White Sneakers Are a Wardrobe Must-Have—These Are the 12 Best Pairs
No matter what your personal style is, a pair of white sneakers should be classified as a wardrobe requirement. Whether you're going for a timeless sneaker style or something a little more modern — such as a chunky sole or boot-like high-top — or a pair of retro kicks, many will agree that they are the most versatile shoe style around.
White sneakers are easy to style and are one of those staple pieces that truly stand the test of time. "A pair of white sneakers is just like a white t-shirt — a foundational piece in your wardrobe that is always on trend and always perfectly functional," Kathleen Sullivan, Senior Director of Marketing at Keds confirms. And, much like a white t-shirt, there are tons of white sneakers to choose from, which can cause a bit of overwhelm if you're looking for the best of the best. But, alas, that's where we come in.
From classics to cult-favorites and everything in between, we meticulously researched the best white sneakers, keeping design, material, sizing, comfortability, and longevity in mind. When it came down to it, nothing beat The Sneaker by Rothy's. It is a classic white slip-on with knitted fabrication made from recycled water bottles, the easiest shoe to wash (like ever!), and feels like a pair of cushy slippers on the soles. But, there were a few more standouts from our research.
Looking for your sole mate? We share the best white sneakers, ahead.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall: Rothy's The Sneaker
- Best Value: Vans Canvas Old Skool
- Best Splurge: Golden Goose PURESTAR Low Top Sneaker
- Best for Work: Common Projects Original Achilles Leather Sneakers
- Best Trendy: Reebok Classic Harman Run Sneaker
- Best Classic: Adidas Originals Stan Smith Shoes
- Best Platform: Soludos Ibiza Platform Sneaker
- Best Sporty: Nike Air Force 1 Shadow
- Best Slip On: Vegabond Judy Sneakers
- Best Low Top: Cariuma Triple White Premium Leather Sneaker
Best Overall: Rothy's The Sneaker
Best Value: Vans Canvas Old Skool
Best Splurge: Golden Goose PURESTAR Low Top Sneaker
Best for Work: Common Projects Original Achilles Leather Sneakers
Best Trendy: Reebok Classic Harman Run Sneaker
Best Classic: Adidas Originals Stan Smith Shoes
Best Platform: Soludos Ibiza Platform Sneaker
Best Sporty: Nike Air Force 1 Shadow
Best Slip-On: Vegabond Judy Sneakers
Best Low Top: Cariuma Triple White Premium Leather Sneaker
Best High Top: Alexander McQueen Tread Slick High Top Sneaker
Best Sustainable: VEJA + Net Sustain Esplar Suede-Trimmed Leather Sneakers
What to Keep in Mind
Size and Comfort
Sneakers are designed with comfort in mind — and there is nothing more uncomfortable than a shoe that doesn't fit. When shopping for a pair of white sneakers, make sure to follow the sizing charts and measure your soles to find your perfect match. Reading customer reviews can also help to determine if they run true-to-size.
The fabrication of a shoe is also important, especially if you have a specific use in mind. For example, If you're looking for a pair of white sneakers to wear to the office, a shoe made of leather is a great choice as it has an elevated feel that pairs well with smart business attire.
As mentioned, it's crucial that sneakers fit well and comfortably. That means, a good return policy is equally important (this is especially true when shopping online). Unless you have already tried them on or are shopping for a second pair, avoid purchasing a pair of sneakers that are marked final sale, and always check the return policy before clicking add to cart. That way, if the shoes don't fit, you can easily send them back or exchange them for a different size.
Your Questions, Answered
How can you keep white sneakers clean?
Keeping white sneakers clean depends on the material. For canvas sneakers, Sean McDowell, Vice President of Design and Product Development at Sperry, says to reach for a little bleach. "I use a spray bottle mixed with water and bleach," he explains. For this process, you'll want to remove the laces and then use a strong bristled brush "to get in all of the recesses of the canvas and rubber sidewalls," McDowell notes. Once you've scrubbed them clean, place them in the sun for a few hours to dry and brighten them up. With that said, bleach is a harsh chemical, so it's best to use this method on white canvas sneakers that are inexpensive. For more expensive pairs, it's best to protect them ahead of time with a stain-resistant coating and spot clean as needed.
To clean white leather sneakers, McDowell recommends using a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. "I use an old toothbrush to get in all the nooks and crannies," he explains. "It's gentler than bleach and, with smooth leather, you don't need to go as deep as canvas," he adds.
As far as laces are concerned, you can easily remove them from your sneakers and toss them in the wash with your whites for a fresh scrub. And, if they get to a point where they are too far gone, purchasing a new pair of shoelaces is an inexpensive and quick way to freshen up your soles.
If you are concerned about keeping white sneakers squeaky clean, McDowell says to also consider dipping your toes into (literally) the off-white or tofu-colored sneaker trend. "It gives a more vintage look and is a little easier to maintain."
What can you wear white sneakers with?
The best part about these classic kicks? "You can really wear them with anything," says Sullivan. "A crisp white sneaker can complement a classic outfit or be a neutral piece for a more fashion-forward look," she adds.
Can you wear white sneakers with work pants?
"You can absolutely wear white sneakers with work pants," Sullivan explains, adding that the "line between professional and comfortable at work has certainly blurred" over the last few years. "With more and more people heading back into the office but not wanting to sacrifice the comfort of working from home, a pair of white sneakers can instantly bring that feel while still looking professional," she adds. Additionally, McDowell notes that a white leather sneaker is a great choice for office attire, as it adds a touch of personality while still looking professional and buttoned up.