The best white sneakers for men are more than a mere wardrobe staple—they’re the base of the menswear food pyramid, the pair of shoes you’ll likely reach for more than any other in your closet. Which explains why there are a mind-boggling amount of white sneakers available, from all-time classics to wild-style flexes, upscale designer models to affordable upstart brands.
And while white sneakers, generally, are not the sneakers you lust after, drool over, or dream about (then come up short on the SNKRS app when they drop), there is an undeniable hit of endorphins when you crack open a fresh pair. Scuff-free. Gleaming. Because the best white sneakers are always the newest pair you’ve got. Sure, there’s a little sadness when you thank your old, roughed-up pair of white sneakers for their long and distinguished service and set them free. They delivered hundreds of wears; held down hundreds of fits. It’s the circle of life.
To keep the circle going, we surveyed hundreds of potential white sneaks, tested out the cream of the crop, and settled on these seven picks—along with 21 honorable mentions—as the best white sneakers for men. (With a few more here if you need only the best white sneakers under $100.)
Go forth and be fresh.
Don’t miss GQ’s definitive guide to everything kicks—from the types of sneakers always worth copping to the best ways to score the next hot drop.
The Best White Sneakers for Budget-Conscious Minimalists: Adidas Originals Stan Smith
It might seem crazy now, over a decade into its comeback, but for awhile there it was really hard to find a pair of Adidas Stan Smiths. In 2011, for reasons unbeknownst to us—maybe a lack of sales, maybe to create an artificial scarcity—Adidas ceased production of their most iconic tennis shoe for the first time since its launch in the early ’70s. Suddenly, the once-ubiquitous sneakers were popping up on eBay for quadruple the retail price. By the time Adidas brought them back around in 2014, people were clamoring for the OG low-tops, leading to the Great Stan Smith Boom of the 2010s. It seemed like every celebrity on the planet was stepping out in the Three Stripes classics, and scarcely an issue of GQ would go by without them popping up somewhere in our pages. The relaunch hysteria has thankfully faded over time, but the Stan Smith’s appeal absolutely hasn’t. No matter how many commas you have in your checking account, these $95 icons will give you all the ultra clean vibes you could ask for. Just pray Adidas never takes them away again.
The Best White Sneakers Built Like Bench-Made Wingtips: Common Projects BBall
When it first landed on the scene in 2004, the Common Projects Achilles Low felt revolutionary: a simple, streamlined tennis shoe crafted by hand in Italy from fine Napa leather. In 2022, the luxury sneaker market is flooded with riffs on minimalist low-top sneakers—but CP still does ‘em better than anybody. Our favorite model these days is the BBall, which marries the label’s signature no-frills aesthetic and high-quality construction with hallmarks from timeless classics like the Air Force 1 and Stan Smith. Still clean and supple and built to last, but a little less stark and plain than its predecessor.
The Best White Sneakers that Prove Big is Beautiful: Nike Air Force 1 ’07
All real sneakerheads know that black Air Force 1s are a bad omen—if you see someone in them, it means you should turn and run. White Air Force 1s, on the other hand, are a sign of nothing beyond the wearer’s very fine taste. Since 1982, when they were introduced as Nike’s first basketball shoe to feature its revolutionary Air tech, the AF1 has held it down as the Swoosh’s single most reliable model. It’s hardly the flashiest Nike ever released, or the best performing on the court, or the most storied—but it’s tasteful, understated, and wholly timeless, three adjectives that don’t get thrown around in sneaker circles often enough. Long before Balenciaga made clownishly oversized sneakers a thing, Air Force 1s were chunkier and more bulbous than any of the sneakers that came before them. When doused in all-white, those proportions—along with the perforations on the toe and the panelling along the sides—feel all the more statuesque. And while they look incredible fresh out the box, they’re among a rare class of white leather kicks that genuinely still look killer smoked to high hell. Whether you’re on your first pair or your 40th, it’s never really a bad time to pick up another.
The Best Version of the Best White Canvas Sneakers: Converse Chuck 70 sneaker
Looks-wise, the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star has hardly changed at all since it first hit the hardwood in the early 1920s. In terms of construction, though, the no-frills GOAT hit its peak in the ’70s: the canvas upper was weightier, the rubber midsole rode up a little higher, the toe cap was a touch smaller, and the patch on the back of the heel was a cool retro black rather than the standard white. A few years back, Converse decided to make them that way again. For a cool $85, the Chuck 70 gets you all those key design upgrades, plus the benefit of modern cushioning installed into the thicker vintage outsoles. They’re the same Chucks you’ve always loved, only better.
The Best Under-the-Radar White Sneaker: Reebok Club C 85 sneaker
If Pete Doherty’s lyrics and every issue of NME from the ‘90s are to be believed, the Reebok Club C is the most-worn sneaker—sorry, trainer—by wayward youths in the British Isles. It’s also the very same sneaker that Harry Styles himself turned to for a clean look. What makes the Club C such an ideal all-purpose shoe? It’s nondescript enough to work with everything in your wardrobe, but still distinctive enough (that tiny Union Jack on the logo!) to not look totally bland. If you’re keen to switch up your regular rotation of Chucks and Stan Smiths—or you’re a really big Pulp fan—the Club C is the way to go.
The Best White Sneakers for Racing Through the Mountains: Salomon XT-6 ADV
When the legendary French outdoors outfitter Salomon wanted to get more people interested in their hyper-functional sneakers, they scoured their archives for silhouettes that could serve as canvasses for wild colorways: electric limes, fire truck reds, fresh ocean blues. As it happens, though, Salomon’s shoes look plenty sharp with no color at all—especially the uber-iconic XT-6, whose specific clash of materials make it a perfect candidate for the tonal treatment. The nylon mesh, textured rubber, and and rich leather on the uppers work even better together iced out in glacial whites, and the grippy lug soles seem somehow fiercer. Like all Salomon kicks, the XT-6 has all the tools to conquer craggy mountainsides, but it’ll perform just as well on the city streets with your biggest brunch fits.
The Best New School, Fascist-Fighting White Sneakers: Stepney Workers Club “Dellow”
A lot of upstart brands try their hands at making retro vulcanized sneakers, but few have as rich a backstory or as distinct a point of view as Stepney Workers Club. Founded in London in 2018, S.W.C. borrows its name from a 1920s anti-fascist sports group, and its signature model—the Dellow—is based directly on an old canvas sneaker the brand’s designers once came across. They updated the simple design and beautiful construction, added their own winsome handshake logo, and then decked the shoe out in a wide range of colors and materials. These days you can find the Dellow in smooth suedes and hardy canvases, but for our money the best version is this white leather version. It’s less than $90 for a sneaker with decades of history and smart design under its belt. That’s how you craft an instant classic, kids.
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