As the dark winter clouds part to reveal the warmer weather, it’s all the sartorial cue we need for our annual sneaker switch-up.
Push your black boots to one side and make way for the perennially chic white trainer that has formed the basis of our summer wardrobe for years and years.
This season is no different as we covet the versatility that these neutral shoes provide. An icon of street style, white trainers can be paired as easily with a white tee tucked into a satin midi skirt for the weekend as it can with a summer dress or suit to become office appropriate. Work to the weekend, they give any and every ensemble a clean and classic look whether you prefer that box-fresh aesthetic or the slight-worn, slightly-scuffed appearance.
The ubiquity of white trainers is undeniable with many models from the biggest sportswear labels harking back to the archives of the 80s and 90s. These old school basketball or skateboarding silhouettes are reimagined, bringing archival designs with retro sentiments and heritage vibes in line with the current trends. There are also newer kids to the block putting a sustainable twist on traditional production in order to ensure ethical practices from start to finish on the production line.
These white trainers below are defined by their high-quality construction, universal appeal and their ability to transcend trends so you can wear for years to come – just pop them in the washing machine once they’ve lost their pure white colourway.
New Balance 550
The New Balance 550 has become one of the most coveted shoes of the season. The fashion shoe takes inspiration from an archive basketball style from the label that was first launched in 1989.
Buy now £100.00, New Balance
VEJA Women’s V-10 logo-embroidered leather trainers
French footwear label Veja has become one of the style set’s favourite shoes - so much so that you’ll rarely scroll through street style snaps without spotting a pair or two. Not only do they have a minimalistic and chic design but the brand puts sustainability at the forefront with Fairtrade, socially conscious and plant-friendly practises.
Buy now £140.00, Selfridges
Balenciaga Track sneakers
There was a time when it was impossible to get your hands on a pair of Balenciaga trainers, despite the eye-watering price tag - retailers just couldn’t keep them in stock, they were so popular. The Track sneakers, as the name suggests, take inspiration from performance shoes with elements traditionally found in hiking and running gear.
Buy now £725.00, MyTheresa
Allbirds Women’s Tree Pipers
If not for the impressive sustainability credentials, then perhaps we can entice you to the world of Allbirds through this pared-back shoe. It is crafted from a lightweight and renewable eucalyptus fibre that is extremely breathable, comfortable and machine-washable.
Buy now £100.00, Allbirds
The Row Marie H canvas sneakers
Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s The Row is known and loved by fashion editors for its minimalism - and its sneakers are no different. They are composed of canvas and rubber soles with very little in the way of detailing to ensure that they can be paired with just about any look in your wardrobe from jeans to tailoring to dresses.
Buy now £725.00, Net-A-Porter
Nike Blazer Mid ‘77 Vintage
Another retro inspired design, this Nike shoe harks back to the 70s and has a basketball feel but in an entirely fashion-forward way. The versatility of the Blazers cannot be understated whether you pair with jeans, smart trousers or a skirt. Change up the colour of the Swoosh or the design details to customise the colourway.
Buy now £89.95, Nike
With the wedge bubble sole, Superga’s flatforms add that little bit extra height. The label’s iconic shoes are fun and feminine while the nappa leather upper is easy to wipe clean.
Buy now £85.00, Superga
New Balance 530
This sneaker from New Balance takes its design cues from the brand’s archival running shoes but in line with the current penchant for so uncool it’s cool styling, they have a fashion-ready design with a combination of textures and ultra-wearability. These will make a very good addition to your footwear repertoire.
Buy now £80.00, New Balance
Comme des Garçons Play x Converse Half Heart Chuck 70 High Sneakers
With just the subtle design detail of the signature Comme des Garçons Play heart logo, these Converse will form the basis of your outfit for years to come. They have a canvas construction with rubber soles.
Buy now £130.00, Selfridges
Golden Goose Superstar distressed metallic leather sneakers
Purposely distressed, these are for sneaker savants who prefer their trainers pre-worn to avoid that blinding ‘too new’ look. While they may appear scuffed and smudged, they remain super stylish with an effortless aesthetic. They are crafted white leather with metallic gold heel tabs.
Buy now £370.00, Net-A-Porter
Adidas Continental 80 Shoes
The iconic 80s style is back and better than ever with 19 colourways and counting. The shoes are comprised of a soft leather upper and rubber cupsole for the full retro look.
Buy now £75.00, Adidas
Run Star Hike High Top
Take the classic Chuck canvas hi-tops, add hiking elements and you’ll get the Run Star Hike - the hybrid, chunky shoe that’s the gift that just keeps on giving. They have better grip and offer a much welcomed couple of inches onto your height. The shoe also expertly plays with the often contradicting elements of statement and subtly to be a great all-round shoe.
Buy now £95.00, Converse
Fila Disruptor 2
Originally released in 1996, Fila’s Disruptors are as cult today as they were when they first entered the public consciousness. All-white leather with a razor edge serrated sole, these chunky sneakers have the the brand’s branding debossed on the side and on the tongue. They are also available in gold, turquoise and grey.
Buy now £80.00, Fila
Karhu Fusion 2.0
You may not have heard of Finnish brand Karhu but it counts Kanye West as a fan (who rarely sways from his own Yeezy trainers - if that’s not a testament to the brand – what is?). Named after the Finnish word for bear, Fusion 2.0 are an updated version of the label’s 90s sneaker. So whether you are trekking through the forests in Finland or being papped as the street style star that you are, these shoes will do the trick.
Buy now £125.00, End Clothing
Alexander McQueen Leather Trainers
These Alexander McQueen sneakers feature an extended heel, perforated sides and gold print logo. While versions of these very popular shoes have appeared all over the high street, the originals are a step above the rest. The trim of the heel is available in a range of colours, including red and navy.
Buy now £420.00, MyTheresa
Adidas Forum Low Shoes
One look at the Adidas Forum silhouette and you can spot the retro heritage aesthetic from the original 1984 design - but for the latest iteration of the shoe, it has been given a contemporary update with a new low cut that brings a sleeker, more sophisticated feel that is only enhanced by the narrow toe.
Buy now £80.00, Adidas