Like a freshly sharpened No. 2 pencil, your first hot coffee since April, or a super-crisp orange leaf falling gently from a stately oak tree, a fresh pair of white sneakers remains an icon of the fall season. And while yes, we know it’s November, let us remind you that winter doesn’t start until December 21st! We’ve got a lot of fall left, and the truth is it’s actually never the wrong time of year to buy some timeless low-top white kicks.
Whether you keep yours in a meticulously maintained state of pearly white or let them get dusted up and dirty, we stan for wearing them with just about everything in your closet. Trendy sneakers come and go (we’re looking at you, $900 Balenciaga monstrosities!), but classic low profile white sneakers act like the great outfit equalizer: They work with your slim black jeans and a leather jacket and they work with a charcoal wool suit for a fall wedding just as well.
And while you really can’t go wrong, we can’t help but play favorites. From premium Italian craftsmanship to California cool kid vibes, we’ve rounded up our favorite white sneakers guaranteed to make everything you wear look just a little bit better.
Common Projects is a favorite among dudes who love a minimalist look and want their sneakers to be kind of fancy. They’re easy to spot thanks to the gold stamp on the heel identifying the style and size (and, ahem, status). What you’re really getting for that $415 price point? High quality materials like leather and suede sourced and sewn in Italy. Sorry not sorry, they’re totally worth the price.
M. Gemi Lucente sneakers, $228
Speaking of Italy, we love what they’ve got going on over at M. Gemi, another footwear brand that’s bringing that hand-sewn Italian craftsmanship stateside. Their Lucente sneaker has an extremely minimal design that takes a few cues from Adidas’s Stan Smiths, but looks a bit more dressed up, thanks to a clean toe box, no perforations and waxed laces. If you’re looking for the kind of sneaker you could wear with a suit to a more casual wedding just as easily as you could on a Saturday morning bagel run, this is it.
Greats Royale sneakers, $179
If you’re looking for a low-profile white leather sneaker that’s got a little more going on (think extra seams, perforations and a slightly thicker sole) but still feels pretty much timeless—the Greats Royale should pique your interest. A relatively new DTC brand founded in Brooklyn in 2013, Greats sneakers stand apart because you’re getting a luxe product at a mid-range price—the Royale is also made in Italy, and lined in the same leather they use on the outside, making them crazy-comfortable and, if you dare, a “socks optional” sneaker.
Veja V-12 sneakers, $140
Wild rubber from the Amazon? Check. Organic cotton? Check. “Ecologically tanned” leather? You bet. Veja is in the spotlight right now thanks to our girl The Duchess of Sussex (Meghan Markle, you bozos) who wore a women’s pair of their sustainable, ethically-made sneakers during the recent royal tour down under.
Royal endorsement aside, Veja’s sneakers just look cool. We love these white-and-off-white kicks that mix leather and mesh for a sporty look that can be dressed up with dark jeans and a blazer instantly.
In the world of top-tier white kicks, all roads lead to Stan Smith—the low profile leather sneaker against which all other low profile leather sneakers are measured against. (And in many cases, very obviously inspired by them when you look at the design.)
The trendy factor of the Stan Smith ebbs and flows, but you can rest assured that you’ll never regret wearing them. They’ve been timeless since they were first released with their iconic green patch back in 1967—and now you can find that signifier in other colors too, like red, navy and yes, even white.
The Old Skool is another one of those iconic sneakers that’s made a comeback in the past few years that’s finally tapering off now. It’s the West Coast answer to the Stan Smith, for those of us who came up at the skate park as opposed to the tennis court. The Canvas upper means these sneakers will show their wear and tear more readily than the above leather options, but if you ask us, that just adds character (along with making them the most affordable all-white kicks on our list).