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The Greatest White Sneakers

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Our Greats The Royale pick has recently undergone an upgrade. Called The Royale 2.0 (men’s, women’s), the new version offers some subtle aesthetic differences as well as better fit and comfort, according to brand claims. We will test this update and will share our review here on this guide.vente birkenstock carrefour France converse star player cuir France gilet merinos uniqlo France pull laine mohair France pull laine et coton France gilet merinos uniqlo France pull laine mohair France tong papillio gizeh France pull laine mohair France sweat laine merinos France converse star player cuir France tong papillio gizeh France mules arizona en nubuck kaki birkenstock France pull laine mohair France mules arizona en nubuck kaki birkenstock France

January 2024 A pair of crisp white sneakers can add instant style and vibrancy to any ensemble, from streetwear to evening wear. We researched 79 pairs and tried 22 of them – using our panel of four testers as guides – before selecting four great options that provided both comfort and style: classic canvas low-tops; full-grain leather pair that requires more time to break-in; celebrated streetwear sneakers beloved for decades; and an understated canvas workhorse. All are equally suitable for women’s (or unisex).

White Sneakers
White Sneakers

How We Selected

Enduring Style We were searching for low-top sneakers that would stand the test of time while meeting a variety of tastes and requirements.

Comfort

Our goal was to find shoes that would provide both fit and feel. Additionally, an easy break-in period (or no break-in period at all) would have been ideal.

High Quality

Our focus was on details like uniform stitching and seamless overlays, plus any unique design touches.

Available Now

The shoes we recommend are all timeless models available through major retailers in both women’s and unisex sizing options.

Are You Searching for something else?

Wirecutter has released its list of 2022’s Most Popular Clothing and Accessory Picks.

Wirecutter’s Top Clothing Picks of 2023

Style Research’s Top Leggings and Shoe Rack Picks can be seen here, while Converse Chuck Taylor All Star (low-top) sneakers are a classic canvas low-top shoe to consider for your shoe rack.

Clean and elevated all leather sneaker: Greats The Royale

Nike Air Force 1 ’07 Low Top is an iconic streetwear staple.

Superga’s 2750 Cotu Classic Sneakers offer simple canvas workhorse functionality at an economical price point.

Why you can trust us

How we researched and tested competitors Footnotes
Sources
A classic canvas low-top example would be Converse Chuck Taylor All Star (low-top).

Our pick for low-top unisex Converse Chuck Taylor All Star shoes.

Legendary low-top sneakers — known by their nickname of legendary low-tops–go with any outfit and are equally cool when brand new or well worn-in. Plus, they’re reasonably priced and easy to locate!

Spend $60 at Converse to receive it.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star (low-top) sneakers offer an effortless casual style, and everyone from Michelle Obama to supermodel Gigi Hadid have been seen sporting these canvas kicks. Not only are they durable enough for years of use but they come in more sizes and colors than almost every shoe we tested! For $60 from Urban Outfitters.

Chuck Taylors can pair perfectly with any ensemble–midi dresses, shorts or full suits are all perfect partners; or channel their skater heritage and pair these shoes with ripped jeans and an oversized sweater.

Chuck Taylor low-tops have become iconic. These timeless shoes boast long, rounded silhouettes with rubber soles and toe caps for durability, along with bright white uppers featuring distinctive red and blue piping (for those seeking monochrome options there’s also the all-white pair available). Their iconic shape makes these footwear immediately identifiable while remaining pleasing to the eye, placing these shoes firmly into “can’t go wrong” territory.

Chuck Taylors are an exceptional value. At around $60 each, they’re significantly less expensive than other sneakers we tested, and can last you from one year to nearly 10 depending on how often you wear them – one Wirecutter staffer in New York City wears his frequently and replaces it about annually; senior editor Jennifer Hunter from Los Angeles experienced wear-and-tear that didn’t cause its rubber sole to peel until year seven with light wear.

Lightweight sneaker styles from Nine.2 Ounce per Shoe may not provide much cushioning, and their insoles tend to be on the thin side with no real support provided; thus they might not be optimal choices for spending an entire day on your feet. But according to orthopedic surgeon Lance Silverman from Silverman Ankle & Foot in Edina Minnesota suggests thinner soled and less supportive shoes may actually encourage your foot to do what its designed to while walking and keep muscles toned and toned (of course, always consult with a medical provider if any health issues arise).

Not dealbreakers

Figuring out your first pair of Chuck Taylors may prove challenging – due to their narrow toebox, the shoe should be longer than usual and Converse suggests buying half size smaller than your usual size.

Chuck Taylors can make your feet appear longer than they really are.

Wirecutter staffers have noted that their white Chuck Taylors become dirty very quickly (though some consider the look better when their soles become slightly worn-looking).

Shoe Sizes for Men/Unisex 2 to 18; for women 4-20

Sizing Advice: Runs half size large

Color Options: Over a Dozen Colors and Create Your Own Designs

Return window of 30 days on all leather sneakers such as Greats Royale.

Our Pick: Royale (men’s). A sleek all-leather sneaker that will help elevate any ensemble.

This sneaker, made of full-grain leather with an elegant, subtle shine, exudes elegance. Unfortunately, however, its stiff construction may prove challenging to break in; furthermore, at 1 pound per shoe it may prove too heavy for some wearers.

Greats The Royale Women’s Shoe for just $180.00 from Greats.

Elegant all-leather sneaker for women.

This full-grain leather sneaker with its subtle sheen gives the wearer an elevated and refined appearance, but may be difficult to break in and weighs one full pound per shoe; therefore it may not suit everyone.

Note that Greats has recently announced they are discontinuing the original The Royale sneaker model as of January 2024 and introducing The Royale 2.0 (men’s, women’s). According to Greats, The Royale 2.0 offers some aesthetic differences as well as improved fit and comfort compared to its predecessor; we will test these shoes ourselves and will share our review here in this guide.

Greats’s The Royale (men’s and women’s versions) is an attractive yet durable pair of full-grain leather sneakers from Greats that’s versatile yet refined, providing comfort once the initial break-in period (painful as it may be!) has passed.

These gorgeous shoes make an impressionful statement when worn with casual wear; yet, they remain appropriate even for more formal events, such as with slacks, wide-legged pants or flowy dresses.

Royale sneakers are stylishly understated. Our panelists described them as classy and really nice; some testers appreciated the subtle contrast tan interior for added color in an otherwise white palette; however, others weren’t fans.

Breaking in these thick leather shoes may take some time. They require time for them to conform to your feet; when first tried on, they may feel awkward at first; eventually though they will become more comfortable over time. To ease into them slowly and prevent blisters forming it is best to wear them for just a couple of hours at a time–don’t forget socks.

Royale is also the heaviest shoe we tested here at 1 pound per shoe; even our more substantial-looking pick, Nike Air Force 1, weighs only 13.8 ounces per shoe.)

These were the only sneakers we tested that differed significantly between men’s and women’s sizing recommendations: Men’s shoes run one half size larger, while women’s run half a size smaller than average; otherwise these are identical models.

These Royale sneakers may be our most costly pick, but we believe their high-quality construction should last through many years of regular wear. Although the Royales are the priciest option among our selection, we believe their affordable pricing makes them a smart investment compared to similar full-grain leather sneakers that often run into hundreds of dollars (such as Common Projects Original Achilles Sneakers which cost more than double). We think of the Royales as being worth their cost; with high-grade materials used and construction that should withstand regular wear-on and tear over time.

Shoes made of full-grain leather require some TLC; as a result, they’re susceptible to developing creases. Alan Vinogradov, co-founder of traveling sneaker convention Sneaker Con, recommended that we size down for creasing reduction because your foot bends less in a smaller shoe. As this may not always be feasible or suitable, keeping shoes super clean may also help minimize creasing appearance.

Not necessarily dealbreakers

Royale sneakers can be stiff out of the box. While that’s typical of full-grain leather products, their break-in period can be particularly taxing.

Some panelists were dismayed at these shoes’ tan interior, while others found it pleasing.

Men’s shoe sizes: 7-15; women’s: 6-10

Sizing advice: Men’s sizes run a half size large while women’s run half sizes small.

Color Options Available: White and Black Limited Editions.

Return period: 30 days A classic streetwear staple: Nike Air Force 1 ’07 Low Top

Our pick: Nike Air Force 1 (low-top, unisex/men’s).

Hardtop haute

This classic sneaker has long been a go-to sneaker both on the court and out and about in public. Though bulkier and heavier than many alternatives, its chunky leather design remains both comfortable and eye-catching as a statement piece.

Nike Air Force 1 Low (women’s) shoes cost $110.

Hardtop Haute This classic sneaker has long been worn on and off the court. Though chunkier and heavier than many, its comfort makes it an attractive statement piece.

Nike Air Force 1 Low-Top Sneakers retail for around $110 each and boast a unique, chunky profile and ultra-bright leather construction, making them the must-have white sneaker of choice for sneakerheads everywhere. Just ask any sneakerhead what they consider the best white sneakers are and they are likely to name the Air Force 1 Low-tops from both men’s and women’s lines as an example of best white shoes. They command attention without overstaying their welcome with its bold looks – although some might find its thick profile too robust; once put on, chances are, you will understand their decades-long appeal.

Pair your Nike AF1s with a white T-shirt, dark jeans or joggers in dark tones and Nike socks (Tip: it is best not to mix athletic brands).

They’ve earned themselves an excellent reputation. The Nike Air Force 1 was created for basketball court use; first introduced as a high-top version in 1982, its popularity quickly spread among NBA superstars such as Moses Malone of Philadelphia 76ers.1. Soon thereafter, Nike introduced a low-top version and has seen continued success ever since.

Nike nearly discontinued all AF1s in 1984; however, sneaker enthusiasts in inner cities demanded they bring back this shoe.

Since its original debut, the Air Force 1 has seen numerous collaborations and variations while remaining true to its roots. “The white-on-white Air Force 1 is without question the greatest shoe ever created,” according to Alan Vinogradov of Sneaker Con.

These shoes are big and bold. At first, our panelists–none of whom were diehard Nike fans–struggled with the bold style, including stocky soles, thick toe box, and an eye-catching swoosh. But in time they became fans. One tester declared them his favorites: “A little thick, loud but I love them” as another said they “stand out, in a good way”.

Nike also offers the Air Force 1 in a high-top version dubbed the Nike Air Force 1 High ’07.

Cuddly on the inside, sliding into AF1s is easy thanks to its firm-but-not-too-stiff padded interior and hands-free fit; no forcing required! We like that these shoes provide enough structure so they can be put on without force and leaving creases behind.

Although initially somewhat stiff, our Air Force 1 shoe does not require as long to break-in than Greats’ The Royale full grain leather sneaker.

The Air Force 1 stands out in our tests with its cushioned insole that made walking feel as though we were floating through air (no pun intended!). Furthermore, its generous foam insoles provide extra support on days when feet need an extra bit of TLC.

These kicks feature a low-cut foot collar with padding to hug ankles for added support; however, some testers found this stiff collar too restrictive (one tester commented they wouldn’t wear these while walking through an amusement park all day.).

Our panelists were skeptical that, at 13.8 ounces each, these sneakers would be too heavy and slip off their feet; but the collars kept them secure without rubbing against their heels like many of the other models we tested.

Air Force 1 shoes have a sturdy structure, making them likely to outlive even their most wearers if properly maintained over time. One Wirecutter staffer confirmed this claim: “They have held up well over time.”

However, these flaws should not be dealbreakers.

The Nike Air Force 1’s chunky style may not suit everyone.

Not all members of our panel enjoyed this shoe’s more structured collar.

Access can sometimes be an issue; we had to wait for a restock to test these shoes for this guide. But if it has sold out in your size, try switching from women’s to men’s (or vice versa), as many styles are unisex in design.

Shoe sizes available: unisex/men’s 5-18; women’s 6 1/2 to 19 1/2 (also wide width options are available).

Sizing advice: stick with your regular size

Color options available for selection: white, black and various other hues; various combinations and collaborations to help create your unique design; use our design templates or create your own!

Return window of 60 days; This workhorse in canvas: Superga 2750 Cotu Classic Sneakers is ideal for everyday use.

Our selection of Superga 2750 Cotu Classic Sneakers.

Versatile and sleek

With subtly textured canvas uppers and an understated shape, these shoes make a versatile statement piece that complements many outfits. Additionally, with its rounded, shorter toe box they make feet appear more petite than some other canvas sneakers do.

Amazon and Zappos both offer gift certificates of $50 or $70 respectively.
Superga 2750 Cotu Classic Sneakers offer both style and comfort for just $70 from Superga, making these canvas sneakers ideal for everything from running errands to attending art gallery openings. One tester raved: “These sneakers are cute yet practical, universally appealing, sporty yet attractive; regardless of what outfit is being worn!”

These Superga shoes pair nicely with silk midi skirts or maxi dresses, light linen trousers, straight-leg jeans or preppy casual attire including light cotton fabrics in pastel colors with intricate patterns.

Superga shoes are highly versatile. In comparison to our other canvas choice, the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star low-tops, they feel more delicate and subdued; sans rubber toe caps and colorful piping they can coordinate easily with multiple outfits.

Panelists were particularly fond of the shoes’ textured canvas uppers, which add a splash of personality and make them stand out among a sea of plain white sneakers. Unfortunately, though, their nubby texture makes these harder to clean than smooth canvas designs.

“These shoes are more comfortable than you might imagine; their canvas uppers are pliable, requiring no break-in time, and our testers found them comfortable despite their relatively thin soles,” according to Alex Vaughn of Wirecutter’s reader growth team. He noted they do not cause issues with rubbing, blisters or discomfort when worn for extended periods. “I love these shoes!” he declared “I wouldn’t necessarily pick them specifically for days with lots and lots of walking; however when worn over very long days I have experienced no such problems resulting in discomfort from any of these models. I love these shoes!” remarked Alex Vaughn in his review: “I love these shoes,” and noted this particular product manager of Wirecutter Reader Growth Team: “I love these shoes”.

They’re flattering. These shoes feature clean lines and long, subtle seaming that shape around the foot in an appealing manner, making it appear smaller. Some panelists who weren’t fans of Converse Chuck Taylor All Star low-tops preferred shorter Superga styles that made their feet appear more petite; indeed a size EU 39 1/2 (US women’s 8 1/2) Superga 2750 Cotu sneaker measures nearly half an inch shorter than an equivalent US women’s 8 Chuck Taylor low-top style sneaker.

Superga offers exceptional value for the dollar; their sneakers feature fine stitching and metal eyelets that keep their shape. A pair should last approximately one to two years of regular wear (Superga recommends cleaning them according to specific instructions in the washing machine); Cory Hartmann of The New York Times states he replaces his pair annually once its treads become worn-through.

Flaws that do not negate their significance.

Superga 2750 Cotu sneakers feature crepe soles that can become extremely slippery when wet, making these shoes potentially hazardous in inclement weather conditions.

At an estimated weight of 12.8 ounces per shoe (compared with 9.2-ounce Converse Chuck Taylor low-tops), these sneakers may carry more weight than many people prefer.

Shoe Sizes for Unisex Shoes in Europe Range from 35 1/2 to 50 (roughly equivalent to US Mens sizes 4-13 1/2).

Sizing advice: Stay true to size

Color Options: Over 70 Color Options Available including white, gray, sage green and pink

Return Period: 30 Days

We Trust Us

n order to gain insight into sneaker culture, I spoke with Alan Vinogradov – co-founder of Sneaker Con and Gabby Rosenthal, host/producer of The Kicks N’ Shit Show podcast respectively – both experts on sneaker culture.

La Carmina, an alternative fashion blogger who specializes in subculture styles, provided me with insight on unique ways to style white sneakers, while Dr. Lance M. Silverman of Silverman Ankle & Foot spoke about shoe comfort and fit.

How we picked and tested

In search of the perfect pair of white sneaker, I combed through forums, social feeds, blogs, customer reviews and sneaker podcasts to locate my selections. Focusing specifically on low-tops I researched 79 pairs across men’s, women’s and unisex sizes made from materials ranging from recycled plastic bottles to leather – an exhaustive process!

As I reviewed shoes, I considered aesthetics, size ranges, availability, third-party reviews, price, and color options other than white (which we didn’t require but found nice to have). We whittled our selection down to 22 pairs.

As part of my initial testing process, I ordered shoes in my regular size (women’s 8 1/2 or men’s/unisex 7) or as per manufacturer guidelines and wore each pair for several hours to assess quality, fit, comfort and overall quality before discarding any that did not meet these criteria – including any that fit poorly, were uncomfortable, had sloppy stitching or appeared visibly damaged – leaving only eight pairs remaining for further consideration.

Three people accustomed to wearing women’s size 8, men’s 11, and 13 shoes assessed the finalists and set out on an objective: finding sneakers that feel great from the moment you put them on.

Our testers wore each pair of white kicks for one day, grading their fit, comfort, and overall performance. While one day might seem insufficient to truly assess a pair of sneakers, it should provide plenty of time for decision makers to determine whether to keep or return a pair of kicks.

Wherever possible in this guide, we have also sought the feedback of Wirecutter staffers and testers who have worn these choices for extended periods.

Bensimon Lace-Up Tennis Shoes were thin and uncomfortable, with flexible soles causing us concern for rapid wear-and-tear.

Though we were less than enthusiastic with their appearance, Converse Chuck 70 Vintage Canvas sneakers did provide more support than our traditional Chuck Taylor All Star pick if that was what you desired. If this doesn’t bother you but padding is something you want more of then they could be worth looking into further.

Everlane’s The Forever Sneaker disappointed us, due to its subpar canvas quality and tight toe box.

Keds Women’s Champion Originals Sneaker and Vans Canvas Old Skool had soles that were too snug, leading to testers having their feet hang off the sides and stretching out canvas material.

Vans Slip-On Shoe was too tight and scratchy.

Adidas Stan Smith Shoes are popular among sneakerheads, yet none of our testers could find a comfortable fit or wear them for more than 24 hours without discomfort or irritation to their feet despite wearing socks. Their tightness around bridges and arches made them hard to navigate on occasion while the long tongues and rough leather interiors made for uncomfortable experiences even with socks on.

Adidas Superstar Shoes were uncomfortably tight, even after trying them on in larger sizes.

Though reasonably priced, the Italic Cadence Leather Sneakers had uneven stitching and a bulky collar; these made breaking them in difficult. So did their more costly counterparts such as Koio Capri Triple White.

Our testers found the uppers and heels of Nike Killshot 2 Leather sneakers uncomfortably thick, while also disliking its suede accents.

These faux-leather Adidas ZX 2K Boost Shoes were too gym-inspired for us and had scratchy tongues that caused irritation.

Veja V-10 sneakers were unfortunate in that their vegan-leather tongues didn’t feature burnished edges, causing discomfort for wearers.

This article was edited by Ingela Ratledge Amundson and Jennifer Hunter.

Footnotes Michael Jordan became one of Nike’s biggest ambassadors when he signed onto their team in 1984 and introduced his signature sneaker, Air Jordans, which helped bolster their image even further.

Jump back.sources La Carmina, Fashion Blogger (email interview on October 26, 2020)

Gabby Rosenthal, co-host and producer for The Kicks N’ Shit Show (October 29 & 30, 2020) participated in a phone interview.

Lance M. Silverman, MD, FAAOS of Silverman Ankle & Foot was available for a telephone interview on October 29, 2020.

Alan Vinogradov, co-founder of Sneaker Con and phone interview on November 5, 2020.

Meet Your Guide(s)

Kaitlyn Wells, a Senior Staff Writer for Wirecutter and previously covering pets and style for Wirecutter. Previously she covered productivity apps; though never having met one she didn’t like. Kaitlyn wrote her debut picture book called A Family Looks Like Love about how love makes a family instead of appearance alone.

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