Introducing new purchase prices tested by the editors of The Kit, the Shop Smart Guide. The idea is simple: each month, The Kit editors exhaustively test items in desert island categories – not the exciting but fleeting trends of the season, but the evergreen essentials you’re most likely to enjoy. to buy now and wear or use forever. We’re talking mascara, jeans, retinol serum, black turtlenecks, white sneakers, and more. Our hope is that Shop Smart helps you achieve that mythical shopping ideal: buy less but buy better. Next, our guide to buying white sneakers.

Thanks to two major trends, athleisure and #normcore (remember those?), white sneakers have long since left gym-only territory. They’re now firmly established as a stylish essential, even in the highest spheres of high fashion, and our feet will always be grateful, especially mine – which is why I jumped at the chance to test the value from a shoe closet to find the very best for everyday use. What are the criteria for getting the top spots in the white sneaker division? Versatility in styling, overall aesthetics (getting compliments is a nice bonus) and comfort level right off the bat. No one has time for pinches or blisters.

The thing about white sneakers is that they work with almost any look you could want, and they automatically make any outfit look more laid-back, cool, and laid-back (but on purpose). And whether they’re clean and fresh, straight out of the box, or worn and battered, they never feel outdated. Some of the styles below have been around for decades, and to this day, they’re still go-tos (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it). But increasingly, a wide range of brands are wowing us with new, innovative, sustainable or super-luxurious designs, and some of these have also made the cut. So if you’re looking to add a new pair to your wardrobe, here are the best, most versatile and comfortable white trainers.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Canvas Platform High Top Sneakers, $85, converse.ca SHOP HERE

Winner: Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Canvas Platform High Tops

The cost: $85

Equipment: Cloth

The options: Available in high or low styles, with or without a platform

The review: If you’re wondering why a pair of platform sneakers made it to the top of this list, hear me out. Yes, platforms are a hot shoe trend, but the added lift is more than just aesthetics. I too was initially worried about the height because platforms can be awkward. But to my surprise, this is not the case. They look like all other Chucks but offer an extra layer of polish and height. I brought them to Paris and walked all over town with them, which sealed me. Not only were they so light and took up little to no room in my carry-on (they’re canvas after all), but they worked with literally all of my looks, from jeans to leather pants to midi dresses. The bounty ? No need to break them. Zero blisters after three hours of walking from the first to the sixth arrondissement on the first day. A real victory.

Zvelle Ray high-top sneakers, $295, zvelle.com. Photo: Zvelle BUY HERE

Zvelle Ray High Top Sneakers, $295, zvelle.com

The softest leather: Zvelle Ray High Tops

The cost: $295

Equipment: Suede leather and goatskin lining

The options: Available in high and low version

The article: When Toronto-based shoe brand Zvelle announced the launch of their first sneakers, I knew I had to give them a try. Known for their fashion-forward designs and great comfort, Zvelle’s minimalist and unisex high-top sneakers don’t disappoint. Handcrafted in Italy and crafted from deerskin, they’re so, so *so* soft and as luxurious as a designer pair without the empty piggy bank price tag. The interior (which has a chic metallic finish) is goat leather, so it’s super supple and there’s no break-in period like with other leather trainers. From the mall to the grocery store, it felt so good to walk (and drive). I love that there isn’t a big logo on the shoe – it’s subtly etched in gold on the tongue. In fact, they are so minimalist and elegant that they are also ideal for a higher situation. Imagine them with a camel suit? *chef’s kiss*

Vans Old Skools sneakers, $85, vans.ca. SHOP HERE

Vans Old Skools sneakers, $85, vans.ca

Effortlessly coolest: Vans Old Skool

The cost: $85

Equipment: Canvas and synthetic upper

The options: Low and high tops

The article: I can’t look at them and not automatically think of that viral “Damn Daniel” Vine video from 2016. But even in 2022, they still have that effect on people. When I picked up my sister from work, her 3 year old student pointed to my Vans and said “nice shoes”. She told me later that he was one of the students who didn’t talk much at school. I mean, need I say more? ! Aside from heartwarming kid approval, the durable canvas material of these means they’re so easy to slip on and off when you’re in a hurry without destroying their shape. They’re also comfortable enough to stand on all day, and the cushioned heel means there’s no rearfoot chafing. It’s such a classic design, with subtle skater boy vibes from the white-on-white wavy design that blends in perfectly. People of all ages simply appreciate the clean and beautiful shape.

Alexander McQueen Sprint Runner Sneakers, $850, alexandermcqueen.com. SHOP HERE

Alexander McQueen Sprint Runner Sneakers, $850, alexandermcqueen.com

The designer’s investment: Sprinter Alexander McQueen

The cost: $850

Equipment: Calfskin

The options: Lots of accent colors, extra laces

The article: When British designer label Alexander McQueen entered the sneaker market, it became the brand of choice for anyone looking for a luxury pair. The house recently launched a new style on the Spring 2022 track – the Sprint Runner – and I picked up a pair for a test drive. It was a tighter fit than expected with its padded tongue, but there was no uncomfortable pinching – I just had to wear thinner socks. The oversized sole gives you a nice lift without looking like a platform shoe. If anything, it has that dad sneaker look, but with added curves. I’ve happily worn them to meetings without worrying about being too casual, and sure enough, they got so many compliments. Someone in a store even wanted to touch them because they looked so soft. And boy, are they – calfskin feels like butter. Unlike other designer styles, I like that the logo is discreet on the back of the heel and the brand seal on the side is embossed. If you’re looking to make a statement and an investment, this is the pair.

Adidas Stan Smith sneakers, $120, adidas.ca. SHOP HERE

Adidas Stan Smith Sneakers, $120, adidas.ca

The non-sexist classic: adidas stan smith

The cost: $120

Equipment: Synthetic upper with 50% recycled content (it’s a great vegan option)

The options: Choose between laces or velcro; customize with colored accents on the heel and on the tongue

The article: Adidas Stan Smiths are simply a timeless classic, and the sleek silhouette is often copied. It’s probably because they are literally adored by everyone. To everyone’s surprise, I’d never owned a pair, but both my parents do (with different color accents, of course), and they keep buying them over and over again. While my dad loves pairing them with his casual denim looks, mom wears them with leggings for her Zumba classes. At first I thought I’d have to put my feet inside to test them out because they felt stiff, but I was surprised it didn’t take long for them to break in. I shopped in it and went out to lunch with my family and friends, and they were comfortable. No blisters in sight. I accidentally took a size larger than I wanted because they run large, so consider ordering a size (or even a size and a half) smaller.

AllBirds Tree Runners Sneakers, $140, allbirds.com. Photo: Allbirds SHOP HERE

AllBirds Tree Runners Sneakers, $140, allbirds.com

The sustainable sneaker: AllBirds Tree Runners

The cost: $140

Equipment: Eucalyptus fiber upper, green EVA midsole made from sugar cane and laces made from recycled plastic bottles

The options: There is a woolen style to keep your feet warm

The article: I’m not going to lie: when I first heard about AllBirds sneakers, I was intrigued by the durability claims but not convinced by the aesthetics. They looked different from the other white sneakers in my closet – a sporty silhouette but not as athletic as I’m used to in this category. But when I was about to take them for a walk, my aunt came and stopped short. Before I even said hello, she pointed to my sneakers and commented on how cute they were. I went to meet a friend for coffee with a jump in my step (literally, cushioned sole and arch support). They’re super light, but they were a little tight when I first put them on, as I have a more prominent bump on the top of my foot, but thanks to the flexible mesh upper, it didn’t bother me. not too bothered. Knowing that these shoes are made from durable materials is nice, but the eucalyptus fiber is also breathable so my feet didn’t overheat after a long walk which made me think that They will be particularly ideal for hot summer days.

When you make a purchase through the links in this article, we may earn a small commission. Our journalism is independent and uninfluenced by advertising. Learn more.

Renée Tse is the editor-in-chief of the Chinese edition The Kit, based in Toronto. She writes about beauty and fashion. Contact her by email: [email protected]

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Conversations are opinions of our readers and are subject to the Code of conduct. The Star does not share these opinions.