When it comes to wardrobe staples, some items stand out thanks to their flexibility. For example, a polo shirt, a pair of jeans, or that simple cotton tee you can wear with a hoodie or a more formal jacket. However, one item rivals all the rest in popularity: the classic sneaker. Adaptable to different outfits and different occasions, the sneaker provides the perfect blend of style and comfort. Made from full-grain leather, suede, or vegan leather, with a bright white or timeless black color, simple designs are always a great choice. We have put together a list of the best minimalist sneakers we could find, so you can always look your best, whether you’re on your morning commute, out on the town getting drinks with friends, or taking a plane to your next adventure.
Atlas Dust Blue by JAK
Inspired by vintage mid-top boots from the 1970s, the Atlas Dust Blue sneakers from JAK are as stylish as they are versatile. They feature a full grain Italian calf leather upper and handmade, Lactae Hevea® natural rubber soles as well as a contrasting heel accent. Expertly made by Portuguese artisans, the sneakers are crafted to last. Plus, they’re ultra-comfortable with a soft calf leather lining, full leather midsoles, and removable shock proof innersoles.
We kick off our list of best minimalist sneakers with Royale Ash Grey from Greats. This essential sneaker goes with everything thanks to a simple, versatile design and neutral gray color. Plus, these sneakers are also handcrafted in Italy from full-grain leather, which means that they will get even better with age. Other features include soft leather lining for extra comfort, a custom outsole with subtle branding, and waxed-cotton laces.
Clae Hoffman Premium
A street style shoe inspired by vintage running shoes, Hoffman Premium from Clae translates a retro design into a cool, contemporary aesthetic. The wool upper boasts waxed suede detailing, while the retro runner sole features a creative leather accent. Like the brand’s other products, this runner complements its good looks with plenty of comfort and quality materials. It comes with leather lining and a molded EVA insole for extra cushioning and breathability.
Golden Goose Starter
Any list of best minimalist sneakers should feature white leather designs. And the Starter Sneakers made by Golden Goose are a perfect choice for our selection. Featuring a versatile, understated style, these sneakers are perfect for everyday wear and they can give any casual outfit a cool urban touch. These sneakers have a cowhide leather and sheepskin leather upper in white, with golden detailing and a metallic heel tab. Inside, the cotton and cowhide leather lining ensures that you’ll feel as amazing as you look.
Feit Black Runner
Feit shoes are always beautifully handcrafted, but the impeccable craftsmanship is especially obvious with these Black Runner Sneakers. The upper is semi-cordovan leather in black with a round toe and features a tan leather trim, a leather pull loop, and top stitching at the heel. A white midsole adds a bold contrast to the minimalist design, while the outsole that combines rubber and tan leather completes this handmade sneaker.
Aspesi x Filling Pieces Leather Sneaker
Created in a collaboration between Aspesi and Filling Pieces, this sneaker complements its premium construction with a hefty dose of Italian style. The Aspesi x Filling Pieces Leather Sneakers make the most of the low-top design with an orange leather detail at the heel. Suede panels add more texture to the leather upper, while the black rubber outsole follows the sneaker’s minimalist aesthetic and offers perfect grip at the same time.
Novesta Marathon Trail Runner
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly design to add to your sneaker collection, look no further than the Novesta Marathon Trail Runner. It features a textile upper with suede overlays and a sustainably sourced rubber outsole. While the sole’s bold patterns provide excellent grip, the foam midsole ensures that every step is comfortable. White cotton laces that complement the beige and cream colorway and a woven brand tab on the tongue complete the design.
Oliver Cabell Phoenix
The title of “most sustainable and innovative” product on this best minimalist sneakers list has to go to Phoenix from Oliver Cabell. Why, you ask? Well, this isn’t just the stylish, pristine white sneaker it appears at first sight. The upper is actually made from recycled plastic and it’s made using a 3D printer. Yes, really. Apart from the beautifully textured upper, this sneaker also features a soft microfiber tongue, and an odor reducing liner that makes wearing socks optional.
Black sneakers with white outsoles are a wardrobe staple. Naturally, we have included several options for you in this curated list of best minimalist sneakers. The Church’s Mirfield Calf Leather Classic Sneaker is a stylish, everyday sneaker that looks great with casual outfits but can also handle classier, evening events. Crafted with care, the sneaker boasts an artisanal construction with premium quality calf leather and hand stitched details. Other features include the breathable cotton lining, the signature embossed logo on the tongue, and a thick studded rubber sole.
The Finley Gray Suede sneaker from Reiss is perfect for everyday wear and smart-casual outfits. Offering a versatile alternative to white or black sneakers, this design features a medium gray suede upper with gray leather details at the heel and matching gray flat laces. Only the white rubber outsole adds contrast to the design, ensuring that this sneaker will pair off well with virtually any other colors.
Axel Arigato Clean 90
Meet the creative white sneaker you didn’t know you’ve been looking for. Made by Axel Arigato, the aptly named Clean 90 Sneaker is as fun as it is original. It’s crafted with a white leather upper with a dark gray contrast heel and a light gray suede toe. The rubber cup sole in a beige color features quality stitching for more durability, while the cushioned footbed provides a more comfortable feel for everyday wear. A blue tongue and bright yellow lace details add a playful accent to this cool sneaker design.
Common Projects Original Achilles
The best minimalist sneakers never go out of style. Case in point? The Common Projects Original Achilles Full-Grain Leather Sneakers. They’re designed with a classic tennis-shoe shape and a timeless black upper paired with a white outsole. Supple and textured, the upper is made in Italy from full-grain leather, which means that these sneakers will age beautifully. The Original Achilles also feature golden stamped serial numbers, flat laces, and a leather lining.
John Lobb Levah
Brighten up any outfit with the white Levah sneaker from John Lobb. Understated but distinctive, the design features the brand’s signature yellow stitching on the sole. The soft upper is crafted from calf leather and boasts an immaculate white color and a stitched cup sole construction that ensures more durability. Matching white laces and a rubber outsole with a textured surface complete this minimalist sneaker.
Grenson Sneaker 1
Neutral gray and simply designed, the Grenson Sneaker 1 looks cool and comfortable at the same time. The monochrome palette and understated design elevates the sneaker to a new level of elegance for sporty footwear, make it ideal for both work settings or a night on the town. The nubuck leather upper has a pebble gray color and matching stitching. This sneaker also features debossed branding, leather tongue and heel pull tabs, and an Italian rubber outsole in light gray.
Saucony Jazz Original Vintage
The Saucony Jazz Original Vintage emanates old-school appeal. This iconic sneaker features a tonal white colorway with beige hues and lighter ivory and cream colors. Lightweight but durable and crafted to look great over time, the upper combines breathable nylon and suede overlays. The padded collar and EVA midsole enhance the feeling of comfort for every step. Other details include the woven brand patch, printed branding, and a rubber outsole.
Bring more color to your outfits while keeping things simple and elegant. The Clae Bradley sneaker in aloe green is a great choice. A perfect alternative to black or white sneakers, this design re-imagines the classic court shoe in a contemporary form. The nubuck upper has beautiful stitching in the same light green color and also features a neoprene heel accent. Leather lining and an EVA molded footbed provide the ideal blend of comfort and breathability. The Bradley also features a modern cup sole.
Grand Voyage Avedon
One of the most creative designs from our best minimalist sneakers list, the limited-edition Forest Gum Avedon is skillfully handmade in Tuscany, Italy. The sneaker is distinctive and elegant, bridging the gap between casual and more formal footwear. Crafted from forest full-grain leather, the upper has a hidden lacing system that eliminates the need for tying the laces. The custom gum Margom sole features laser engraving while the interior boasts calf leather lining and a polyurethane foam insole for superior comfort. Gold eyelets and waxed cotton laces complete the design. If you want to get your hands on a pair, keep in mind that this handcrafted sneaker is limited to only 250.
Koio Capri Perla
We’ve left the best for last. The Capri Perla from Koio is the ultimate minimalist sneaker that goes with everything and never goes out of style. The understated design combines two types of textures in a monochrome gray palette. Apart from its minimalist style, we also love this sneaker because it’s entirely crafted by hand in the Italian Marche region. Made from smooth full-grain Vitello calf leather, the upper also features calf suede on the ankle. The ultra-soft Italian calf leather lining enhances comfort, along with the bouncy, removable insole. This sneaker also comes with Margom rubber outsoles with hand-painted edges.