Wearing the white sneakers during summer is the very definition of classic style. Part of their allure comes from those gleaming, flawless surfaces when they’re fresh out of the box, and the way they seem to take on dirt and wear with grace — but mostly it’s their seasonality. Sure, you could wear your white sneakers year-round, but they’re best during those balmy days between May and September, enjoying unabated sun and sock-free days as much as the people wearing them. If you don’t have a pair at the ready come Memorial Day, you’re missing out on one of the best parts of summer.
So then it all boils down to one decision: which ones? A longstanding classic that’s been around for years? A new upstart with a competitive edge? It’s tough to go too far astray, but with so many out there you’re just as likely to be paralyzed by choice, staring at Zappos with as much purpose as a puppy looking at its own reflection. So here’s your mix: two remastered classics, two bright upstarts and one luxurious take on the genre. All you need to do is point and click.
ETQ. Low Top 1
Most Luxurious: Amsterdam-based ETQ haven’t been around for long, but they’re already making some incredible-looking sneakers that manage to blend premium materials, high-quality construction, simple silhouettes and a reasonable price for what you’re getting. These are the perfect “want this, get this” to the Common Projects Achilles Low (the best execution of the “luxury sneaker” if you can spare $400).
Converse Jack Purcell Signature
The Classic: First introduced as a badminton shoe by B.F. Goodrich Canada, Converse has been making the Jack Purcell since the beginning of time (or since the ’70s depending on who you believe) but they’ve decided to re-launch the shoe in 2015 with thicker canvas, better construction and a way more comfortable insole. As a result it feels more durable and comfortable than earlier years’ editions. What hasn’t changed is Purcell’s signature blue cap-toe, gleaming white canvas and inimitable cool.
What’s the point of looking your best if the little guy next to you isn’t doing the same? Make sure your progeny are equally prepped for summer with the Chuck Taylor First Star from Converse. Today’s well-dressed outing is tomorrow’s #TBT.
Tretorn x P’s and Q’s Suede Nylite
Best Rethink: The Tretorn Nylite has been a prep staple since forever and the traditional canvas version is a sneaker icon. For 2015 Tretorn teamed up with top-notch Philly menswear shop P’s and Q’s to revamp the classic silhouette. The new (and limited) edition comes in an off-white suede that’s probably less ideal for a beach day than it is for city life during the dog days. Grab this shoe for the perfect mix between casual and put-together.
Greats Wilson Canvas
Best Bargain: $49?! 49 dollars for a well-made, good-looking, vulcanized rubber-soled canvas sneaker?! If there ever was a perfect summer sneaker that you won’t feel bad about after throwing into the Long Island Sound because “that was totally a shark, dude”, this is it. Greats is looking to shake up the traditional shoe sales model by selling direct to consumers á la Everlane or Warby Parker and cutting prices for the customer in the process. Chuck in a solid return policy and good color options for the rest of the year and we’re sold.
Native Apollo Moc
Most Leisure: Hate tying your shoes? Us too. Buy the Apollo Mocs, tie the laces loose the first time and never look back. Like Greats, Native is a newer company looking to sell inexpensive, well-designed shoes for a price that you can stomach for a warm-weather sneaker. It doesn’t hurt that they go great with shorts and are insanely comfortable. This is simplicity done right.