“Momma always says there’s an awful lot you could tell about a person by their shoes. Where they’re going. Where they’ve been.” — Forrest Gump
I’ve recently noticed that my eyes wander to the shoes of every person I pass. I’m drawn to see what shoes they wear and cannot help but wonder why. Did they get their shoes for comfort, work, fashion? Are they a Walmart-brand or high-end name brand shoe? And, do the shoes work well with what they are wearing?
Normally if I see someone wearing dress shoes, I think they want to look more professional and sophisticated. Or, if someone is wearing heels, I immediately think they regret wearing them because they are uncomfortable and make your feet hurt so much. (I do not know this from experience, I just have many female friends who make these remarks when they wear them.) What really fascinates me is women who wear high heels in the city and walk for miles without their feet bleeding. I wear tennis shoes when I visit the city, and even MY feet are killing me after hours of walking. How do they do it in high heels?! It is just amazing. But, that is beside the point.
Shoes may have the most variety for people to choose from. There are dress shoes, sneakers, casual shoes, heels, boots, sandals, etc. And, they come in MANY colors and sizes. It is quite overwhelming when you think about the options we have to choose from. How can we decide the shoes right for us without buying hundreds of them? Well, three years ago I was lucky enough to find the perfect shoe for me: white sneakers.
There seem to be tons of mixed feelings about white sneakers because people think they look fashionable, but they do not seem practical because they are white and will get noticeably dirty real fast. While this is true, there are ways to counteract the dirt and grim your sneakers pick up. You can take 20 minutes a week and clean and polish them, or you can make a point to avoid situations in which your white sneakers will get dirty (like do not wear them to a day party — also known as a “darty” — or concert, you’re just asking for them to get demolished).
White sneakers make your footwear noticeable from the rest of your outfit because of the intense whiteness that people see when they look down. These sneakers go great with any look, such as an athletic or business casual look. A trend that started about two years ago is men wearing white sneakers with their suits. This makes them look both professional and fashionable, as well as give their outfit a contemporary vibe. This is a controversial trend in the fashion world, believe it or not, but I think if you have a slim-fitting suit and are in the right setting, then why not pull it off? Other people feel suits are meant to make you look professional, and wearing white sneakers prevents this. It’s up for debate.
The two white sneakers I want more than anything are from Common Projects and Maison Margiela. The former is made of Italian leather and the latter of calf-skin, which makes them durable and high-quality. Also, the materials make these sneakers easy to clean and restore to their beautiful, crisp white color. These sneakers are low-tops, so you won’t need to worry about your pants bunching up. Quite the contrary, your pants will either “flood” (when your pants do not reach the top of your shoe, and people can see your ankles or socks) or rest perfectly on the top of your shoe, known as “no break.” I do not own either Common Projects or Maison Margiela sneakers because they are too expensive for me. The former run for ~$415 while the latter cost $475…. Yeah, they are way out of my price range. But, I know many fashion influencers who own both pairs, and they love them because of their quality, comfort, look, and durability. I hope to own them someday, especially the Maison Margiela sneakers. (Donations welcome.)
Cheaper options are Adidas’s Stan Smiths in all white or Oliver Cabell’s Low 1 sneakers. The former are ~$75 while the latter are $175 (or four payments of $45). I own the Adidas’s Stan Smiths, and they have been a staple in my closet for over a year, but I am loving the Under Armor Command Indoor soccer shoes that someone gifted me this summer. They are the perfect mix of athletic and fashion. I have entertained getting Oliver Cabell’s Low 1 sneakers, but I can find slightly used Common Projects or Maison Margiela sneakers on Grailed for $200, so I would rather do that. But, I really do not want to buy someone’s used shoes.
As always, the most budget-friendly options are from fast fashion retailers. H&M and Old Navy make cheap white sneakers that you may buy, but I do not think they will stand the test of time. However, there is some advantage to this. You can purchase them to see if you like wearing white sneakers, and if you do, then go for the better quality ones once these sneakers are worn out. But, if you don’t, no harm, no foul, you only spent $30-40 on them.
While there are literally 100s of shoes to choose from because of style, brand, color, and size, white sneakers from any company are one of the best, most versatile footwear you can own. While they may be hard to keep perfectly white, there are ways to minimize how dirty they get. Moreover, they go well with ANY outfit (even suits, people) and give your look a clean finish. So, what are you waiting for? Get your own pair now and rock the heck out of them!