Minimalist Kicks: 2021’s Best White Sneakers for Men
Tuesday Bote - March 3, 2021
These days, less is definitely more. Even on the catwalks, designers are veering away from the over-the-top designs that characterize the past decade’s looks. Instead, they’re going for simpler, more classic silhouettes – things that are both au courant and wearable without the wearer looking and feeling too avant-garde for comfort.
One can easily see and feel this push towards minimalism where the best white sneakers for men are concerned. There will always be a market for brightly colored, bold-patterned, and embellished footwear. However, today’s style-inclined crowd looks for highly versatile shoes: literally, shoes you can wear from boardroom to basketball court, from city tours to countryside jaunts.
So what are the best white sneakers you should consider?
What Should Men Look for in Minimalist Sneakers?
According to the experts, the best minimalist sneakers for men should score points in the following categories:
Sneakers are easy enough to wear: just slip them on, lace them up if necessary (though unlaced sneaks do have a certain roguish appeal,) and head on your way. But you have to consider if your shoes are appropriate for your outfit: it won’t do if your kicks and your OOTD of choice are worlds apart! The best minimalist sneakers will go beautifully with everything save for the most formal outfits and you can wear them anywhere from the beach to the office. You do, however, need to keep the following tips in mind:
- When wearing minimalist sneakers, dress up not down: Show your premium kicks some respect, gentlemen, and wear them well. Upgrade yourself from your usual ratty jeans and a tatty T-shirt combo to smarter casual options such as button-down shirts paired with tailored trousers or slim-cut dark denims, or natty polo shirts worn with chinos or, depending on the season, preppy khaki shorts.
- Keep things clean and simple for work: Less detail on your shoes means less hassles trying to match them with your office suit. Consider a neutral color palette that goes well with tailored business wear and be sure to choose shoes with a sleek and sophisticated silhouette.
- Dress for your age: Hey: we’re all for the whole YOLO thing, but you can – and will – look ridiculous if you wear brightly colored sneaks to work in your late 40s, 50s, and 60s, even if you do own the company. Minimalist sneakers – especially those with a clean silhouette – have a certain gravitas, keep the ridiculousness to a minimum, and yet still keep you comfortable and chic.
A true minimalist sneaker features a strong, streamlined silhouette rather than the chunky, even puffed appearance of many popular running shoe brands. Even the colorways available should reflect the austere elegance that characterizes the style, with a keen use of neutral palettes or darker, softer shades of blue and green. Minimalist sneakers also tend to be monochromatic in appearance, though some go for two- or three-toned looks using shades from the same color family or the placement of a sole in a contrasting color.
Sustainability is what many premium sneaker brands are gunning for when it comes to the materials they use for their wares. The very best use sustainably-sourced and ethically processed leather in their kicks, but considering brands that use upcycled materials to craft comfortable and stylish sneakers is also a smart choice both for yourself and the environment.
It’s one thing for shoes to look good, but if you look sharp in the morning yet end up hobbling in pain at the end of the day, you know you’ve made some serious mistakes in choosing your footwear! Consider your comfort when selecting the right minimalist sneakers for men and look over the following points:
- Feet are not made equal - While there is a standard international shoe-sizing guide, this doesn’t mean that a size 7 shoe will comfortably fit everyone who’s considered a size 7. Size is one thing, but construction is another: if your forefoot (the part where your toes are) is wide, you’ll be torturing yourself if you get shoes that taper at the toes.
- How plush is it on the inside? - This may not seem important, but how well-padded the interiors of shoes are can spell the difference between feeling like you’re walking on clouds and the painful sensation of running barefoot on rocky ground. Look for shoes that offer molded insoles or memory foam that will, over time, get used to the form of your feet and be more comfortable.
- Cloth lining? No, thanks - Most commercially-made sneakers are lined with cloth which wears out easily, especially if you wear your kicks on a regular basis. Consider a more durable option like calfskin; it may cost you more, but it grows more comfortable over the years, making it an excellent buy.
The Best White Sneakers for Men for 2021
If you’re looking for incredible-looking minimalist sneakers for men, Oliver Cabell has an excellent selection that combines a strong modern aesthetic with optimal comfort and classic Italian craftsmanship.
- Low 1: Modern Classic - Oliver Cabell’s signature premium sneaker has a fun, go-anywhere look that makes it a great choice for the modern wardrobe. It’s a shoe that looks great with jeans and a T-shirt, but also works wonderfully with a tailored shirt, suit jacket, and slacks for a dressy look for work.
- Merton: Streamlined Simplicity - Sleek only begins to describe the elegant look of the Merton. The seamless look of its laced leather upper paired with the narrow silhouette is almost aerodynamic to look at. The Merton is a shoe that would go beautifully with the classic spring look of tailored and pressed khakis paired with a white polo shirt.
- GAT: Retro Athletic - If you love the old-school look of the classic German army trainer (GAT), then this is the shoe for you. Built to withstand the wear and tear of walking all day and uneven terrain, the GAT is built with a thicker sole than the usual running shoe. But Oliver Cabell’s reinvention of the GAT shoe takes it from utilitarian to luxurious with its plush calfskin interior and expert hand-stitching.
- Phoenix: Stylishly Revolutionary - The most recent addition to Oliver Cabell’s already stellar line of premium sneakers is also its most innovative one to date. The 3D-printed sneak is a prime example of environmental savvy as each shoe is made from seven recycled plastic water bottles. The yarn spun from the shredded plastic produces a shoe that is lightweight, comfortable, odor-retardant, and breathable – which, paired with a sleek minimalist design – makes it a smart and sustainable addition to your collection of sneaks.
From slip-ons to lace-ups, simple yet durable sneakers are a great addition to a man’s wardrobe regardless of his age. Indeed, today’s best white sneaker brands offer shoes with timeless elegance and an ageless appeal.
What kind of leather is used to make each pair of Oliver Cabell sneakers?
Oliver Cabell prides itself on using sustainably-sourced full-grain Italian leather for the uppers of its most popular sneaker lines and soft, supple calfskin to line the interiors for maximum comfort. Laces, on the other hand, are made with waxed Italian cotton.
The exception to this rule, is the brand’s revolutionary Phoenix 3D-printed sneaker. Each pair of Phoenixes is crafted from seven upcycled plastic water bottles that are spun into a durable, lightweight yarn. This yarn is then used to weave each shoe’s uppers, making them comfortable, breathable, and easy to clean.
Does Oliver Cabell have a standard range of sizes for its sneakers?
When in doubt, check the chart. Oliver Cabell follows the US standard sizing guide for both men and women. As it ships everywhere, equivalent sizes under the European and UK standards are also presented for reference.
It would have to depend on which kicks you have in mind. As of February 2021, standard size ranges for different sneaker types is as follows:
- Low1, Merton, and Gat: US sizes 6 to 14
- Phoenix: US sizes 7 to 12
Pro-tip: Oliver Cabell doesn’t offer broken or half-sizes. In which case, you should precisely measure each foot’s length and width and cross-reference this with the sizing chart shown on each individual product page. The following tips should also be useful:
- If you wear a half-size, go up one size if you have a wide foot; or
- Go down as size if your feet are narrow or of average width.
Aren’t white shoes hard to clean? Is there a way by which I can take care of them without much hassle?
Not really, but you will need to invest in a proper shoe care kit for your kicks. In which case, Oliver Cabell offers its Premium Leather Kit to give your sneakers some proper TLC. The kit features a stiff-bristled brush, a specially formulated shoe cleaner, as well as a leather conditioner that will keep your sneakers looking sharp and in prime working condition for years to come.