably seen Scarosso advertised on Instagram. After some research, we discovered Scarosso is making some of the best looking sneakers (and footwear) on the market. With Scarosso you’re getting Made In Italy quality with timeless and elegant style. Did we mention the very competitive price point too? Get around it.
Aurélien claims their products are made in the same factories as the most well-known designer labels. And we don’t doubt this. Their sneaker range is heavily inspired by some of the top luxury brand designs and it shows. Thankfully you’re not going to have the hefty price tag when you purchase a pair of Aurélien sneakers. They’re what you call ‘Smart Luxury’.
The sneakers everyone is wearing that have the V on the side. Veja is a French brand that claims ecological and fair trade conditions and to work with cooperatives of small producers and social associations in Brazil and France. They’re great value for money and come in a range of colours and styles.
British shoemaker Grenson is a brand you should immediately think of when you consider luxury footwear. Known worldwide for its iconic leather boots, the brand also has an exceedingly good sneaker collection. Pairs are made from both suede and leather, with only the finest cuts used in their construction to make them incredibly comfortable, breathable and a pair you can be proud to wear.
Von-Röutte is an independent label founded by brazilian born and sydney based couple gus & marina. combining a background in graphic design and natural sciences, we aim to create understated and easy-to-wear shoes and accessories.
British shoemaker Loake is one with esteemed heritage. Setting up shop in the Northamptonshire over 125 years ago, the company continues to produce footwear that exceeds our ideas of luxury. Loake's white sneakers are made from premium calf-leather for breathability and comfort and employ a Goodyear welt for incredibly durability.
Born in Brooklyn, GREATS designs classically inspired sneakers for men and women using luxury high-quality materials and construction. Still headquartered in Williamsburg, GREATS make men’s sneakers with a luxury feel but with a slight design difference to the other brands.
Koio is American footwear brand that has a distinctively European style. The two "sneakerhead" founders started the company to create sneakers they would feel comfortable wearing both to work and to after-work drinks. All pairs are handmade in Italy in a factory that was carefully selected from a broad range, as it best-matched with Koio's style vision.
Koio has two main styles of sneaker, a court and a low-top, and it's the latter we've selected. The Capri sneaker employs a visually similar low-top design to others on this list, being incredibly minimal in its design approach. It's available in a multitude of colours, but the all-white is a particular favourite. It's made from full-grain calf leather, with yet more of the buttery-soft stuff found inside. A Margom sole adds durability and cushioning, making them suitable for all-day wear.
Founded in 2014 by Isabel and José Maria, JAK is a bootstrapped, independent brand, based in Lisbon, Portugal. What we love most about Jak is the design. They take your classic sneaker designs and add a slight twist. This ensures you’re not getting the same kicks as everyone else. Being based in Portugal means top-quality and great price. Almost the best price from what we’ve seen.
Uniform Standard is another favourite of DMARGE. Sure they made great quality white sneakers but they also make some terrific other colours too. Considered to be British minimal sneakers, designed in East London and handcrafted in Portugal using the finest Italian leathers and premium sustainable recycled materials. This is nothing but good news.
Founded in 2016, North-89 design sneakers in the north for the world. Drawing inspiration from the Scandinavian weather conditions and design their no-fuss collections accordingly. We like their use of materials – all made in Portugal, so you’re getting great quality. Shoes are packaged in a premium branded shoebox with extra waxed cotton laces.
Axel Arigato burst onto the scene in 2014. The brainchild of Swedes Max Svärdh and Albin Johansson the original collections were known for sneakers with colourful birds on them. Today they make all shapes and sizes of men’s sneakers. They’re made in Portugal and are top quality. Bang for buck, you can’t go wrong with Axel Arigato.
One of the true pioneers of the clean, minimalist white sneaker movement is Common Projects. Founded in 2004 and headquartered in New York City, the luxury footwear brand uses some of the finest quality leather materials around to create supremely comfortable and long-lasting sneakers.
While we would normally recommend a low-top pair (and we still would) this mid-top pair of the Achilles silhouette retains the same good looks as its lower-top sibling, complete with the gold numbers printed on the heel that relate to the size, style and colour, with a mid-style height still being capable of being paired with a suit or jeans.
Everlane is a clothing company that is committed to providing men with all the essentials they could need, but ones made by sustainable and ethical means and with totally transparent pricing. The company reveals how much it spends producing each item, so you can see how much it differs to the asking price. The Court sneaker are made from 100 per cent full-grain leather, which is sourced from a gold-certified tannery, while the sole is made from predominantly recycled rubber. Factor in a good-looking silhouette and you may have just found your next pair of white sneakers.
You'd be forgiven for thinking British-based footwear company Clarks couldn't hang with the cool kids, but you'd be dead wrong. Yes, it may be known for being the back-to-school king for kids, and the brand of choice for those in their retirement, but Clarks has shifted its focus to the trendier gent with the Un Costa Lace white sneaker. Adopting as classic a look as you can get, the Un Costa Lace offer the ultimate in footwear comfort and because they're made by Clarks, you can rest assured they'll last you an incredibly long time.
Italian footwear brand Diemme still uses a mainly handcrafted production process for all its shoes. Its footwear range encompasses everything from hiking boots all the way down the sneakers, such as this pair of Marostica Lows. Clearly inspired by hiking boots but designed to tackle the city streets, these sneakers are the oldest in the company's lineup, having been around for 10 years. With high-quality, handcrafted materials being used, your feet will be caressed in utmost comfort.
While we would rather point your attention toward more premium pairs of white sneakers, there's no denying the sheer popularity of the Adidas Stan Smith. We imagine most guys have had a pair in their collection at some, thanks to the vast range of subtle colourings available. The modern-day interpretation of the 1971 classic utilises Adidas' OrthoLite sockliner is used to treat your foot to a comfortable bed, while the leather upper with iconic branding on the tongue is one you'll want to keep dirt-free.
If you're after a pair of canvas kicks then you could opt for a certain well-known American brand, or, you could invest in Slovakian brand Novesta. The shoemakers rubber-soled wonders have become just as iconic as their other canvas compatriots, owing most of their fame to their recognisably chunky sole.
The vulcanised sole design on this pair of Star Master sneakers is both durable and comfortable, while the canvas material will make it feel like you're wearing a sock.