If there is any casual shoe more classic and reliable than the white sneaker, it has yet to be tracked down. Owning at least one pair is vital to your wardrobe’s functionality and your quest for endless style. The beauty is in its versatility—it’s the type of shoe you can slip into when you’re wearing a pair of baggy shorts and a T-shirt, but it looks equally appropriate with a pair of jeans and a long khaki jacket. Here are a few picks that will see you through any season in complete style and comfort.
The High Top
If your tastes skew old-school, you’ll want to vibe with these H&M high tops ($129) that look straight out of a music video from the 1980s. The ultimate streetwear shoe, the high top bears the distinction of being both highly supportive and completely cool. It’s the off-duty footwear of choice for even the most discerning man, as it channels a distinctly freeing time of life. Of course, it’s sartorially on point in every way—you can wear the ubiquitous white high-top sneaker with denim and a smart, button-down shirt if you want to elevate your low-key wardrobe just a touch. Or keep your entirely look neat and clean by pairing cuffed charcoal pants with a white tee and stepping into your tops. Easy.
A Little Luxury
In case you aren’t afraid to dip your toes into something of a dramatic departure from the standard white sneaker, consider an interpretation that only the house of Alexander McQueen could possibly envision. These oversized metallic runners ($310, down from $690) are head-turning in sharp white—but the standout appeal comes courtesy of the glorious gilded accents that scream opulence with your every move. They aren’t for the timid, but they are for the man who eschews tradition in favor of something that puts a fresh spin on what is typical and anticipated. Best of all, gold is pure and timeless, and it adds a shockingly glamorous touch to your athletic footwear.
A Tennis Classic
Anything that appears reserved for a match on Centre Court at Wimbledon is worth a second glance—even if the closet you’ll get is the hard courts at your local park. No matter, as these adidas SC Premiere sneakers ($120) feel remarkably well suited to any environment. They’re the most classic of classic shoes, sleek and neatly designed with a reserved silhouette and a sturdy rubber sole to provide comfort with your every step. Whether you’re wearing them with jeans or your tennis whites, you’ll feel completely on top of your style game.
Few white sneakers earn a reputation for their classy appeal, but Tod’s Casetta ($525) sets the bar for a new breed of polished casual footwear. Made with buttery smooth leather, this completely monochromatic shoe is a world apart from anything you’ve worn in the past. Just call it a runway sneaker—it boasts rich padding, cloud-like comfort, and endless style. The label has an impressive history dating from the early 20th century, and this style is one that earns consistent accolades for its timeless beauty. It’s easy to see why.
An Easier Choice
Not that laces are complicated, nor do Velcro straps exactly pose a challenge, but on occasion it’s nice to have another option. Enter the now ubiquitous slip-on shoe, which has earned quite a status in recent years for its convenience and surprising versatility. It’s everywhere, goes with nearly everything, and is so effortless that you can’t help but find continuous excuses to wear it. These Bottega Veneta Dodger II slip-ons ($710) are a particularly chic choice that you can easily wear anywhere. The label’s famed woven Intrecciato technique is the star of this sharp white shoe that is plain easy to wear.
The Low Top
If you favor minimalist styles that have unusual standout appeal for their under-the-radar details, then a fashion-forward low top may be the solution. These Ermenegildo Zegna triple-stitch Pelle Tessuta sneakers ($895) define understated luxury with their slightly off-white hue. It’s not so much the color that sets them apart, however, as the styling. The side flaps enrobe a center part that features a stark crisscross element over supple calf leather. There’s little effort involved here, as you can simply step into them and go. The beauty of a down-to-earth shoe like this is that it’s just the pair to wear with nearly anything in your warm-weather arsenal. Wear them with khaki shorts, crisp straight-leg jeans, or a pair of smart pants.