Your Complete Guide To White Kicks

When we were kids, wearing bright, white sneakers was a point of personal pride — one that required many hours of upkeep and bottles of Kiwi Sport Whitener to maintain. But, somewhere along the way, we lost our patience for the eternal vigilance of wearing white kicks. So, we left 'em to the Nellys and the Key West old-timers of the world.
But, suddenly this spring, white kicks feel as fresh and unpretentiously cool as ever. And, they're everywhere, from the instantly sold-out Nike and A.P.C. collaboration to the new leather Chuck Taylors hitting the streets of hipster enclaves everywhere. So, we rounded up our 20 favorite white-on-whites, from old-school classics to the new fashion-girl sneaker of choice to the mega-fancy designer high-tops popping up in courtside seats everywhere.
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Click on to see what your white sneaks say about you. With all due respect to Nelly, there are no Air Force Ones up ahead — but we might still need two pair...


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The Next-Gen Keds — Cult-favorite Swedish brand Eytys (pronounced "80s," in case you were wondering) brings a much-welcomed update to the classic canvas sneaker. The sole's a little chunkier, without reaching ankle-snapping, Tumblr-teen proportions. And, each pair comes with two sets of laces for your customizing pleasure.

Eytys Mother Canvas Sneaker, $150, available at Eytys.
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The Classics — In middle school, you may have been a social pariah if you dared to wear unbranded, white sneaks — or any white kicks that weren't Air Force Ones, actually. Now, plain Jane feels just right.

Keds Champion Originals Leather, $50, available at Keds.
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The Designer Dunk — Balenciaga's lace-happy Arena sneakers are the official off-duty shoe of NBA players and Kanyes everywhere. This style does away with the signature lacing of the Arenas but adds an unusual basket-weave effect — so it'll still be clear to everyone that you're wearing very, very expensive sneakers.

Balenciaga Monochrome Grid Sneakers, $635, available at Balenciaga.
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The "Too Broke For Balenciaga" Sneaks — So, you want your high-tops throwback-y, aerated, and not priced higher than your couch? Picky, picky. Just kidding — Zara, as usual, has you covered.

Zara Open Work High Top Sneaker, $99.90, available at Zara.
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The Designer Espadrille — Fresh, clean Alex Wang kicks, perfect for padding around your Hamptons time-share — or getting 'em grubby on the streets of Soho.

Alexander Wang Jess High Espadrille Sneakers, $425, available at Shopbop.
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The Normcore — What goes better with a Patagonia fleece and depressing khakis? Puffy, white sneaks so resolutely untrendy, your granddad would probably take a pass on them.

Opening Ceremony OC Sneakers, $300, available at Opening Ceremony.
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The Fashion-Girl Sneaker — The ubiquitous Sky High Dunk is dead — and the Blazer's next in line for the throne. The hip-hop community went through a Blazer obsession a few years back, and now the fashion set is starting to catch on, thanks to a recent (and instantly sold-out) A.P.C. collaboration. The Blazer gets everything right that the Sky High Dunks got wrong — gone are the ankle-puffiness, oddly proportioned heel, and slight prissiness that a good pair of kicks should never have. The sneaker of the summer has arrived...along with the Air Max 90 that suddenly looks cool again, that is.

Nike Blazer Mid Leather Sneaker, $90, available at Nordstrom.
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The "Rich European Tourist" Trainers — So, 2014 marks the tenth year that Italian-based Common Projects has been churning out the world's most aspirational tennis shoes. You'll see this refined, minimalist style (with the telltale ID number) on fancy, sock-less European tourists everywhere this summer. The rest of us will just be wearing Jack Purcells.

Common Projects Tournament Canvas Sneakers, $365, available at Mr. Porter.
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The Old-School Classic — Stan Smiths aren't just a classic. Since 1971, they've provided generations of kids with a wholesome after-school activity: spot-scrubbing your Stans with toothbrushes, then obsessively sponging on Kiwi Sport Whitener. If you can keep these kicks clean in the concrete jungle, you're truly fresh.

Adidas Stan Smith Shoes, $75, available at Adidas.
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The Rock 'N' Roll High School — Granted, Joey, Dee Dee, & Co. rocked black-canvas Chucks and plain, white plimsolls. But, the modern-day Riff Randell would definitely pair these white-leather Taylors with her satin bomber jacket and pigtails.

Converse Chuck Taylor Leather, $70, available at Converse.
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The Grown Punk — Is Vans secretly run by Ian MacKaye? Not only did he make his navy-blue Old Skools look super punk, but we swear the price of these kicks, like MacKaye's concert tickets, hasn't gone up in 15 years. This all-white version is made to get messed up in the (totally nonviolent or oppressive) pit of your choice.

Vans Sk8 Hi Slim, $55, available at Vans.
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The Anti-Spicoli Slip-On — Take the classic Fast Times slip-ons up a notch with a pointy, gleaming metal toe that, FYI, makes this classic burnout move much more dangerous.

Miu Miu Metal-Cap-Toe Skate Shoe, $490, available at Neiman Marcus.
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The "Not So Sure About Sneakers" Sneakers — Still feeling a little bearish on this whole sneaker trend? Try the sneaker that's practically a loafer!

Topshop Katch Slip On Sneakers, $110, available at Topshop.
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The Fashion-Head High-Top — Your typical white high-tops get the Antwerp treatment from Belgian designer Kris Van Assche. Lean proportions with exaggerated details make these kicks the most high-concept (and highest priced) of the bunch.

Kris Van Assche High-Top Sneaker, $615, available at The Corner.
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The Upper-Crust Kicks — Want everyone to know just how clean the floors in your Audi A7 are? Your gleaming, white Tods should tip 'em off.

Tods Leather Slip-Ons, $424.22, available at Selfridges.
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The Too-Cool-For-Pro-Keds Trainers — We first spied these at Fashion Week, when a scrum of street-style photogs nearly knocked us over to shoot these sneaks on a big-name fashion editor. The red-and-blue-stripe logo led us to believe they were Pro-Keds for a hot second — but, of course, they're Saint Laurent, darling. And, even though we're die-hard, old-school sneaker fans, it kind of kills us to admit how perfect these are: Tall and slim though the ankle, they're like the coolest white Chucks money can buy.

Saint Laurent High Top Trainers, $596, available at Matches Fashion.
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The Orange Is The New Black — Don't call these a rip-off — the Payless version puts a minimalist, low-profile spin on Vans' classic slip-ons...for less than our average Seamless order.

City Sneaks Women's Gia Slip-On, $14.99, available at Payless.
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The Italian Futurist Shoe — Leave it to Rick Owens to make a simple shoe into a total head-scratcher. Part Boccioni sculpture, part split-sole dance shoe, part ugly Spice Girl sneaker, it's the most polarizing shoe we've seen since we all decided we like Birkenstocks.

Rick Owens x Adidas Runway Textile Sneaker, $540.87, available at Hervia.
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