If you were to ask me what pair of shoes everyone needs to own, I'd say, easy–a really great pair of white trainers. For context, I'm not exactly a self-confessed "sneakerhead", but if I look back through the years I've spent collecting shoes, the one constant has always been a pair of white sneakers. From the Adidas Gazelles that I got as a teenager to the Alexander McQueen pair I bought with my first real paycheque, you could say I'm a fan of a clean, white finish.
What I'm trying to say is I don't suddenly love sneakers because they're "in". Trainers have a timeless versatility that transcends trends, earning themselves a top spot in the fashion world. From Phoebe Philo and Alessandro Michele's love of Adidas, to Balenciaga's sellout chunky sneakers, we're now at the point where wearing trainers is as common as wearing heels. And there is nothing smarter than the white trainer.
But, with so many options on the market, how do you find the pair for you? Well, it can be a tricky category to navigate. Every season, there are more and more white sneakers to choose from—whether it's the cool new brand everyone is excited about or another fashion house has released its version of the classic white sneaker, there is always fresh, new inspiration to choose from. Most recently, it's the simple Adidas Samba that has become ubiquitous amongst Instagram stars and fashion editors. Oh, and not forgetting just how popular New Balance has become of late. Personally, I'm still wearing the same Converse high-tops that I've been wearing since I was 17, but it's only proof of their fashionable longevity.
To help you figure out which pair of white trainers is for you, I've scrolled through hundreds of styles on the market, and narrowed the list down to fashion's most coveted brands. So, whether you're looking for classics, vintage styles, chunky soles or high tops, these are the new (and long established) brands on the block if you're looking for a pair of classic white sneakers guaranteed to up your shoe game.
1. NEW BALANCE
Style Notes: Almost overnight fashion girl's everywhere swapped slim, simple silhouettes for New Balance's chunky "dad" trainer. As it turns out, their undeniably retro appeal was the sneaker we needed now, and everyone is rushing to fill their baskets with the chunky 550, the classic 530, and the reissue of the 2002 running shoe.
Style Notes: It's not often that an old trainer reaches such new heights that it is out of stock everywhere, so we didn't see the success of the Samba coming. While we patiently wait for the grey and white colourway to come back into stock in women's sizes, the rest of Adidas' back catalogue is well worth a revisit. Where better place to begin than the Stan Smith, a favourite of Victoria Beckham, Sienna Miller and Zendaya, and one of the easiest pairs to dress up or down.
Style Notes: You simply can't have a white trainers round up without mentioning Nike. As to be expected of one of the world's biggest sneakers and sports brands, Nike has the most varied options of any shoe designer on the market so there's a style to suit everyone. Whether you prefer chunky Air Forces, slick Air Maxes, or something a bit more simple, clean, white Nikes are always guaranteed to earn you some major street cred.
Style Notes: Italian brand Superga has been quietly flying under the radar for a number of years. The chances are you probably walked past a pair in the street today, but their simple look is all about understated, off-duty cool, so these aren't brash sneakers that fight for attention. Minimalists will love their pared back, vintage feel and versatility as these are the perfect trainers to carry a tonal look, or as part of your weekend uniform.
Style Notes: From rockstars to A-listers, the Converse Chuck Taylor has been a certified shoe icon since it's launch as a baseball sneaker in the 1920s, but what gives the All Star its enduring appeal? Perhaps its the flexible fit, affordable price tag, or roster of very famous fans, either way, the classic high-top goes with everything from tailored trousers to mini dresses, so deserves a spot in your wardrobe for its adaptability alone.
Style Notes: When Veja landed in 2005, the new kid on the block came with some impressive sustainable credentials. Unlike its competitors, Veja uses organic cotton and recycled plastic and polyester to create its shoes, making it the perfect choice for the conscious shopper. But it's the brands simple yet fun designs that ultimately made it popular with everyone, and nearly 20 years later, they are international hit with some of fashions best dressed.
Style Notes: Believe me when I say, you don't have to have picked up a skate board to know that Vans sneakers are easily some of the coolest on the market. You always know where you stand with this flat-soled canvas trainer, there are no bells, whistles or unnecessary add ons, just a functional, fashionable, low maintenance shoe perfect for those looking for something to "slip on and go", and frankly, I've never seen a white pair that I didn't like.
8. DESIGNER TRAINERS
Style Notes: Then there are of course, the designer trainers, the accessible way to incorporate a dose of luxury into your everyday wardrobe. Skyscraper platforms and stilettos might look beautiful in the box, but I'm more committed to a shoe that I can wear all day without reaching for the blister plasters, and a premium trainer ticks every box. Current favourites? All of the brands that are dominating the accessories game, think Gucci, Saint Laurent, and Loewe.