can count on one hand all the different styles of shoes I witnessed my dad wearing as I was growing up. Admittedly, while he isn’t quite a maven of menswear, he certainly knows how to dress, but what springs to mind most frequently – other than steel-toed work boots, golf shoes and sandals with socks (no judgment) – is his proclivity for dress shoes no matter the occasion. It was with shock, then, that I recently received a call from him, asking for my advice on which pair of white trainers he should buy this season.
Once relegated to evenings and weekends in favour of loafers, brogues and Oxfords, the white trainer has become a hero item in men’s wardrobes over the last few years, breaking down the barriers of office-appropriate dressing and entering firmly into the smart/casual lexicon of menswear. This has only been accelerated by the pandemic as remote working upended any established notion of at-work attire and ushered in an era of casual as king.
And why not? Comfortable and chic, the white trainer truly does make a perfect finishing touch to almost any outfit. Whether you’re pairing yours with a classic jeans and white tee combo, or dressing down a suit, it’s hard to get it wrong. So with that, why not give it a try? From stand-out styles by sneakerhead heroes like Nike and Adidas to low-key takes by classic cobblers, these are the best white trainers for men this season.
Adidas x Grace Wales Bonner Japan trainers
London-based Newgen designer Grace Wales Bonner has once again partnered with sportswear stalwart Adidas on a capsule that sees archival styles reimagined through a contemporary-retro lens. This artisanal take on the iconic Japan trainer has been elevated with a blanket-stitched brown leather heel counter and tonal suede detailing.
Adidas x Grace Wales Bonner Japan blanket-stitched leather and suede trainers, £140, matchesfashion.com
Burberry check trainers
Burberry has amped up this pair of futuristic chunky leather trainers with soft suede, sunshine yellow monogramming and its instantly recognisable vintage check. Set on an oversized, curved sole, you’ll be putting your best foot forward whenever you step out in these.
Burberry suede, vintage check and leather trainers, £520, burberry.com
Coach Citysole Court sneaker
Coach’s lightweight Citysole Court sneakers are based on classic basketball shoes with shock-absorbing cushioning pods in the sole for maximum flexibility and comfort. Crafted from smooth leather with a grooved sole for extra grip, these stylish court sneakers look just as good as they feel.
Coach Citysole Court sneaker, £175, coach.com
Common Projects Achilles sneakers
Epitomising the notion of stealth minimalism, Common Projects’ pristine Achilles sneakers are the ideal everyday white trainer. Entirely white, save for a gold foil serial number embossed on the side, these simple sneakers really do prove that less is more.
Common Projects Achilles low top leather sneakers, £330, brownsfashion.com
George Cleverley Jack trainers
Marking a welcome departure from the brand’s bread-and-butter smart dress shoes, brogues and loafers, George Cleverley’s leather ‘Jack’ trainers are every part as swish as we expected. Cut from soft white leather, the simple style is ideally understated and will pair just as well with a suit and tie as with jeans and a tee.
George Cleverley leather Jack trainers, £350, mrporter.com
Giuseppe Zanotti Talon trainers
Not quite a hi-top, Giuseppe Zanotti’s chunky mid-top Talon trainers take the trend for stealth simplicity up a notch. Finished in a synthetic leather with the brand’s signature lacquered metal embellishment and tone-on-tone rubber-topped label, these kicks are so much more than meets the eye.
Giuseppe Zanotti Talon trainers, £560, giuseppezanotti.com
Louis Vuitton Show Up trainers
Louis Vuitton’s eye-wateringly-expensive Show Up trainers feature the brand’s hallmark Monogram and Damier patterns across their soft knit uppers. Adorned with the LV insignia and Monogram Flowers, the contrasting chunky-yet-lightweight rubber sole puts a sporty spin on this sleek style. Time to show up and show off.
Louis Vuitton Show Up trainers, £765, louisvuitton.com
New Balance 530 trainers
A favourite of Gen-Zedders and ultra-hip lefties across the capital, New Balance has eschewed its reputation as a tried and true dad brand, ushering in a new era of ugly-chic dressing. These low-top panelled mesh and faux leather 530 trainers may be designed for running, but you’re guaranteed to spot them everywhere from bottomless brunch to the beach club this summer.
New Balance 530 trainers, £120, ssense.com
Nike Air More Uptempo "Rayguns" sneakers
The OG when it comes to cult-favourite sneakers, Nike rarely misses the mark. These retro-inspired Air More Uptempo trainers celebrate the brand’s heritage with their colourful, oversized lettering and branding-heavy design that nails the ongoing trend for logomania.
Nike Air More Uptempo "Rayguns" sneakers, £246, farfetch.com
Veja V-15 CWL sneakers
Over the last few years, B Corp-certified sneaker brand Veja has become as much a part of the London experience as overpriced pints and oat flat whites. Crafted from Amazonian rubber and bovine leather sourced from Uruguay, the brand’s classic V-15 hi-top sneaker is a true staple of inner-city dressing.
Veja V-15 CWL hi-top sneakers, £140, veja-store.com