If you follow street style at Fashion Week, you know that one of the most enduring favorites of the fashion set is the white sneaker: It’s far more comfortable than heels and complementary to virtually any look. Certain ones can develop a cultiness of their own, too — from Phoebe Philo’s Stan Smiths to the statusy Balenciaga Triple S — that makes people true loyalists to certain brands, even if they don’t self-identify as sneakerheads. And the great thing is, they’re accessible to everyone — white Converse and Nike sneakers have been around for ages. Here, we talked to 16 stylish women on the one white sneaker that they always keep a fresh pair of in their closet.
“Unless I’m getting dolled up, I always opt for simple sneakers. My favorite sneakers are white Converse High Tops and white Supergas. I love Converse because, when have they not been in style? When I know I’m going to be walking a lot, I’ll wear my Supergas because they have a bit more support. Supergas are also super classic and look like cute tennis shoes!” —Louise Parker, model and photographer
“I wear white Adidas quite often, and fairly exclusively practice the sneaker lifestyle. I think my sneakers of choice, however, are my Skechers Shape Ups. I didn’t purchase them for their toning qualities, but they are truly a gift that keeps on giving. My chiropractor said my core was unusually strong. They have a round bottom, giving me an extra spring in my step that really makes you want to hop around like a jelly bean. Plus, remember platform sneakers? Well, Skechers Shape Ups did it first.” —Sasha Frolova, freelance photographer and actress
“These are OG Feiyue sneakers from China — have to represent my culture! They’re the most comfortable shoes I own and genuinely stay true to the original 1920s retro look and branding — white canvas upper, yellow gum outsole, and a really nice vintage red-and-blue logo. They’ve earned a cult status and are the flagship shoes for monks and martial artists. The original versions cost around $100 HKD, about $13 USD, which is what you’d expect to pay for one drink in Manhattan. However, I really can’t stand brand-new, crisp white sneakers. To me, beaten-up white sneakers are the best because they show some personality and stay true to the idea that sneakers are casual shoes that should be worn.” —Joanna Fu, associate editor at Hypebeast
Elevated Gum Soles
“I really love the brand behind these sneakers — they’re transparent and ethical with their sourcing, and their shoes are still affordable. This shoe feels special to me because the design feels streamlined, but still classic. It has the chunky feel that I like my white shoes to have, but there are certain parts of the shoe that are modern. White shoes have the tendency to mesh together in my brain, but these always stick out because of the little details, like the mesh toe. I also love gum soles on white shoes, so this is my supernova white shoe.” —Michelle Li, associate stylist at Refinery29
“White sneakers are an all-time classic and favorite shoe of mine! I like that they are so comfortable and go with everything, from a good denim look and cute outerwear in winter to a full summer look, and even with a dress! I always make sure to bring a pair of white sneakers when I travel. I especially love my white Frye sneakers because of their versatility and perfect fit. The quality leather and design make them really special, and such a classic essential for me! Even had to buy a new pair recently since mine got so outworn! It’s definitely a staple piece in my wardrobe.” —Soraya, blogger at Soul of Soraya
“I grew up in a sports-fanatic family; always playing, watching, talking about sports and sports culture. This background directly influences my style and my choices in wardrobe. Comfort is the way to go. You can’t move slow on these New York streets, or waste time in uncomfortable shoes. I choose my sneakers based on my mood and what’s inspiring me at the moment. My go-to sneaker is a classic Air Force 1. Their versatility makes it a staple piece in my closet. Always keep a clean pair in your closet.” —Michelle Silva, co-founder of the Con.cept
Contrasting Pull Tab
“My current fave white sneakers are the Eytys ‘Jet’. The reasons I love them are because they are a clean-looking sneak (and therefore go with everything), they tap into the whole ‘dad sneaker’ trend, and because they make me a little bit taller! I love Eytys’s whole approach to shoe design, and basically need their whole collection!” —Belle, journalist and style blogger at Honey Belle World
“Of course, I’m a bit biased (especially after the amount of hard work I put into my collection for Puma), but my own pair of ‘Do Less. Be More. Platform Strap’ shoes are my favorite [editor’s note: This style has already sold out, but the rest of the collection is available here]. They’re super comfortable, and I love the message of being who you truly are and ditching this idea of having to do something to be that. They’re also a beautiful canvas to draw on. My staple go-to sneaker is an all-white pair of Chuck Taylor high-tops in canvas. They’re easy to travel with, super comfy, and the perfect work sneakers for when I’m doing big jobs outside.” —Shantell Martin, artist
“My favorite white sneakers are Common Projects’ Original Achilles. I wouldn’t say I’m a sporty person or a girly-girl, so it was hard to find a pair of white sneakers that was perfect for every day for me. These leather sneakers are not only comfortable but they are also really simple yet chic. I’ve been wearing the same pair for almost three years now — and they have a special place in my wardrobe because my long-distance boyfriend also has a pair. (It’s great that these sneakers are unisex!)” —Van Le, style blogger at FOREVERVANNY
“My favorite pair are definitely my Sk8-His. These sneakers have been by my side since my freshman year of high school (I haven’t grown at all, haha), and what I love most about them is they’ve never failed me with any outfit I’ve tried on. No matter how dirty they become, there’s nothing a little bleach can’t do.” —Camille Lanham, artist
Elastic Heel Strap
“I have the Nike Huarache sneakers in all-white and wear them all the time. The sole has a bit of height, which I like because I’m on the shorter side. I love that they are ‘unisex’ because that way, I can find sneaker-style inspiration from literally anybody in the world. That’s pretty cool. In terms of styling, for some reason, white sneakers seem to go with (almost) everything. You can pair them with really girly dresses — I paired mine with a velvet Rhode Resort dress recently — but also with a tracksuit, as I did when traveling both to and from London last week.” —Elizabeth Tamkin, assistant market editor and office coordinator at Man Repeller
“I love Converse. There’s something inherently cool, nostalgic, and rebellious about them. I started wearing black low-top Chuck Taylors when I was in middle school, and I thought I was cool, and that they made me seem a little punk-rockish. Me and my friends would write notes on them when we were bored in school. I switched to white Converse the past few years (still low-tops; I think I’m too short to pull off high-tops), but I’ve recently realized that to extend the life of the white ones through New York weather, it’s not bad to pick up a pair of black ones to help get you through the bad weather in the winter months.” —Jenny Walton, illustrator and fashion director for the Sartorialist
“As a stylist, I am on my feet most of the day, so wearing sneakers is usually a must for me these days. I always have been a bit of a sporty tomboy and find it essential to have a few different types of sneaker styles in my wardrobe. I rotate between a few depending on my outfit and mood that day. I have a fairly new obsession with this brand called Feit and like them for style and comfort. I love that they are a comfortable, chicer version of a sneaker, so I feel a bit more dressed up, and they are completely handmade with beautiful leather, so not only are they very special but I feel special in them, and they are not seen everywhere, as of yet!” —Lara Backmender, stylist, fashion consultant
No Lace-Up Laces
“At the height of the dad-sneaker craze, I find myself craving simplicity. This spring, I’m trading my clunky Célines for a classic canvas high-top from Maison Kitsuné. They’re refreshingly plain and the perfect new year’s cleanse — without having to cut back on sugar or practice mindfulness.” —Carin McCormac, PR and communications at ATP Atelier
“White high-top Chuck Taylors are my all-time favorite white sneaker because they are classic, timeless, and pair up nicely with everything from sundresses, skinny jeans, to a tailored suit. Also, you can’t beat the price point. I also recently picked up the Aura white sneaker by Brandblack. I love the smart design and technical features on this shoe, such as the Vibram sole, sock liner, and rebound jetlon insole.” —Linda Nguyen, founder and creative director of Love Made
“These sneakers are everything for the price. Super comfortable, but super extra-feeling at the same time. I love the shape paired with anything from a suit to a minidress.” —Hillary Taymour, owner and head designer at Collina Strada
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