Just as all-black and all-white sneakers are essential to a well-rounded rotation, so too are neutral sneakers — mostly thanks to their versatility with regards to styling. The beauty about neutral-toned sneakers is that, while subtle in their appearance, they don’t have to be predominantly one color. This leaves a little more wiggle room to play with and opens up a lot of possibilities — both from a brand and a model perspective.
Additionally, another advantage of neutral sneakers is in the name itself; these sneakers are incredibly versatile across different styles, situations, and even seasons. Whereas white sneakers are probably best left for the dry summer months, neutral sneakers can practically be worn all year round.
More room to play with and less of a need to adhere to a certain color means we’re almost spoiled for choice when it comes to neutral sneakers. With a never-ending list of brands, models, and designs, it can become hard to choose the right shoe for you. That’s where we come in, with our team of curators working tirelessly around the clock to make sure you don’t need to get lost in online shopping to find the best neutral sneakers.
Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favorites. Take a look.
The best neutral sneakers to buy online right now
Charli Cohen x Reebok Zig Kinetica
Designed by Charli Cohen, a techwear designer and social activist, this Zig Kinetica collaboration is all about strong women and explosive energy. Utilitarian-inspired, the shoe features a stitched QR code that drives the wearer to an exclusive digital experience. The collab explores the concept of explosive energy and the cracks and imperfections it creates. And since destruction is the precursor to progress – when cracks show, it becomes a catalyst for change. Combining fashion, movement, and might – the Charli Cohen x Reebok Zig Kinetica is all about the transformation of energy.
Nike Air Jordan 1 Mid “Milan”
This Nike Air Jordan 1 Mid is the perfect of example of how neutral sneakers don’t have to be one color but can be several different tones, yet remain neutral. Each of the colors on the above sneaker complements each other and result in a sneaker that is reserved and subtle upon first glance but packed with details following a closer look.
New Balance Pro Court
The New Balance Pro Court is about as subtle and neutral as sneakers come. The sneaker is a classic tennis silhouette, low to the ground and featuring a no-frills, canvas upper. The only hit of color comes in the form of New Balance branding on the sides and heel.
Vans Old Skool 36 DX
The Vans Old Skool is another sneaker that just blends in with its surroundings, thus is the popularity of the skate silhouette. The classic colorway is, of course, the black base with a white side stripe, but there are plenty of more neutral colorways available, as the above cream-colored effort shows.
Opening Ceremony x HOKA ONE ONE Clifton
Opening Ceremony and HOKA ONE ONE’s collaboration is the perfect example of a subtle colorway on a not-so-subtle silhouette. French brand Hoka has become known for its overly-bulky sneakers, the Clifton being no exception with its massive, cushioned sole. The beige colorway, though, remains neutral with only a few hits of orange and blue providing some balanced contrast.
Converse Chuck 70 Hi Mono Patchwork
What do you get when you mix a classic silhouette, a wild patchwork upper, with a tonal colorway? The above Converse Chuck 70 High, whose simple, no-frills silhouette and cream color scheme is as neutral as they come. The only difference between this and a normal Chuck 70 is the clever patchwork pattern on the canvas upper — a nice touch.
adidas Originals Stan Smith
The above adidas Originals Stan Smith features a faded, off-white colorway and is constructed of premium leather. Originally worn by tennis legend Stan Smith, the silhouette has now become synonymous with neutral sneakers. Regardless of whether you’re wearing it with shorts, a suit, pants, or something a little crazier, the Stan Smith will serve you well.
Salomon XT-6 Advanced
It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone to see Salomon featured in this list, due to the French outdoor brand’s expert ability to put together appealing colorways of all kinds. Whether that’s more eye-catching all-red affairs or the above beige and white design, you’re always getting the best the colorists at Salomon have to offer.
Rick Owens Dark Shadow Abstract Sneakers
If you want a little chunk in your step, consider the above Rick Owens Dark Shadow Abstract sneaker, which features transparent tooling and a low-key leather upper. While the shape and design of the shoe is anything but neutral, the upper features clean lines and the monochrome color scheme means the sneaker deserves a place on our list.
Balenciaga Track 2
Just because you want a neutral sneaker, doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the wow-factor, which is exactly what the above Balenciaga Track proves. It’s monochrome upper is subtle and lets the design speak for itself — and what a design it is, featuring a mind-boggling 176-piece upper. If you’re looking to splash the cash and want a centrepiece for your neutrally-toned outfit, look no further.
Our designated Selects section features products that we love and want to share with you. Highsnobiety has affiliate marketing partnerships, which means we may receive a commission from your purchase.
- Curator: Yulia Pankova