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What is the deal with all white sneakers?

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    What is the deal with all white sneakers?

    Why do some men's style blogs promote all white sneakers (ie. Stan Smiths, etc.)? To me they look like nurses shoes from the 1950s or something cheerleaders wore in the 80s. They would seem to get dirty pretty quickly, and at best they look like something your dad wore with acid wash jeans. Seriously, I don't get it -- could someone explain the appeal?

    #2
    De gustibus non est disputandum
    But also, it's a clean look, if you're going for sneakers. A reaction to what some people consider to be very busy looking sneakers.

    if you're trying to get a sleek sneaker, some people think all black sneakers look like uniform wear, too.

    As for getting dirty, they're tennis shoes (plimsolls). Tennis was a leisure game for the well-to-do, so wearing them meant you were wealthy enough to play tennis, and wealthy enough to send your white shoes to be cleaned (or replaced), like many other white garments throughout history.

    I wear white Air Force 1s because I like the foam sole, Jay Z, and the clean lines. They've got cult history in DC where I live. If they weren't popular here, I'd possibly wear Adidas (like Run DMC). I've outlived the checkerboard Vans I wore all through high school 😉

    Last edited by andrewrg; June 19, 2021, 07:18 PM.

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      #3
      I'm not much of a sneaker head and white sneaks aren't my jam, but I can see why guys like them. They look nicer than ugly modern athletic shoes, but not as pretentious as boat shoes. andrewrg summarized the cultural heritage aspect of it nicely. Me, I would just make a mess of them, so I do better with shoes that look better messed up anyway like CDBs.

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        #4
        Originally posted by andrewrg View Post
        De gustibus non est disputandum
        But also, it's a clean look, if you're going for sneakers. A reaction to what some people consider to be very busy looking sneakers.

        if you're trying to get a sleek sneaker, some people think all black sneakers look like uniform wear, too.

        As for getting dirty, they're tennis shoes (plimsolls). Tennis was a leisure game for the well-to-do, so wearing them meant you were wealthy enough to play tennis, and wealthy enough to send your white shoes to be cleaned (or replaced), like many other white garments throughout history.

        I wear white Air Force 1s because I like the foam sole, Jay Z, and the clean lines. They've got cult history in DC where I live. If they weren't popular here, I'd possibly wear Adidas (like Run DMC). I've outlived the checkerboard Vans I wore all through high school 😉
        Andrew, the fact that you "justify" your sneaker purchases by comparing them to Jay Z and Run DMC is most excellent.

        OP, I was initially hesitant about getting Stan Smiths for similar reasons: who would wear all white shoes? I do think that the small pop of green on SS's does give them a bit of distinction. But then I bought some, paired them with dark denim and instantly fell for them. Now I wear them all the time. And yes, you're right, they do get a little dingy. I think that gives them just that much more character. Of course, if they got super muddy, I'd give them a good scrub. What am I, a heathen?

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          #5
          I don’t get the appeal of keeping white sneakers perfectly clean. I think a pair of white canvas sneakers or white bucks for that matter look great broken in and slightly dirty. They do go with everything, color wise.

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            #6
            Originally posted by Hemsprong View Post
            Why do some men's style blogs promote all white sneakers (ie. Stan Smiths, etc.)? To me they look like nurses shoes from the 1950s or something cheerleaders wore in the 80s. They would seem to get dirty pretty quickly, and at best they look like something your dad wore with acid wash jeans. Seriously, I don't get it -- could someone explain the appeal?
            If you wear your white sneakers with support hose and a striped skirt, then yes, you will look like a nurse. If you wear them with acid wash Levis 545s, then you may look like your dad if he was born in the mid 1970s. If you buy all-white monster ugly sneakers, then you will look like your grandfather maybe.

            Low profile all-white sneakers can provide a nice summer pop of contrast with dark wash denim or khaki chinos and a camp collar shirt.

            So it all depends on how you leverage them…
            Mark

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              #7
              Originally posted by motosacto View Post
              If you wear them with acid wash Levis 545s, then you may look like your dad if he was born in the mid 1970s.
              This might be counterproductive to admit but I love the dad core / 90s retro look. I’ll often wear my Gustin minimalist white sneakers with light wash denim. The beauty is that that combo alone goes with almost anything up top: polo, OCBD, sweatshirt, usually in pastel or neutral colors. It’s my go-to weekend attire in the spring and fall. The key is to make it a subtle nod to the dad core / 90s aesthetic rather than a full on cosplay. But your mileage may vary.
              Last edited by garryowen47; June 26, 2021, 09:48 AM.

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                #8
                Originally posted by motosacto View Post

                If you wear your white sneakers with support hose and a striped skirt, then yes, you will look like a nurse. If you wear them with acid wash Levis 545s, then you may look like your dad if he was born in the mid 1970s. If you buy all-white monster ugly sneakers, then you will look like your grandfather maybe.

                Low profile all-white sneakers can provide a nice summer pop of contrast with dark wash denim or khaki chinos and a camp collar shirt.

                So it all depends on how you leverage them…
                I know, I just can't give up my support hose. They're so darn comfy! Alas.

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                  #9
                  I was debating a pair of white sneakers myself - so I did what I usually do under such circumstances. I went to H&M and got a dirt cheap pair to test out with the rest of my wardrobe. After about 5 wearings, they went to goodwill. Too much contrast both in terms of color and formality level with most of what I wear. If felt like my feet were just shouting for attention. Instead, I got ta pair of sand colored suede sneakers with a tan sole. MUCH better, and I wear them a lot.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by motosacto View Post
                    If you wear them with acid wash Levis 545s, then you may look like your dad if he was born in the mid 1970s.
                    You're dad was born in the mid-70's? Oh crap, I'm old.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by tankerjohn View Post

                      You're dad was born in the mid-70's? Oh crap, I'm old.
                      Millennials have adult children*. Horrifying, isn't it?

                      *Depending upon the definition of millennial, which varies from 1980 to 1985 to start and 1995-2000 to end. The fuzzy crossover between Gen X and Gen Y has given rise to descriptors such as Xennials or Oregon Trail Generation, to recognize the group which grew up with ubiquitous computers but reached adulthood before the Internet and social media transformed society.

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                        #12
                        nathan miller I definitely feel you on contrast. It changes the outfit a lot. I have found it works better if you are prone to wear bright color shirts. I have also noticed here in California and the Southwest white shoes can be quite reflective due to the Sun intensity.

                        Galcobar I will take being a Oregon Trail generation as long as it doesn’t come with any diseases. I am definitely part of that flux generation and it’s crazy when you ask certain people a few years older than me that they can’t remember not having internet. Also, how rural or urban of a area you grew up in plays a huge role in how fast you got internet. Crazy thoughts and memories

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                          #13
                          I get the appeal of minimalist sneakers, but I'm not all that partial to white ones, though some - especially the leather ones - generally come in only white or black. The canvass (Vans, Sperry Topsiders, Chuck Taylors, Jack Purcells) ones come in lots of colors. I like a muted red or navy over white when available in those.
                          “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by mark4 View Post
                            I get the appeal of minimalist sneakers, but I'm not all that partial to white ones, though some - especially the leather ones - generally come in only white or black. The canvass (Vans, Sperry Topsiders, Chuck Taylors, Jack Purcells) ones come in lots of colors. I like a muted red or navy over white when available in those.
                            The all-black leather sneakers remind me too much of waiter shoes. Not that there's anything wrong with being a waiter, but I associate that look with pure function and no fashion. But hey, that's just me. I'm definitely down with canvas sneakers in different colors. But all of the ones I have come with white toe caps and white, uh, sides (whitewalls?) so it's not exactly ALL one color. I've got black PF Flyers and navy Jack Purcells that I wear quite a bit. You know, when I'm not wearing my adidas nurse shoes!

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                              #15
                              I feel the same thing about brown leather sneakers. not my jam. but others love them so thats fine too lol.

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