It’s no surprise that when white sneakers came on the scene, it took me a minute to admit they were a wardrobe essential.
Once I knew they were a staple, I was all in. And I wanted the best, but by best I don’t mean couture. I wanted a white sneaker that combined high quality materials and construction with a sleek, modern minimalist silhouette.
I considered buying a pair of Common Projects since they are known for combining quality materials with clean modern designs. but couldn’t bring myself to spend $400+ on leather & rubber that, let’s face it, won’t last until the world burns (okay, maybe I didn’t have the money either but that’s beside the point).
If you’re like me and don’t think a brand has to be expensive in order to drip, enjoy these alternatives I found to the most popular Common Projects shoes:
Common Projects Achilles Low Alternatives
Jaks are one of those rare finds where a brand is giving you a high-end product for a surprisingly accessible price. At £125, less than half the price of an Achilles Low, with free (and fast!) shipping the Royal may look too good to be true, but it’s not.
Made in Portugal, the new epicenter of Europe’s fine fashion production – more affordable but arguably of equal quality to French and Italian made – the brand boasts high-end materials with craftsman construction. Sourced locally and responsibly, they claim that by selling directly to consumers, they’re able to deliver a better price.
The proof is in the pudding and the Royal truly lives up to its name with a luxurious look and feel. The cut is low with a full-grain leather upper and a soft calf leather lining. The rubber sole is cemented and stitched to the upper making it longer lasting. The leather is firm but will quickly acclimate to your foot with a bit of stretch. They are born comfortable but if you need extra cushion, every pair comes with an extra insole for more padding (as well as extra laces).
If you’re looking for a super minimal, timeless leather sneaker with dress-up or dress-down versatility, a pair of Jaks Royal White will have you feeling like the king you are.
Life is too short for ordinary sneakers. Step up your game with CLOSED’s hand-made Italian leather sneakers. Not only will you look good, but you’ll feel good too thanks to their comfortable, lightweight, and flexible inner sole. From stylish designs to premium quality, these are the perfect shoes for any occasion.
Tiger of Sweden is no stranger to the classics. A men’s fashion house since 1903, they began by outfitting Swedish youth in stylish suits and have since created a formidable line for both men and women. In true Swedish simplicity, the Salas sneakers offer a clean, white, unbranded, calf leather upper with a full calf leather interior. The soles are 100% rubber and the comfort level is first-class. They run true to size so make sure to purchase what you would normally wear.
Tiger of Sweden is taking all the necessary strides towards sustainability and fibre sourcing and the Salas’ leather comes from an LWG certified tannery. Also made in Portugal, they come at a bit of a higher price point than Jaks but are still less than Common Projects. If you sign up for their newsletter and join the Tiger Society, you’ll be the first to find out about upcoming sales.
A sporty but refined runner, the Salas have a proven track record of comfort and style. Dress up or down and wear with confidence.
Common Projects Bball Low Alternatives
Whether you’re at the gym or out for a run, these Italian Leather sneakers will feel like home. They’re made with the finest materials, come with a closed lettering on the tongue, and are handcrafted here in Italy. They’ve even thought of your lack of sock game by including soft insoles with every pair.
The world is finally coming around to the fact that fashion can’t live fast and furious without reaping the consequences. And California shoe brand Clae is pulling out all the stops in creating one of the most eco-conscious brands on the market. Their unisex kicks are sustainably made from organic and upcycled fabrics. They’ve even created the first sneaker made from cactus leather! Aaaand it’s also affordable. I don’t know about you, but I’m sold.
Although reminiscent of Common Projects White Bball, the Malone Vegan White Light Gum is Clae’s take on white sneakers. Made from recycled, 100% vegan materials, it stands on its own two feet with a premium synthetic upper and a retro vibe heel – unapologetically CLAE and unapologetically vegan.
Not only is it uber durable, but it’s also uber comfortable for a work-eight-hours-and-hit-the-gym kind of day. The insole is engineered EVA and the sole is premium court for stability.
These are the white trainers you never knew you needed. Until now.
Common Projects Chelsea Boot Alternatives
Okay, with all the money you’ve just saved, why not consider one more staple for your winter capsule collection.
Perfect for those days your feet need extra warmth, the River Island Gusset Chelsea boot (rival to the popular Common Projects boot) provides a classic and comfortable two-tone look in stone suede. The neutral boot has an on-trend tapered almond toe, elastic inserts, and a rubber sole.
Founded in 1948, London brand River Island continues to maintain its momentum and is staying relevant by upping its sustainability efforts. They are one of the top 10 fastest movers on the 2020 Fashion Transparency Index. Currently, 20% of their products are sustainably attributed but their goal is to meet at least 50% as soon as next year. They also partnered with Newlife in 2020 with 450,000 garments reused or recycled!
Bring your chic self to your winter engagements with these stylish and functional Chelseas at an unbeatable price point. Their versatile shape and style pairs well with slim or tapered (but not skinny) jeans or chinos. Use the pull tabs to pop on and go!