Are White Sneakers Worth the Trouble? (An Important Debate)

Illustration for article titled Are White Sneakers Worth the Trouble? (An Important Debate)
Photo: iStock

White sneakers are a thing that many people own and occasionally wear. I own two pairs, and I’ve enjoyed the experience of owning and wearing them. I would imagine that other wearers and owners of white sneakers have similar positive thoughts about them. Wearing white sneakers is like drinking grapefruit juice. It might not be your favorite thing to do, but it leaves you full and reminds you of nurses.


But are they worth the trouble? I don’t know. Let’s find out.

Reasons why white sneakers might be worth the trouble

1. A pair of stark-white sneakers makes even the most mundane outfits pop.

2. You cannot be a convincing registered nurse or octogenarian or Dominican uncle without a pair of white sneakers in your regular rotation.

3. If you are black and approaching 45, you will need white sneakers for all of the white parties and cabarets and Kenny Latimore boat rides you’ll soon be contractually obligated to attend, annually.

4. If you’re a man, a nice pair of above-the-knee shorts accompanied by some tasteful white sneakers will make people assume you have excellent credit.

5. If you are the type of person who gets into fistfights as an adult, wearing white sneakers adds insult to injury if you beat someone up. Now, they didn’t just get their ass kicked. They got their ass kicked by a nigga in white Chucks.

6. God probably wears white AF-1s.

The reason why white sneakers might not be worth the trouble

1. There’s literally nothing you can do to keep them clean, and also literally nothing you can do to sufficiently clean them after they’ve gotten dirty. This will frustrate you to no end, as even a barely distinguishable smudge stain on a white sneaker will make you consider either tossing them out completely or relegating them to lawn-mower sneaker duty. Basically, white sneakers turn people into Kappas.


Verdict: No, they’re not worth it.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)


KC Complains A Lot

My fiancee asks why I only buy black sneakers, and it’s for precisely the reason you state it isn’t worth it. Bottom line is I know me, and I know if I can’t keep a ketchup stain off a white t-shirt for more than 20 seconds after I start wearing it, I sure as shit am not going to be able to adequately maintain a pair of white sneakers. Those motherfuckers will be dirty as fuck before I hit the parking lot after buying them.