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The 6 Best White Sneakers for Grown-ass Women

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Sharing the 6 best white sneakers for grown women as reviewed by Alison Gary for Wardrobe Oxygen

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've seen that the hottest footwear for women over the past decade is a pair of white sneakers. However, the brand, style, and details of these white sneakers or tennis shoes keep changing. As grown women, we're often looking for the best bang for our buck, and that would be a white sneaker that feels good, looks good, and transcends the trends. A cool classic, and below I share what I think are cool classics: the 6 best white sneakers for grown women.

The 6 Best White Sneakers for Grown Women

These are not sneakers for marathons or Crossfit. They are not the best for arch support or fussy feet. These are casual sneakers and tennis shoes to wear with your wide-leg pants, your ankle jeans, your midi-length skirts, your floral sundresses, and your cut-off denim shorts. These are the sneakers you keep white and fresh because they are function as well as fashion, and if you treat them well you likely can get several years of cool classic style from them.

Before we proceed I want you to let go of that dated style rule that you don't wear a trend the second time around. Fashion is cyclical, and as grown women, we have the right to wear whatever we want, even if we rocked it in our teens or 20's or 30's or whatever. And there is no better category of fashion where it's fun to break this rule than footwear.

Think about it, if a shoe was hot when we were in our teens and it is still hot… that's a classic. And my hope is you find a stylish white sneaker that is cool, is on trend, but is a classic so it doesn't have to be replaced each time the white sneaker trend subtly changes.

adidas superstar

1. Adidas Superstar

I have been wearing the Adidas Superstar (also known as Adidas shellcaps or shelltops due to the shell-shaped plastic toe cap) since high school. While known for their three stripes on the side of the shoe, I am partial to the white on white version which is more subtle, looks a bit more elevated, and is far more versatile.

I have had a pair of these sneakers in my closet for over a decade. I try to keep them clean, often wash the shoelaces, and when they get too beat up, I replace them and the old pair becomes my gardening/walk the dog/go to a festival shoes. I add a pair of these insoles for extra comfort and support.

adidas stan smith

2. Adidas Stan Smith

The Adidas Stan Smith is another classic white sneaker that has been stylish for decades. Offering a slimmer profile than the Superstar, the Stan Smith is a favorite across the globe for all genders, styled with everything from suits and skirts to t-shirts and soccer shorts.

As someone with wide and high-volume feet, the Stan Smith doesn't fit me. Otherwise, it would be in my closet. While the Stan Smith comes in all white, the green heel detail is also pretty cool because it's the original version, and all the options are subtle enough to remain versatile.

vans old skool

3. Vans Old Skool

If you prefer a non-leather shoe, want to reminisce about your Betty days, or just have as more relaxed personal style, the Old Skool from Vans is a great white sneaker for grown women. While this shoe is available in a broad range of colors and prints, for this piece we're sticking with the white version of this sneaker (however, the black, gum/oatmeal, and some other versions are also great classics).

Vans come in men's and women's sizing and I've found the men's sizing to be a bit wider than the women's. If you are a small women's size, try the big kids sizing which is often cheaper and also runs a bit wider. Unlike the above leather shoes, I think Old Skools look kinda cool with a bit of subtle scuffing that comes from ordinary wear.

nike air force 1

4. Nike Air Force 1

While the Nike Air Force 1 isn't as popular as it was a couple of years ago, the shoe has returned to classic cool status, and wearing them in all white is a chic option for grown women who aren't sneakerheads. This version isn't a full high top, but has the solid silhouette that makes the Air Force 1 popular and looking great with jeans, dresses, and joggers.

The Nike Air Force 1 is a comfortable and supportive shoe; if you're familiar with Nike, these will fit similarly with plenty of cushioning. There is no specific Air Force 1 that is cooler than others, I just recommend sticking to one that is all white and free of any embellishments.

soludos ibiza

5. Soludos Ibiza

If you're looking for a classic and cool sneaker that is also sustainable, check out the Soludos Ibiza sneaker. Made from responsibly sourced leather and recycled water bottles, the Ibiza is surprisingly soft with a good amount of cushioning.

The Soludos Ibiza is a great sneaker for those with narrow or low-volume feet. They take little break-in time and are subtle enough of a style that they'll be on trend for many years to come.

veja esplar

6. Veja Esplar

Honestly, any style of Veja sneakers, at least for the past several years, has been considered cool. Veja is the original sustainable sneaker brand, making way for Allbirds, Soludos, Cariuma, and the like. A French brand, you will see stylish folk wearing Vejas on pretty much every continent. I chose the Veja Esplar because it is one of the most popular styles and one that comes in all white.

Using organic, recycled, and fair traded cotton for their canvas, recycled bottles for their plastic, and fair-traded rubber for their soles. Veja sneakers are stiff and you will need to break them in, but folks who have find Vejas to be durable, comfortable, and a favorite for many years. If in doubt, go up a half size.

But What About [Insert Other Style of White Sneaker Here]?

There are dozens of brands of sneakers on the market, and each brand offers dozens of styles of white sneakers. You can find sneakers for $15 and sneakers for $1,500. I chose the 6 best white sneakers for grown women that are available season after season, are known for quality and longevity, and have a relatively timeless silhouette. This doesn't mean another brand or style isn't stylish. You know your budget, your feet, and your style best.

My only advice is don't buy a budget sneaker pretending to be a designer one. A good guide is go to a department store like Neiman Marcus, visit their sneaker department and organize the offerings from high to low price. This way you will see the buckles of Roger Vivier, the distressing of Golden Goose, the red and green ribbon trim of Gucci and then when you see that replicated by Steve Madden, ALDO, or Walmart you know it's a cheap copy. If you can't afford designer, I recommend going with an established athletic shoe brand like Nike, Adidas, or New Balance or else a very simple clean style.

How to Keep Your White Sneakers Clean

These are my hacks for cleaning white sneakers:

  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste: After using a dry toothbrush to flake away any dirt, a little bit of white toothpaste on a damp toothbrush can do wonders for cleaning leather sneakers. I find this to be most effective for the nooks and crannies where it's hard to reach. Be sure to rinse away any toothpaste with a damp cloth and dry quickly; saturated leather can shrink and get stiff. If you don't have white toothpaste, a paste made from baking soda and water can also work.
  • Sponge and Dawn: Dawn dish soap is magic; it's the best for getting out oil stains, wine stains, blood stains, and also shoe stains. I find a damp sponge with a touch of dawn will wash off superficial dirt and scuffs better than any other laundry or dish detergent. Then use a damp rag to rinse and a dry rag to remove any leftover moisture.
  • Magic Eraser: A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is your best friend for getting soles clean again. Do a few swipes after each wear to have your shoes sparkling and ready for your next outing.
  • Bleach Your Laces: While I wouldn't do this to my shoes, I do find that laces will get grimy and yellow faster than some sneakers, and they don't always get bright white in the wash. Remove the laces from the shoes and place outside on a flat surface. Spray with a bathroom or kitchen cleanser that has bleach in them, and let them dry. Then either rinse in water until clear or toss into your next whites load of laundry.
  • White Nail Polish: I learned this trick in high school to keep my Reebok Classics looking fresh. If you get a scuff on leather that removes the color and finish, dab the spot with white nail polish. Depending on the finish, another alternative is a white paint pen.

If you have a favorite white sneaker or tip for buying or maintaining white sneakers, do share in the comments! Your suggestion may be exactly what another member of the Wardrobe Oxygen community has been needing!

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26 Comments

  1. Your commentary & the reader comments were very helpful! I’ve shied away from buying white sneakers bc of fit issues. I love Vans but have a wider foot, & they just aren’t comfy. I’ll look at the youth sizes, as you suggest, or even the men’s.
    I took sneakers on a trip to London, intending to wear them as we walked all over everywhere. After the first day, I ended up wearing flip-flops bc my toes were so sore.
    Somehow I was taken off your email list & am glad to be back!

  2. In white, I have a pair of perforated leather Keds I feel look a little more feminine, white canvas Converse aAll-Stars, and leather Adidas Grand Court.

  3. Like you, I have wide, high volume feet (high arch and high, bony instep), small-ish size. Other than the Adidas Superstar, which of these sneakers work for you personally? I hesitate on the Superstar because my feet are short and the clamshell toe cap may make them look stubbier. Do the Nike AF1s work for you? I like the look but Nike often runs narrow. BTW, you are killing it with content lately.

    1. Nike doesn’t work for me because the foot curves, and my foot is very straight. If Nike has worked in the past, the AF1s should work. For me, I find New Balance, ROKA, Adidas, and Asics to work best with my foot shape. For trendy shoes, I usually stick to Adidas. I did Cariuma’s leather low-profile and they don’t curve as much as Nike but they ended up rubbing on the outside of my feet/pinky toes. Supergas have a nice wide toebox, but I find they’re often too wide in the heel for me. I bought these from Adidas which are white and cool looking, but no clamshell: https://bit.ly/3c1EJVF

  4. I’ve had the Frye Ivy low lace white leather sneakers for a few years now and they are still my favorites. I just did an end of summer cleanup with the magic eraser and oxi clean soaked the laces. They look brand new and are so comfortable. I can also vouch for Vejas comfort. I walked all over Paris in them on a one day layover this summer and they were comfortable while chic enough for Paris.

  5. Thanks for this post! It inspired me to pick up a pair of Stan Smith’s that were at Marshalls to give them a try. Slightly flummoxed as how to wear them; my style is simple, black dresses, black jeans, striped tees etc. Nothing colorful or ruffle.

  6. Cariumas live up to the hype. I’ve had the Satvas in white/ice for nearly a year, and I wear them several times a week. They still look new, are comfortable all day, and get a lot of compliments. Sustainable, too!

    1. Cariuma is great! I have the leather low profile and while I found over time they’re not curved the same direction as my feet (a la Nike) they are comfortable and roomy and stylish AND sustainable!

  7. I’m a Superga girl! I have both low and high top white sneakers (as well as other designs). I find they fit my wide feet nicely and look good doing it.

  8. I’ve had the vegan Adidas Superstars for a couple of years and love them for my wide, finicky feet. They’re super comfy, required no break-in time, and have held up nicely with lots of wear. Alison, I’m really enjoying your content and find it helpful as I think about what I may need for fall. Your comment “practically showcasing my areolas” in the white tank post makes me laugh every time I think of it -so thank you for that too!

  9. I have to say, I think Allbirds have become a classic very quickly, and I love the look of them. My treerunners are my go-to airport shoe!

    1. I am obsessed with Allbirds. I have wide feet (size 41 Euro). I have 4 pairs currently, and I could easily see myself getting more. I troll through Poshmark a lot–you can find a lot of Allbirds on there greatly discounted. They are so comfortable and they come in a lot of different styles. They do have all white or other monochromatic color schemes.

  10. Great cleaning tips! In the old days of typewriters and typing class and paper and ink, the little container of White Out was a white sneaker’s best friend. Like white nail polish, but far more readily available — then. I wonder if it even exists anymore?!

    1. I came on here to write about the Birkenstock sneakers and second this! I have a wide and fairly high volume foot with a special challenge. Almost 20 years ago I developed arthritis in one of my big toe joints after a simple misstep that I thought nothing of at the time. It took me a few years to figure out the shoe situation so I could walk without pain and for a long time now I have been stable with no pain. But! Even trying on a shoe that is too tight in that area can make my foot sore for days. For a long time, the only sneaker that I could find that felt good was Naturalizer and they were ok but not as stylish as I wished for. Three summers ago I tried the Birkenstock sneakers and I love them! They are as stylish as any you’ve shown here, fit and feel great, stay looking good a long time and are high value for the price. They will keep looking even better with the tips you’ve given here! I can’t recommend them highly enough, I love them!

  11. I got the white leather Ecco sneakers that were part of the Nordie’s Anniversary sale and I love them. One of my few keeper items from that sale. They feel very fresh and on trend but not try hard.

  12. I love my Stan Smiths, and I suppress a giggle when a young person compliments them and tells me how cool they are! I always want to ask if they know who Stan Smith is, but hey, they were nice enough to pay me a compliment!

  13. I like Reebok classics. I find that they have good arch support and are comfortable for walking around NYC. They also come in an array of colors. With that said, I find they run small and had to size up.

    1. I have Reebok Renaissance and absolutely love that old school look and they are so comfortable…love that they are leather and great quality as well and very comfy!

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