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Experts spill how to keep your white sneakers clean — plus 15 options that go with everything

These kicks will elevate your street style and casual wardrobe.
Vivian Le / TODAY
/ Source: TODAY

Sneakers are a must-have in any wardrobe but a white pair is the ultimate accessory to leverage a casual look. White sneakers are as ubiquitous as the white T-shirt and are perfect for wearing with jeans, dresses, trousers and more.

Aside from their versatility, white sneakers are a classic piece that adds comfort to most outfits and can transition into any season. Shop TODAY asked experts for tips on the features to look for when shopping for white sneakers and the best shoes that will go beyond functionality, occasion and design.

Materials and features to consider | How to find the proper fit | Must-have white sneakers | Cleaning tips | Cleaning products to shop| Meet the experts | How we chose

What features should I consider when shopping for white sneakers?

According to Zepyure founder Allen Huddleston, the best materials to look for in sneakers are calfskin and lambskin leather. "These are the main materials used on uppers. The upper is the stitching component and normally anything that is made with calfskin is going to be made at the high [quality] level," he explains.

Miami-based designer and entrepreneur Andy Maitland recommends avoiding sneakers that have a white bottom because they get dirty faster. "The better choice is an off-white which will look weathered or worn-looking," he adds.

Huddleston shares a similar sentiment about the worn look. "I think distressed sneakers tell a story on how shoes are meant to be worn; shoes are meant to be scuffed and that is natural," he says.

Huddleston defines a great sneaker as one that's made with quality materials, has a unique design, is comfortable and is exclusive (not mass-produced). "I believe that a sneaker that has those four components is really going to stand out."

How to find the proper shoe fit

When it comes to shoe fit, Huddleston recommends opting for your actual size because it allows the shoe to mold to your foot, which is especially true for calfskin, he says. "I personally don’t like sizing up because the foot can slide. I prefer sneakers that fit on the tighter end and allow the leather to stretch out."

Must-have white sneakers for women

Vepose Fashion Sneakers

Sizes: 6-11 | Fabric: Synthetic leather

These affordable sneakers are made of synthetic leather and have memory foam insoles for all-day comfort, says the brand. The classic design will pair with any outfit, from spring dresses to denim to trousers.

Skechers D'lites Fresh Start Sneaker

Sizes: 5-11 (including wide) | Fabric: Leather and synthetic

Chunky "dad shoes" have been trending and reviewers love the comfortability of this option from Skechers. "These shoes have become my go-to footwear, especially when traveling. Whether I’m standing in long airport lines or exploring new cities on foot, I know I can rely on these Skechers for unparalleled comfort and support. They have truly been a game-changer for my feet," wrote one Amazon reviewer.

Adidas Grand Court 2.0 Tennis Shoe

Sizes: 5.5-11 | Fabric: Faux leather

The Adidas Grand Court is a classic white sneaker staple, featuring the Cloudfoam Comfort sock-liner for extra cushioning, says the brand. "I was very happily surprised by the comfort being that I have wide feet and yet had plenty of room for thick socks. I would highly recommend these to anyone who is looking for style and comfort," wrote one Amazon reviewer.

Ryka Viv Classic Sneaker

Sizes: 5-12 including wide | Fabric: Faux leather

This sneaker from Ryka is a great everyday shoe that features a cushioned insole and an EVA heel cup to support your foot. It also has a roomier toe box for those women with wider feet. One five-star reviewer said these are "comfortable right out of the box."

Puma Carina Sneaker 

Sizes: 5.5-11 | Fabric: Leather and synthetic

Associate editor Shannon Garlin says these are her new go-to white sneakers. "They're so comfortable, I literally wear them everywhere. The design is very sleek, which allows me to pair them with office outfits, as well as, everyday casual looks, too. Plus they're really easy to clean."

New Balance CT302 Sneakers

Sizes: 5-16 (including men sizes) | Fabric: Suede, mesh, rubber

These New Balance tennis shoes get an extra lift (literally) with the chunky sole. And reviewers say they're comfortable even with the added height.

Dr. Scholl's Time Off Lace Up

Sizes: 6-13| Fabric: Faux leather and canvas

This pair has been a hit on TikTok for its comfort and versatility. One TikToker shared that she wore the pair to the airport and matched it with all of her outfits during her trip to Europe. "My feet barely hurt even when I was walking a ton," she adds.

The design is made with an anti-microbial and anti-odor insole with extra cushioning to support your feet throughout the day. Also, the durable rubber outsole will protect your feet from dusty areas and give you a slight elevation without being a full-on platform.

Cariuma OCA Low

Sizes: 5-13 | Fabric: Canvas, suede, recycled options

These simple-but-chic sneakers have cork-lined insoles and cute lime green accents, giving them a little something extra. They're lightweight and perfect for wearing around the city, at the beach and beyond. This style has been a hit among millennials and Gen Z for their traditional aesthetic and no-frills design.

"These sneakers are super comfy and require no break-in. Cute styles and colors make them better than your average kicks and go with jeans, skirts and dresses," said one shopper.

Vans Filmore Women's High-Top Sneakers

Sizes: 5-11 | Fabric: Canvas

While Vans are known for its street style aesthetic and "Off The Wall" slogan, its inventory goes beyond skateboarding culture. Maitland recommends a high-top sneaker as a must-have style to keep in your footwear repertoire. This one features a double stitched upper, a comfortable footbed and a round toe box for extra durability.

It's a shoe that pairs well with shorts, jeans, dresses and more while providing that extra security around the ankle.

Reebok Classic Leather Shoes

Sizes: 5.5-11 | Fabric: Leather

This iconic pair is an all-time favorite for its uncomplicated design that delivers a cushioned experience and makes it easy to pair with anything. The shoe comes with a foam-covered sock liner to avoid blisters while you walk and maintains that plushy feel even after walking for hours.

Adidas Superstar Shoes

Sizes: 5-11 | Fabric: Leather

If you're more on the traditional side, the Adidas Superstar is a classic design that will elevate any casual look. This one remains a favorite among sneakerheads for its plain silhouette. With its many iterations and limited-edition releases, this shoe is top of the line and great for walking.

"The silhouette is unobtrusive and the quality of the leather that you’re getting at that price is unbeatable. Between the Superstar and Stan Smith, no one is touching the quality of leather at that price," says Maitland.

Adidas Stan Smith Shoes

Sizes: 5-11 | Fabric: Synthetic and recycled materials

The Stan Smith from Adidas is another design that combines tradition and versatility. This globally-renowned shoe is easy to dress up and down thanks to its classic and uncomplicated design. The design has been embraced by many players, celebrities and sub-cultures since its launch in 1965. Also, it's partially sustainable since 50% of the upper is built with recycled materials, according to the brand.

Vionic Miles II Sneaker

Sizes: 5-13 (including wide) | Fabric: Mesh and synthetic

Vionic sneakers are for the busy city-dweller looking for comfort over everything. This shoe is podiatrist-approved and a great option if you work as a teacher, nurse or just stand all day. With an all-white aesthetic, sleek style and athletic design, the shoe is meant for everyday wear. It features Advanced Motion System technology that provides the flexibility and breathability your foot needs.

"Since my feet tend to swell when it's warm I order a half size up. These sneakers are wearable right out of the box. They have a nice wide toe box and did not need any breaking in," shared one customer.

Nike Air Force 1 '07

Sizes: 5-12 (including men sizes) | Fabric: Leather

Once you see the Swoosh on the shoe, you know you're bound to get a quality shoe like no other. The Nike Air Force 1 represents street style at its best with its crisp leather and soft cushioning. It continues to be raved by sneakerheads for its outstanding functional features and all-day comfort. This icon continues to be a bestseller throughout its many releases and combinations — and it's a shoe that goes with everything.

"I’ll admit that I bought these because they are a super popular style. What I didn’t expect was the comfort and the fit of these shoes. I wore them two to three times and I would say they were good to wear. I can wear these all day at work and come home and my feet aren’t in pain," said one shopper.

Thousand Fell Women's Lace Up White

Sizes: 5-10 | Fabric: Recycled materials and faux-leather

The eco-conscious shopper will be attracted to these sneakers that not only look sleek but can be recycled through the company once you're done with them. Not only that, but they also feature stain-proof and water-resistant coating, according to the brand. They're another favorite of Stewart's for their overall performance.

"I love them and have worn them almost every day for about two weeks now. I didn't have to break them in at all so they were immediately comfortable for me and I've gotten so many compliments on them since the very first day," she adds.

Best way to clean white sneakers

White sneakers tend to easily scuff and get dirty, which requires more care and attention to detail. Maitland suggests avoiding throwing leather pairs in the washing machine because the material can degrade faster and create creases. Instead, you’ll want to use hot and soapy water with a clean towel or terrycloth.

Huddleston suggests avoiding typical shoe cleaners, as well. “With all of the components that go into shoe cleaners, it really breaks down the leather and it can potentially dry it out. If it dries out, it is going to crack and the creases won’t be as moist,” he says.

The best way to clean them is to first remove the shoe laces and wash them separately, according to Maitland. He also recommends removing the footbed and using a foam cleaner — like the ones that can be found in any Foot Locker — to remove any grime. For more tips on how to clean different types of white sneakers, check out this guide with everything you need to know.

Cleaning products for white sneakers

SneakERASERS Instant Sole and Sneaker Cleaner

These Amazon No.1 bestselling sneaker cleaning pads are double-sided to gently scrub and wipe away dirt. According to the brand, they can be used on both canvas and leather materials.

Jason Markk Shoe Cleaner Essential Kit

This cleaning kit has everything you need to keep your shoes looking new again, including a cleaning solution and a stiff bristle brush. It has over 24,000 Amazon ratings with reviewers raving about the results. "After walking around NYC for a week I was sure my Nike Daybreaks were done and the suede parts would be impossible to clean but this cleaner and the brush worked magic. So happy with it," wrote one reviewer.

Crep Protect Ultimate Sneaker Care Travel Kit

Maitland suggests using a foam cleaner, like this option that can be found at multiple retailers. According to the brand, the solution effectively removes dirt, and the set even includes wipes and a brush to scrub away.

Meet the experts

  • Allen Huddleston is the founder of Zepyure, a footwear brand focused on high-quality sneakers built on heritage and culture.
  • Andy Maitland is a designer and entrepreneur based in Miami, Florida. He is the co-founder and creative director of the fashion label Harbour Colectiv.

How to choose the best white sneakers

To choose the best white sneakers, we interviewed expert sources, scoured user reviews and used our own personal experiences with products and brands to make shopping easier for our readers.