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Style Advice

Our favourite white trainers of the season

Our favourite white trainers of the season

It takes a lot for a style as conclusively casual as trainers to work their way into smarter wardrobes. But these days, it’s hard to even remember a time when trainers were exclusively reserved for laid-back dressing – and it’s the plain white variety we have to thank for this seamless style transition. Go ahead and try to name another style so versatile that you can pair it with both your tailored suit and your gym kit. We’ll wait...

If you’re anything like us, you probably can’t wait to give your winter shoes the boot and step into spring in a fresh white pair of kicks. But there’s one small catch: there are a whole lot of options to choose from. 

To save you some time – and because we love nothing more than scouring the virtual shelves for the best footwear out there – we set our stylists the task of whittling down their top white trainers picks. Because why should you be inside scrolling when you could be outside showing off your new kicks.

MVP faux leather trainers

Photographed: MVP Faux Leather Trainer ($77)

When you think of minimal white trainers, you probably imagine a sleek, low-cut leather shoe with no frills or fussy functional details like this pair by MVP. It’s the classic style that’s become so popular over the years that they wouldn’t even look out of place at most (as long as they’re clean, of course). So if you’ve not got a pair on permanent rotation already, you’ll want to ease in with a timeless pair like these.

These MVP trainers nail a sleek silhouette and minimal aesthetic while proving that classic styles don’t have to come with a luxury price tag. What makes them distinctive is just how indistinct they are – what more could you want from a minimal white trainer? And since MVP is one of our in-house brands at Thread, we can vouch for the care and craftsmanship that goes into both the design and production of this great quality, well-made shoe. 

Novesta Star Master

Photographed: Novesta Star Master ($77)

We’re certainly not here to dispute the classics. But who says there’s no room for a new one? The great thing about the Novesta Star Master is that they tick all the boxes for a white minimal trainer, but still manage to feel distinctive. The canvas instead of leather and the slightly chunkier sole makes them feel more like a vintage tennis shoe than your regular white trainer. So if you’re a casual dresser for whom smarter dress code requirements fall few and far between, these might suit your look better than the classic minimal style. 

Sans unnecessary frills, Novesta trainers feel more contemporary and stylish than the more versatile classics, but they still offer everything you might expect from a better-known brand: quality fabrics, attention to detail, and timeless style. So if you’re into cool independent brands and classic looks with a modern twist, step this way.

Adidas Stan Smiths

Photographed: Adidas Stan Smith ($58)

Adidas Stan Smiths are the ubiquitous white trainer – and we definitely mean that in a good way. They’re tried and tested as a style that can be worn dressed up, dressed down, and dressed anywhere in between. The style brings a flash of colour (take your pick, but know that green is the classic) to the minimal white trainer, and replace Adidas’ signature three stripes with perforated holes to maintain brand recognition while going as minimal as a sports shoe is wont to. Plus, you know you can rely on Adidas for quality, timelessness, and style.

Having launched in the 1980s, Adidas Stan Smiths have been on the trainer scene long enough now that we feel confounded in anointing this style as a true hero of the minimal trainer trend – even Obama owns a pair. We Stan.

Shoes Like Pottery high sneakers

If you like the look of hi-top trainers, but prefer independent brands that don’t just create carbon copies of everyone else’s shoes, look no further than Shoes Like Pottery’s 01JP high sneaker. What sets them apart from more ubiquitous styles isn’t just their sleeker shape and elevated off-white tone.

They’re hand-sewn by skilled Japanese craftsmen, and although they’re even more pared-back than other canvas hi-tops – the only ‘stand-out’ feature is a small brand logo on the rubber sole – they still have a noticeably luxury look and feel to them. This refined edge means they’ll work easily in smarter dress codes without looking like you’re trying to make a statement – unless you want to, of course.

Veja Campo

Photographed: Veja Campo Sneaker ($138)

You probably already know Veja, and if you’ve not heard of them, you’ve almost certainly seen their signature white trainers stamped with the colourful V logo. Yeah, that’s them. They’re the sustainable French footwear brand that’s been championed by everyone from fashion leaders to the young Royals, and not for nothing. Not only are Veja’s trainers some of the most sustainable in the game – they’re made from recycled plastic bottles among other environmentally-friendly materials – but they’re one of the most versatile, too.

You could go for an all-white version if you want to keep it as minimal as possible, but even with a flash of colour they still feel sleek and subtle enough so as not to lose any of their wearability. Where popularity meets style, Vejas are like the Adidas Stan Smith with a sustainable edge. They quickly secured their spot as the sneaker to be seen in, and while many have tried and failed to keep this crown, Veja has succeeded. So you can update your wardrobe knowing that you’re investing in footwear that’s timeless, versatile, top-quality, and good for the planet. How many other shoes can claim all that?

Common Projects Achilles

The MVP of minimal trainers, Common Projects’ Achilles sneakers are the best of the best. It’s the most minimal, the most classic, the most timeless, and without doubt the best quality white trainer there is. What’s more, Common Projects is the brand to thank for bringing the minimal white trainer onto the scene in 2004, and it’s remained an undefeated champion of the style ever since. 

Where others will last you years, these shoes will last you decades thanks to the premium-quality leather and expert craftsmanship. And when we talk about wearability, it doesn’t get better than these. Style them with a suit and you’ll barely notice that they’re not bonafide smart shoes. Wear them with jeans and a sweater, shorts and a t-shirt, or even sweatpants and a hoodie, and they’ll elevate your outfit while still feeling minimal and modest. If Common Projects are within your footwear budget, we can’t think of a good reason not to own them.

Words: Ella White
Styling: Toby Standing