Summer is a season of firsts. There is the first BBQ, the first outdoor concert, the first swim in the ocean where your balls don’t ascend into your stomach. On the style front, there is the first time you step out in a pair of white-on-white sneakers.
There is something ephemeral about white kicks that is tied to the fleeting nature of the season. The quest to keep sneakers bright white is basically a futile endeavor (although advancments in sneaker cleaning tech certainly help), but who cares when they only have to survive a couple of months? Unlike other sneakers in your rotation which may see year-round wear, white sneakers are strictly for summer, so you need to enjoy them (and wear them) while you can. Because before you know it, summer will be over and your footwear will veer towards darker colors.
So step toward the light side of the Force and check out these white sneakers before time runs out.
1. REEBOK X EMPTY CANVAS INSTAPUMP FURY OG
A collaboration with Hong Kong boutique Empty Canvas, these Instapump Fury OGs are blindingly white, which makes the tech surrounding the upper more discreet. There are also glow-in-the-dark details that make the sneakers really pop at night.
2. CONVERSE ALL STAR MODERN HTM
HTM is the nickname for Nike’s creative braintrust of Hiroshi Fujiwara, Tinker Hatfield, and company CEO Mark Parker. This sneaker marks the first time the trio has worked on a non-Nike shoe (the company owns Converse). The All Star Modern is based off a shoe from 1920, but adds modern technology like a knit upper Nike’s Hyperfuse material for a sleek and, yes, modern look.
3. NIKE MAYFLY PRM
The Mayfly was originally a racing sneaker that was only designed to be run in for a finite number of miles. But the sneaker has since been rediscovered as a stylish lifestyle shoe that you can chill in for as long as you like. The breathable mesh upper on this white version makes it ideal for wearing without socks.
4. ADIDAS ORIGINALS NMD RUNNER
Adidas clearly has a hit on its hands with the NMD Runner. It is similar to when the Nike Roshe One first dropped. The NMD Runner is a comfortable and casual sneaker that looks good with just about everything. It has Adidas’s Boost cushioning so there is plenty of spring in your step and the bootie-like construction makes it feel like you’re wearing a cozy pair of socks.
5. VANS SEEING CHECKERS SLIP-ON LITE
Jeff Spicoli made the checkerboard Slip-On famous in 1982’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High but Vans never stopped innovating. The Slip-On Lite is the latest iteration and when you pick it up you understand just how light it is. The checkerboard pattern is still there, but here it’s done in more subtle tonal colors that pair perfectly with the single blue foxing stripe.
6. ADIDAS ORIGINALS GAZELLE
Remember how Adidas got everyone and their cousin to start wearing classic Stan Smiths again? Well, now the brand is preparing to do something similar with the Gazelle. All of the angles on the old school indoor soccer shoe are just right and the pigskin suede has a great texture. The combination of off-white and white on this pair makes maintaining their fresh and clean look a lot easier.
7. COMMON PROJECTS ACHILLES LOW PERFORATED
The perforated Achilles Low is like Best White Sneaker Emeritus. It’s status is secure for years to come. The Achilles Low is the ultimate minimalist sneaker and the perforated leather adds both texture and breathability to the style. So whether you’re in a business suit or a swimsuit, these sneakers will make you look better.
8. NIKE AIR FORCE 1 ULTRA FLYKNIT
It doesn’t get much more O.G. than a pair of white-on-white Air Force 1s. But as iconic as the basketball sneakers are, they have always been on the heavy side. The addition of Nike’s Flyknit technology changes all that. When you hold them in your hands, you expect them to float away. And the patterns on the Flyknit create unique details that the originals lack.
9. DIADORA B.ELITE
In the 90s, Diadora’s roster of athletes included some of the top tennis players in the world and the B.Elite was their sneaker of choice. While you may not want to go five sets in the shoes today, they still look sharp whether you’re at the country club or in the streets.
10. REEBOK CLUB C 85
When this sneaker first came out in the 80s, the hot fitness trend was aerobics. Unlike many of the style trends of the time (e.g. leg warmers) the Club C’s style has endured. It isn’t a complicated shoe because it doesn’t need to be. Sometimes a white upper and a gum bottom is all it takes.
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