The Ultimate Guide to Men’s White Sneakers in 2021: Legends, Trends and Notables

best men's white sneakers
Courtesy of Converse & Everlane
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The best men’s white sneakers serve as blank canvases on which to paint your personal style, whether it leans toward streetwear, smart casual, 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.

Most styles available today 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 or skateboarding. Sports technology has advanced immeasurably, making these shoes less suitable for sports, but the fashion world has adopted them as everyday footwear; some even amassing cult followings behind them.

With so many options out there, we’ve broken down our favorites into a few categories. Of course, these categories will have plenty of crossover — there are sneakers that look both sporty and minimal, and “legendary” is certainly up to interpretation. But hopefully, these categories can help you hone in on the style that you’re looking for. We’ve broken down our favorite white sneakers into “legendary”, “minimalist” “sporty” and “on-trend.”


Legendary White Sneakers

Shoes like the Chuck Taylor, Stan Smith and Air Force 1 all have their own distinct characteristics, and they vary by design and materials. But what they have in common is that they’re timeless icons.


1. Nike Air Force 1 ‘07


The white on white Nike Air Force 1 is a truly legendary 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. Just don’t get them dirty.

best white sneakers - Nike-Air-Force-1-07-Sneaker Image courtesy of Nordstrom


2. Vans Authentic Sneaker


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.

best white sneakers - White Vans Authentic Sneaker Image courtesy of Nordstrom


3. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star


Come on. You know these babies damn well. From the baseball field of The Sandlot to your middle school’s group graduation photo to the current staple to your wardrobe today, Chuck Taylors are the most OG high-top sneakers money can buy. Today, they’re available in any color under the sun, but there’s nothing like the classic pure white high-top sneak that gets cooler and cooler the dirtier it gets. These have the ability to be incorporated into just about any outfit we can think of no matter the weather or season. So, whether you’ve never owned a pair or simply need a new one, we’re just going to leave these here.

White Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Sneaker Courtesy of Converse


4. Adidas Stan Smith


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.

best white sneakers - Adidas Stan Smith Image courtesy of Zappos


5. Superga 2750 COTU Classic Sneaker


Italians are known for their laid-back yet refined sense of style. There’s even an Italian word for it — sprezzatura, which is typically interpreted as “studied carelessness.” The Superga 2750 Cotu are the flagship style from the self-professed “people’s shoe of Italy,” and they embody sprezzatura to a T. They look great fresh out of the box, and will take on a unique character once you beat them up a little. The Cotu sneakers are made from durable cotton canvas and they have natural rubber crepe soles, making them more unique than the average canvas sneaker. Superga has been around since 1911, and it won’t be surprising if they stick around for another hundred years.

white sneakers Superga 2750 COTU Classic Sneaker Image Courtesy of Zappos

Minimalist White Sneakers

The ugly sneaker trend has come (and arguably gone), but minimalist white sneakers are still going strong. These options have minimal branding and sleek silhouettes, and they are the kind of shoes that look sharp enough to wear with a suit.


1. 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.

best white sneakers for men - Beckett SImonon Morgen Trainers Image courtesy of Beckett Simonon


2. Frye Men’s Ludlow Bal Oxford Sneaker


Best known as a boot brand, Frye actually has a surprisingly great rotation of sneakers. Frye uses premium leather to make durable and stylish sneakers that take their cues from classic silhouettes. The Bal Oxford nod to the classic Keds Champion/Vans Authentic silhouette, but with an upgraded construction and stylish details like a gum sole and contrasting brown leather paneling.

best white sneakers Frye Men's Ludlow Bal Oxford Sneaker Image Courtesy of Amazon

3. Common Projects Original Achilles Leather White Sneakers


The granddaddy of the minimal sneaker trend, the Common Projects Achilles is still going strong ever since its introduction in 2004. They’re made in Italy and are notable for their distinctive gold serial numbers on the heel. Overrated? A new classic? That’s for you to decide. But these crisp white shoes are unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon.

Common Projects Original Achilles Leather White Sneakers Image Courtesy of Mr Porter

4. Converse Jack Purcell White Sneaker


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. They have a preppy pedigree, but the minimal styling means they go with pretty much anything. 


best white sneakers - Converse Jack Purcell White Sneaker Image courtesy of Nordstrom


5. Filling Pieces Low Top White Sneaker


Most minimal white leather sneakers take their design cues from the Common Projects Achilles, but the Filling Pieces Low Top has a decidedly more sporty design, while still maintaining a minimal silhouette. The sneakers have a higher tongue and counter, making them a little taller than the average low-top sneaker. The textured “ripple” sole adds a little extra visual appeal, too.

white sneakers Image Courtesy of END

6. Greats Royale White Sneakers


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.

best white sneakers - Greats Royale Image courtesy of Greats


7. Everlane Forever Sneaker


Everlane’s newest sneak, the Forever sneaker, is sort of an eco-friendly take on your classic pair of Vans. These everyday sneakers are made with 50% recycled cotton canvas, a 50% cotton canvas upper and 100% recycled polyester laces to ensure these sneakers are as eco-friendly as can be. They’re super comfortable and meant for wear each and every day of the year. When they’re completely worn out and it’s time to part ways, the Forever sneaker is fully recyclable. If you don’t know how to go about recycling them, Everlane will even help you.

Everlane Forever Sneaker Courtesy of Everlane


Sporty White Sneakers

The design of most sneakers can be traced to a particular sport, whether that’s tennis, basketball or running. But these shoes like the Adidas UltraBoost, Onitsuka Tiger GSM and the Adidas Samba all lean into their sporty heritage.


1. Adidas UltraBoost 20 Running Shoe


You can’t go anywhere in the city without seeing somebody sporting 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.

Adidas UltraBoost 20 Running Shoe Courtesy of Adidas


2. Onitsuka Tiger GSM


Maybe you’re looking for an alternative to the dominance of Nike and Adidas. Consider Onitsuka Tiger, a legendary Japanese brand that’s been in the game since 1949 (it’s been an Asics sub-label since the 70s). These sneakers have elements of tennis and basketball shoes, and the lime green branding makes these stand out more than your average white sneaker. The sneakers are made from leather, with a suede toe overlay.

white sneakers Image Courtesy of Todd Snyder

3. Reebok Classic Leather Legacy


White sneakers are typically seen as simple and safe, but the Reebok Classic Leather Legacy is anything but. A beefy wedge sole and contrasting panels of suede and textile make these an eye-catching addition to your wardrobe. But the retro-running inspiration keeps these sneakers grounded, making them the perfect mix of modern and classic.

white sneakers Image Courtesy of Reebok

4. Nike Blazer Mid ‘77 Vintage


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. They don’t have quite the popularity of some of Nike’s other styles, but that’s far from a mark against them. They’re a low-key staple that’s a great option if you’re looking for leather high-tops.

Nike Blazer Mid '77 Vintage Courtesy of Nike


5. Nike Killshot 2 Sneaker


We’ve passed peak Killshot, but the Nike sneaker is still a worthwhile addition to your sneaker rotation. In fact, that it’s no longer worn by every single dude is the perfect reason to bring it back in style. The Killshot 2 has a classic silhouette, stylish gum sole and sleek leather construction, so it’s never really out of style, anyway.

white sneakers Image Courtesy of Nordstrom

6. Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66® Slip-On


Onitsuka Tiger is one of the oldest Japanese running brands, dating back to the 1940s. 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 shoe option or a slimmer, streamlined silhouette.

best white sneakers for men - Onitsuka Tiger Mexico-66 Slip-On Image courtesy of Zappos


7. Adidas Originals Samba OG


While styles like the Stan Smith, NMD and various Yeezy sneakers have variably had their moments in the sun, the Samba has been content to quietly do its thing. Lately, the Samba has enjoyed a little extra buzz, courtesy of collaborative takes by Jonah Hill and Wales Bonner. But the classic Samba is always a good bet. Its low-profile and pronounced tongue are owed to its origins in soccer, and the suede toe panel and gum sole make it a stylish shoe that doesn’t command too much attention.

white sneakers Image Courtesy of Zappos

On-Trend White Sneakers for Men

Whether it’s a classic shoe like the Vans Old Skool that’s returned to the fore, a high-end designer sneaker like the one from Alexander McQueen, or a shoe that’s emblematic of a particular trend the way the Salomon is to Gorpcore, these shoes are a fashion-forward addition to your wardrobe. But even as trends fade, these sneakers have staying power.


1. Salomon X-ULTRA ADV Running Shoe


You don’t need to look good when running, but, if you can, why not do it? This Salomon X-ULTRA ADV Running Shoe is the perfect way to incorporate your sense of style into your exercise game. The Gorpcore trend shows no signs of slowing down, which is why this sporty shoe works with any modern outfit. It’s incredibly lightweight and breathable so it won’t feel like you’re lugging your feet around all day and even has an extremely durable grip and midsole, so you can run in just about any and all terrain.

Salomon X-ULTRA ADV Running Shoe Courtesy of Urban Outfitters


2. Adidas Supercourt Sneaker


Despite a big push from Adidas, the Supercourt kind of flew under the radar when it was first released. But that’s why it’s the perfect white sneaker to add to your rotation — not everyone has it, and the low-key branding makes it look more expensive than it is. Plus, it’s frequently on sale. The sneaker has a chunky yet minimal silhouette, and it has a look that draws inspiration from tennis as well as basketball.

white sneakers Image Courtesy of Nordstrom Rack

3. Vans Canvas Old Skool


The Vans Canvas Old Skool has been around since the first release in 1977, but unlike the soaring popularity of the Authentic, the Canvas Old Skool seems to trend at certain times. The shape covers more foot than the Authentic and offers more overall support while maintaining a low profile silhouette. It’s a minimalist canvas style that can be worn with pretty much anything.

Vans Canvas Old Skool Courtesy of Vans


4. Golden Goose Deluxe Superstar


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 its 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.

Golden Goose Deluxe Superstar White Sneaker Image courtesy of Bloomingdale's


5. 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 white 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 or a pair of black crop jeans. If you’re feeling frisky, wear this with a men’s romper or a pair of overalls.

best white sneakers for men - Alexander McQueen Oversized Sneaker Image courtesy of Nordstrom


6. Nike Air Max ‘90 White Sneaker


Though many Air Max models exist, the Air Max ‘90 white sneaker 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.

best white sneakers - Nike Air Max 90 Sneaker Image courtesy of Nordstrom


7. Reebok Lifestyle Classic Leather


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 the 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 outfittennis shoes and shorts — for the modern age, these are some of the best white sneakers for the job.

best white sneakers - Reebok Lifestyle Classic Leather Image courtesy of Zappos


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