Much as you love the way dark-colored sneakers hide the grit and grime, white sneakers are 2017’s casual shoe of choice. They even stretch beyond casual to enhance all levels of athleisure footwear and even semi-formal fashion. It’s new ground for these classic rough-and-tumble pieces. For decades, sneakers were relegated to the sidelines on fashion runways and in haute couture collections. In the mid-90s, sports stars like Michael Jordan caused a stir in the footwear industry with custom designs, but even these coveted items were viewed as basketball court attire only. It wasn’t until athletic clothing muscled its way onto the catwalk that sneakers gained a favorable fashion reputation. Streetwear is all the rave now and this year’s line-up of squeaky clean white sneakers are exceptionally cool. Here are the top designs you should be wearing out and wiping down as you vacation this summer.
FOR THE OFF-WHITE FANGIRL
It’s hard to keep your sneakers flawlessly white. For those who want to wear white sneakers but could never keep their shoes appropriately clean, there’s this option from Golden Goode Deluxe. Expertly tailored with just enough distress to edge out the need for pristine perfection, this is the nitty gritty craftsmanship you need to keep up with sneaker fashion and maintain your adventurous spirit.
FOR THE UNICORN FASHIONISTA
This fall, runway fashion dictates you should wear glittery boots in gray and teal. It seems all that ruckus about unicorns has finally trickled down into the footwear world. This is another fun way to work some rainbow power into the white sneakers trend. Celebrate the platform sneaker, multi-colored fashion, and snappy white into one engaging blend of eye-catching casualwear. It doesn’t get much better than this.
FOR THE SUPER ATHLETIC
Sleek and compact, this athletic shoe from Gazelle uses a creamy white base to highlight pure white decorations like side stripes and a leather-backed heel. If you want to get artistic with your white sneakers, this is one way to do it. These are also one of the more functional styles to emerge from 2017’s white sneakers trend. Ironically, athleisure fashion doesn’t always preserve comfort as well as it claims.
FOR THOSE OBSESSED WITH THE 90s
Nike is embracing the 90s renaissance with a vengeance and no one is surprised. The brand’s basketball sneakers in the late 20th-century are still some of the most coveted items among Sneakerheads. This year, they’re reviving some vintage-inspired looks so you can bask in the glory of a classic basketball sneaker. Get ready for some nostalgic footwear.
FOR THE AVANTE-GARDE SNEAKERPHILE
Count on Gucci to take white sneakers and transform them into something worthy of a high-end runway. These trendy new shoes are embellished with glam rock studded embroidery and faux pearl orbs. The spikes seem punky while the color palette and structure is casually athletic. If you like sneakers that incorporate a little bit of everything, here they are!
FOR LOVERS OF THE FUTURE
Toying with the future has always been a passion for niche fashion designers. The folks at Rhita Sport Sneakers decided to take this love of space and futuristic minimalism and translate it into footwear. Brief and simple with an eerie Y-3 take sewn on the side, it feels like a shoe right out of 1984. The only flaw of this sneaker is its pristine color. The whitest of white sneakers, it’s going to take a good wipe down after every outing to keep your Y-3’s looking sharp.
FOR THOSE WHO LOVE THE 80s
Sports sneakers from the 80s are nearly as iconic as basketball shoes from the 90s, but they’re still a worthy look if you like vintage fashion. These white sneakers work in various shades of pastel blue to create a gentle color palette that doesn’t overpower you with glistening white leather. Keep them for the delicate times in your life when your shoes really contribute to your outfit.
Wearing white sneakers can sound intimidating, but with the right pair of shoes, it’s just another footwear trend. Don’t let the color white scare you. Your look is worth a little extra clean-up.
— Julie Grossman