How to Shop for the Perfect Plain White Sneaker

·4 min read

Picking out the perfect pair of white sneakers takes some strategy—like most fashion staples, there is an overwhelming number of trendy riffs on the style. Who can forget the time when Stan Smiths peeked out from underneath every street style star’s trousers, and you couldn’t walk around New York without seeing both tourists and city dwellers in a pair? Then, shortly after, the chunky “dad” sneakers had their moment, beloved by fashion girls (and guys!) from Scandi style darlings to hypebeasts. Trends aside, however, the minimal plain white sneaker continues to earn its spot as a forever stylish stalwart in our wardrobes, now more so than ever.

When shopping for wardrobe essentials like a white sneaker, it’s less about trend-forward or must-have seasonal items; it’s about focusing on foundational, minimal, and reliable pieces that take us back to the basics. Think things paired back in style, neutral in color, and timeless in silhouette—items that make up a go-to uniform.

And yet, those simple white kicks come in a vast assortment of options, from price point to quality, to material—and let’s not forget about style. How’s one to choose? From classic tennis sneakers to canvas low-tops to retro-inspired styles, we’ve broken down all the options to shop straight from the comfort of your own home. Considering everything from silhouette to budget, here you’ll find the best white sneakers to match your personal style and, hopefully, you’ll love and wear them for years to come.

Here, Vogue’s ultimate guide to shopping the plain white sneaker, with 32 minimal—but mighty—options below.

Classic Leather Trainers

The plainest of sneakers, the simple leather tennis shoe will always be in style.

Koio Capri triple white

$248.00, KOIO

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Stuart Weitzman Livvy convertible

$250.00, STUART WEITZMAN

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M.Gemi the Palestra Due sneakers

$228.00, M.GEMI

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Essentials white tennis court low sneakers

$295.00, SSENSE

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<h1 class="title">SETTING SAILModel Shauna Brennan lets her whirlwind fashion flag fly in a Polo Ralph Lauren eyelet dress ($598) and sneakers; ralphlauren.com.</h1><cite class="credit">Photographed by Jackie Nickerson, <em>Vogue</em>, March 2021</cite>

SETTING SAILModel Shauna Brennan lets her whirlwind fashion flag fly in a Polo Ralph Lauren eyelet dress ($598) and sneakers; ralphlauren.com.

Photographed by Jackie Nickerson, Vogue, March 2021

Canvas Low Tops

For those who seek comfort and don’t need structure, a washed canvas ’70s-inspired skate shoe feels as modern as ever.

Re/Done 70s low-top skate

$265.00, RE/DONE

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Everlane the Forever sneakers

$65.00, EVERLANE

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Superga women's 2630 Cotu sneakers

$75.00, AMAZON

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Polo Ralph Lauren Bryn canvas sneakers

$98.00, RALPH LAUREN

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Hook & Loop

Velcro strap sneakers have been around since the ’60s, and these contemporary iterations keep the “no laces look” alive and kicking.

Veja 3-lock sneakers

$130.00, ZAPPOS

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Gola women's sneakers

$65.00, AMAZON

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Vince women's Blair velcro sneakers

$175.00, AMAZON

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Common Projects Achilles leather sneakers

$480.00, NET-A-PORTER

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<h1 class="title">LINE ITEMThe graphic print and considered silhouette of an Alexander McQueen knit dress ($1,970; alexandermcqueen.com), anchored with a charming pair of Coach tennis shoes, present an altogether elevated approach to daywear.</h1><cite class="credit">Photographed by Jody Rogac, <em>Vogue</em>, January 2021</cite>

LINE ITEMThe graphic print and considered silhouette of an Alexander McQueen knit dress ($1,970; alexandermcqueen.com), anchored with a charming pair of Coach tennis shoes, present an altogether elevated approach to daywear.

Photographed by Jody Rogac, Vogue, January 2021

Got Sole

Can’t commit to all white? Try a pair of white sneakers with contrasting gum soles instead for a colorful update to the classic.

Jack Erwin Holly tournament sneakers

$165.00, JACK ERWIN

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Greats the Royale sneakers

$179.00, GREATS

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Bottega Veneta quilt sneakers

$850.00, BOTTEGA VENETA

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Isabel Marant Bryce logo sneakers

$385.00, NORDSTROM

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<cite class="credit">Photographed by Paul Wetherell, <em>Vogue</em>, October 2018</cite>
Photographed by Paul Wetherell, Vogue, October 2018

Slip Ons

A simple, no-fuss silhouette that pairs perfectly with a summer attitude.

Saint Laurent Venice slip-on sneakers

$475.00, FARFETCH

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Pierre Hardy leather laceless slip-on sneakers

$495.00, BERGDORF GOODMAN

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Alexandre Birman Clarita bow-embellished leather slip-on sneakers

$425.00, NET-A-PORTER

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Acne Studios classic slip-on sneakers

$280.00, SHOPBOP

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Everyday Platforms

If you prefer an extra inch, but don’t want to cross the line of being too trendy.

Good News women's Opal sneakers

$150.00, AMAZON

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Alexander McQueen Deck lace-up Plimsoll

$520.00, ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

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Prada logo leather platform sneakers

$850.00, SAKS FIFTH AVENUE

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Rag & Bone Army leather sneakers

$250.00, AMAZON

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Retro Runners

Sporty but classic (they are sneakers, after all), these iconic styles will always be the right choice.

Nike Daybreak sneakers

$90.00, NORDSTROM

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Loewe suede and leather sneakers

$590.00, NET-A-PORTER

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Onitsuka Tiger unisex Mexico 66 shoes

$120.00, AMAZON

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Reebok women's classic leather sneakers

$75.00, AMAZON

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Up Top

For a statement-making stomp, consider a pair of women’s high-top sneakers.

R13 women's high-top sneakers

$495.00, AMAZON

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Converse white Chuck 70 high sneakers

$85.00, SSENSE

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JW Anderson panelled high-top sneakers

$395.00, FARFETCH

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Chloé Lauren scalloped leather high-top sneakers

$575.00, NET-A-PORTER

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Originally Appeared on Vogue