White sneakers are essential for any sneakerhead, offering maximum versatility and opportunities both to stand out and let other statement pieces in your fit shine. Brighter and cleaner than their monochrome counterparts, their vast styling potential has meant that sportswear and fashion brands alike continue to drop new incarnations all year round.
White sneakers do come with a lot more maintenance – but there’s something oddly satisfying about a pair of box-fresh footwear and sometimes keeping them clean can be all part of the fun.
Nailing the perfect white sneaker is no easy task and ironically, we’ve seen some of the best footwear whilst spending the majority of our year indoors. Nevertheless we have curated a selection – from the classics to new releases – of the best white kicks that should be in everyone’s wardrobe.
1: Nike x Stussy Air Zoom Spiridon Cage 2
A limited collaboration between Stüssy and Nike, the Nike Air Zoom Spiridon Cage 2 is arguably one of the most highly sought after collaborations of 2020. Launching as part of a larger footwear collection with the pioneering streetwear brand, the retro Nike runner offers its own take with a simple two-tone colour scheme.
After originally debuting in 2003, this design received a refresh with the help of lifestyle label Stussy and consists of a mesh upper with woven textile overlays alongside Nike’s signature black swoosh motif. Dual branding comes on the form of oval-shaped Stüssy badges on the tongues and heels, printed insoles and branded touches on the outsoles
Crafted in an understated tan hue, the summer staple makes clear references of the high-performance heritage of the Nike Running style. Completing the silhouette is a matching Phylite midsole featuring a caged Zoom Air unit in the heel and sole.
PHOTO CREDIT: @sallysneakers, @scottddonovan, @asap_r1cky, @ryann_graham, @dustin050, @chouchane.b, @70s.vouge, @soy_raka, @izzyright
2: Balenciaga Track 2
Balenciaga‘s footwear designs are about as impactful as fashionable footwear gets, with the Triple S and Track Trainer acting as pioneers of the chunky designs that each inspired a wave of imitators.
The Parisian powerhouses’ ‘Track 2’ sneaker display a construction-focused appreciation for the chunky sneaker trend – the intricately crafted trainer carries over the original’s complex, layered upper and is made from 176 separate leather and mesh panels. Faux-distressed portions are arranged to create a more breathable structure, while a dual-density EVA sole provides a lightweight and comfortable feel.
Elsewhere, thick rope laces, ‘TRACK 2’ detailing at the tongue and ‘BALENCIAGA’ branding create further visual interest. Like its predecessor, the Track 2 uses an outsole design inspired by running sneaker shapes.
Since its launch further offerings include boisterous hues with florescent highlights, an ‘acid lime’ colourway and an understated, subtle sand release that incorporates sections of black and grey.
PHOTO CREDIT: @reeceawalker, @jackkthelad, @the.simons, @_jjang.e, @w33db0ss, @@stephanegerald2
3: Eytys Halo Suede
Released last year, Swedish brand Eytys showcases its ultra-chunky Halo sneaker in a ‘grey/beige’ colourway.
Notorious for their distinctive chunky-soled designs, the low-top kick features tonal shades of beige, grey, and white across its uppers and large jagged outsole. Inspired by the likes of Balenciaga, hiking sneakers and ’90s indoor trainers the Halo sneaker is fixated on premium fabrications and considered detailing.
Constructed from nylon mesh and suede, prominent features from the silhouette include a reflective material worked into the arrow-like panels and 2.5-inch platform tread. Further details include a purple heel loop, a silver logo plaque and cork insole.
PHOTO CREDIT: @curlyfrysfeed, @jack.designs, @oh_anthonio
4: Nike x Sacai LDWaffle
Following its debut in 2019, the collaboration with Japanese high-fashion label Sacai fuses two iconic Nike shoes for a hybrid, double-themed design. First spotted on the runways of Paris Fashion Week, the second release from Chitose Abe incorporates Nike LDV and Waffle Racer and uses double tongues, shoelaces and swooshes with a co-branded Nike x Sacai logo on the heel tab.
Opting for a nylon and suede construction, there are a few things on the Nike LDWaffle White that set this apart from the other colourways. The new design focuses on a newly revamped white doubled sole, emphasizing the legendary Japanese design’s androgynous aesthetic. Arriving in a pristine white and grey palette, hybrid is a clean and subtle look for the unique silhouette and now retail three times more than their original selling price.
PHOTO CREDIT: @alanrvy, @reganwalker_, @out_of_office, @takumaru_87, @blvckd0pe, @le_monsieur_andre
5: Nike Air Force 1
In the world of sneakers, few styles last. The ones that do are the true classics—the trends that graduate to staples. They’re consistently worn by both footwear enthusiasts and the general public. One rare example of such sneakers that cross over into both worlds is the Nike Air Force 1 in its most popular, iconic style: low-cut, in all-white.
The Nike Air Force 1, which debuted in the early ’80s and has since served as a canvas for artists and designers, today is one of the bestselling shoes of all time. A decade ago, sporting-goods analyst Matt Powell told the New York Times that the shoe sold an estimated 12 million pairs in 2005 alone, more than two decades after its debut; the sneaker is still Nike’s second bestseller a decade later, according to Powell. A history rich with hyped-up collaborations and limited-run collectables, the AF1 a covetable denotes a level of prestige far from its humble beginnings in 1982.
Tracing the evolution of the sneaker is enough to fill a book, however, the Air Force 1 is still as distinctive as it was in its original day. Marked by a clean white upper base made of leather. Perforated leather is used on the toe box, allowing for the wearer’s feet to breathe. Smaller details on the uppers include a metal AF1 shoelace plate, Nike Air on the heel and a tongue tag. The midsole is also set in white and has Air imprinted near the back. Finishing off this white on white design is a white outsole.
PHOTO CREDIT: @ddesms, @stefneyv, @tarylboothe. @margielaboi, @ckmhd, @glenny.white, @colekbuxton, @bloodyosiris, @pierre.laurent