One of the fundamental pieces to building the perfect wardrobe is having a pair (or two) of white sneakers. The best men’s white sneakers serve as blank canvases on which to paint your personal style, whether it leans toward streetwear, smart casual, New England preppy or something totally unique. But when it comes to choosing the best white sneakers for you, it can feel like there are too many options to choose from.
In 2020, the amount of sneaker styles that exist is vast, but most styles can trace their roots back to athletic performance. Some styles we love today, at one point in time, were considered cutting edge technology for tennis, running, basketball and even skateboarding. While sports technology has advanced tenfold, rendering these sneakers as dead equipment, the fashion world has adopted select styles as everyday footwear; some even amassing cult followings behind them.
The best white sneakers tend to get a lot of wear, which isn’t surprising for footwear that looks and feels great. But the ideal sneaker should:
- Provide you with all-day comfort
- Embody modern trends or timeless style
- Last for at least 18-24 months with multiple wears per week
- Either clean easily or look good dirty
To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled our 21 top picks to bring you the Ultimate Guide to Men’s White Sneakers in 2020. We’ve separated the best white sneakers for men into three categories: Legendary Status Sneakers, On-Trend Sneakers, and New White Sneakers.
If you own any of these already, you’re doing good!
The Best Men’s White Sneakers: Legendary Status
1. Nike Air Force 1 ‘07
MOST RECOGNIZABLE WHITE SNEAKER
The white on white Nike Air Force 1 is legendary plus infinity and is regarded by many as the perfect white sneaker. When the first version of this iconic sneaker, designed by Bruce Kilgore, dropped in 1982, it was the first basketball shoe to include Nike Air technology in the sole, making it more comfortable. After continued collaborations and partnerships, the Air Force 1 developed its high-profile reputation within the emerging sneaker culture. This model is a low-top reboot of the original shoe, which was a high-top, that features the same Nike Air tech and chunky sole. Wear them with anything you own, even a suit if the pants can drape over the shoe. Whatever you do, DO NOT get these dirty.
2. Reebok Lifestyle Classic Leather
THE ‘80S NEVER LEFT
I wasn’t around for this, but the ‘80s produced the spark that ignited the tsunami that is the athleisure industry, and Reebok was at the forefront for footwear (say that five times fast). The Reebok Classic Leather sneaker, originally introduced as a gender-neutral running shoe, dominated the scene. Not only did the brand have a leg up on competition in a time where performance sneakers were mainly male-inspired, but they shattered the barrier into the lifestyle market. This shoe would serve all purposes from going to school or work and then right to the gym or an aerobics class afterward. Today, the Reebok Classic Leather is still a viable option for fitness but is used mainly for style because they’re so comfortable and go with most types of outfits.
If you want to update the classic summer outfit — tennis shoes and shorts — for the modern age, these are some of the best white sneakers for the job.
3. Vans Authentic Sneaker
BEST FOR SUMMER
The Vans Authentic Sneaker is synonymous with the Southern California lifestyle and regarded as one of the pioneers of skateboarding shoes. This American staple was born shortly after the Anaheim-based company opened its doors in 1966. Today, the Authentic serves a much wider audience as the go-to white sneaker for summer. Made from utilitarian canvas and the classic Vans waffle sole, this shoe is perfect for boardwalks, boat docks and all warm-weather activities. They look great with a pair of shorts and any kind of top, like a graphic tee or short sleeve button up. The magic of the white Vans Authentic is that, somehow, they look even better when they’re dirty.
4. Adidas Stan Smith
THE OG TENNIS SNEAKER
In 1973, the Adidas “Haillet” was officially endorsed by American tennis star, Stan Smith, for whom the shoe was appropriately renamed. The original version of the Stan Smith looks very similar to today’s model — white leather upper, three perforated stripes on the side, green heel padding with “Stan Smith” underneath the Adidas trefoil and a picture of the athlete on the tongue. The Stan Smith is one of the single most popular tennis shoes and one of the most iconic styles from Adidas as well. Though modern tech has rendered this shoe useless for competitive tennis, it remains at the top of the list for preferred men’s white sneakers.
5. Nike Blazer Mid ‘77 Vintage
BEST HIGH-TOP SNEAKER
No stranger to the Nike lineup, the Blazer comes in both a mid (high) and a low version. These white with black check Blazers are nothing short of awesome with their sleek, throwback look and feel, channeling an era of old-school basketball. New York-based menswear influencer, Leo Chan, has previously pointed SPY toward this style as a top cop. Wear these stylish high-tops with your favorite pair of jeans. Just please, don’t tuck them into the top. If you’re thinking about grabbing a pair, make sure to act fast because they sell out very quickly.
6. Nike Air Max ‘90
BEST FOR JOGGER PANTS
It shouldn’t be a surprise that more than two Nike styles made the top of this list. Though many Air Max models exist, the Air Max ‘90 is by far the most iconic and one of the most sought after. Considered Nike’s second signature sneaker (only to the Air Force 1), this early ‘00s reissue brings back the roots of Nike running with the waffle sole design and Max Air cushioning in the heel. This sneaker is a bit boxier than most, so it looks better with relaxed fits. Try this out with a pair of joggers and your favorite sweatshirt or hoodie.
7. Converse Jack Purcell Sneaker
BEST PREPPY SNEAKER
White sneaker popularity seems to come in giant waves. Four or five years ago, the “it” sneaker was the Converse Jack Purcell. The Jack Purcell actually started out as a tennis shoe that was designed by a Canadian badminton player of the same name for PF Flyers in 1935. There’s a sentence you don’t see often. Converse ended up buying PF Flyers later on (now owned by New Balance) and kept the trademark for this popular white sneaker. The Jack Purcell is known for its durable canvas upper, flat sole and rubber toe bumper. These are a staple in traditional New England style and look great with a pair of Nantucket red shorts, a polo shirt and a pair of ankles popping out of the sneakers.
On-Trend White Sneakers for Men
8. Vans Old Skool
BEST SNEAKER SHAPE
The Vans Old Skool has been around since the first release in 1977, but unlike the soaring popularity of the Authentic, the Old Skool seems to trend at certain times. This sneaker, in my opinion, is the perfect balance of length, width and depth. The shape covers more foot than the Authentic and offers more overall support while maintaining a low profile silhouette. In the last four years, the Old Skool has found its way back into the shoe lineup of hundreds of thousands of people as their daily shoe of choice. To style this awesome white sneaker for men, grab a pair of tan shorts for summer and add a fun graphic tank top or t-shirt. It’s a very easy way to make a great casual summer look.
9. Adidas UltraBoost 20 Running Shoe
BEST EVERYDAY SNEAKER
You can’t go anywhere in the city without seeing somebody sport an Adidas UltraBoost. This new-ish design was created to be the ultimate neutral running shoe, but is also often found as the go-to comfy shoe for many who sport them. The Continental Rubber tread ensures active grip on both wet and dry surfaces while the Boost cushioning provides superior shock absorbency with each stride. Above all else, the UltraBoost is the best everyday white sneaker for men. It’s an easy-on, easy-off shoe that provides all-day comfort and well-rounded athleisure style to any outfit. Wear this with your exercise sweats and then later on a pair of stylish chinos and a henley.
10. Golden Goose Deluxe Superstar
BEST DISTRESSED SNEAKER
If you’ve ever wanted your white sneaker to look like somebody else beat the crap out of it first, then look no further. Golden Goose has gained a cult following for their Italian-made sneakers that look like your favorite worn-in jeans. They’ve perfectly encapsulated luxe grunge and for those who can’t stand the pressure of stark white shoes, they provide the most stylish solution. This pair in particular is exclusive to Bloomingdale’s, and if trying some on, don’t forget to grab a half size larger. Add these sneakers to any outfit to create a slight edge to your look.
11. Greats Royale
THE DESIGNER DISRUPTOR
Greats’ Royale sneaker is a huge player from a small collection of the revolutionary Brooklyn-based brand. The idea was simple: make a sneaker with the same materials in the same factories as couture designers, except sell it for a fraction of the cost. It seems crazy, but it worked. The $179 price point gets you a handcrafted Italian leather shoe made with responsible and sustainable practices in mind. The sole is made from natural rubber, no virgin plastics are ever used and the entire upper is biodegradable. These look fantastic with a pair of cuffed tan chinos, a white tee, and an open blue button up shirt. Specific, but it will always look good on anybody. Order a half size down.
12. Cole Haan ZeroGrand Stitchlite Oxford
MOST VENTILATED SNEAKER
Cole Haan basically took the dress-sneaker industry by the horns and ran with it after Nike sold them. Today, this is one of the greatest flex-players within the world of men’s white sneakers one could own. Made from a comfortable woven textile upper and the super popular ZeroGrand cut sole, this shoe works just as well at work as it does on the weekends. To dress it up, wear with your favorite non-denim pant, a button up shirt and a slim brown leather belt. To dress it down, rock a pair of navy blue shorts with a white printed polo and you’re good to go.
14. Vionic Walker
BEST DAD SHOE
I’d be remiss if I didn’t include the Walker by Vionic in this men’s white sneaker guide. I recently tried out this sneaker for myself and immediately thought it looks like the classic dad shoe. Then the compliments came pouring in. The Walker is insanely comfortable with its contoured orthotic insert and durable enough to handle a full day’s work, mowing the lawn and grilling on top of that. Trends right now point to the dad shoe being the father of all sneakers in 2020. Stay trendy and sport this with a pair of sweat or casual cotton joggers and your favorite comfortable t-shirt or wear this with a pair of seven-inch shorts and go full dad.
The New White Sneakers To Know in 2020
15. Beckett Simonon Morgen Trainers
Similarly to the Greats business model, Beckett Simonon is also taking on designers by offering high-quality products for incredibly affordable prices. Their Mogen sneaker in white is very similar to the ever popular Maison Margiela Replica Low-Top sneaker. Beckett Simonon’s Morgen is made from full-grain Argentinian leather and embodies the midpoint between soft and durable. Wear this with a non-denim pant to avoid any kind of dye transfer. For an easy A, try the white Morgen with a traveler or tech pant in olive and a dark blue button up shirt. Add a bomber jacket if desired.
16. EVERLANE COURT SNEAKER
MOST TRANSPARENT PRODUCTION
Everlane is known for transparency throughout their business and their commitment to sustainability (they also make a lot of our favorite men’s t-shirts). Their shoe line is no different. Everlane’s Court sneaker is constructed with a full-grain leather upper, a fully-recycled polyester lining and a natural rubber sole that is about 95% free of virgin plastic. In producing this shoe, Everlane is also able to offset their carbon emissions 100% through their partnership with NativeEnergy. Wear this versatile white sneaker with pieces from Everlane’s Uniform collection — a compilation of men’s basics fit to suit the needs of any occasion. I personally like the red heel pad but this sneaker is also available with a navy or white heel as well.
17. ECCO SOFT 8 SNEAKER
BEST MINIMAL WHITE SNEAKER
Ecco is has been known as the working man’s comfort brand, but they’ve set a different tone with this minimalist sneaker design. The Soft 8 was crafted from eco-friendly nappa leather and was designed specifically without any unnecessary detailing, drawing inspiration from Scandinavian design. With that, Ecco didn’t steer away from their commitment to comfort. Anatomically shaped footbeds support the heel and mid-foot while a cup-sole design provides superior flexibility with each step. Check this shoe out with a pair of trendy crew socks, a light gray pair of shorts, a summer t-shirt and a braided straw hat. There’s something kind of punky about it that I dig but could easily sway toward the preppy side as well.
18. Koio Capri Triple White Perforated
Koio is another new-ish direct-to-consumer brand with high-quality, Italian-made sneakers at a very affordable price. A bestseller, Koio’s Capri adds a depth to the classic men’s white sneaker that’ll make you say “holy sole-y!” Okay, even if you don’t say that, it’ll still look fantastic. Perforated sneakers set themselves apart in a sea of plain white sneakers — it’s not something you see all the time so when you do it’s kind of special. I have to thank Los Angeles menswear influencer, George LaBoda, for originally turning me on to this cool new brand.
19. Alexander McQueen Oversize Sneaker
Alexander McQueen is no stranger to the couture scene, but their Oversized Sneaker may be something you haven’t seen before, at least not recently. If you’re into McQueen, this may not even be something you’d expect, lacking the dark, pre-gothic undertones of usual. This McQueen sneaker was designed with a modern, chunky platform that’s reminiscent of platform shoes of the ‘70s. Recently, in a time when “the dad shoe” has been wildly successful, consider this the more refined option. If you’re a guy who exudes confidence and isn’t afraid to have people stare, starstruck, this shoe is for you. This shoe looks great with a printed jogger pant or a pair of black crop jeans. If you’re feeling frisky, wear this with a men’s romper or a pair of overalls.
20. Good Man Brand Legend Low Top Sneaker
BEST NEW BRAND
Good Man Brand, co-founded by NFL superstar Russell Wilson, has been around since 2016 and has been making a difference in the world ever since. With every purchase, the brand donates 3% to the Why Not You Foundation, which helps motivate, empower and prepare the youth to be tomorrow’s leaders. Good Man Brand’s Legend Low Top sneaker hails from Tuscany where it’s hand crafted with soft leather, a calfskin lining and full rubber sole. This sneaker is one of the few in its category to use rose gold eyelets, showing their attention to creative detail. Make sure to order these a half size down to get the perfect fit.
21. Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66® Slip-On
BEST VEGAN SNEAKER
Onitsuka Tiger is one of the oldest Japanese running brands, dating back to the 1940’s. The Mexico 66 style was first introduced at the trials for the 1968 Summer Olympics in, where else, Mexico City. This version of the sneaker has the style’s classic jagged rubber sole for added traction while employing a modern slip-on upper for convenience. These shoes are insanely comfortable. You may recognize these as “the cheerleader” sneakers or from the local hardcore music scene in ‘06 but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re still just as comfortable years later. Grab a pair if you’re looking for a great vegan shoe option or a slimmer, streamlined silhouette.