It began with dudes taking off their ties. Then they started wearing hoodies and growing beards. And now pristine white kicks—worn with navy suits by managers, or with jeans by the coder bros—are the latest office-casual standard.
The style came off the tennis court in the early 1960s, when Steve McQueen made Keds famous. In recent years, hundreds of brands have pushed them, from Italian-made Common Projects down to Adidas, whose iconic Stan Smiths covered tons of trendy commuting feet this summer. Their popularity helped the sneaker industry grow to $55 billion in 2014, according to Forbes.
So go ahead and wear white shoes after Labor Day. Actually, K-Swiss released its Washburn ($85) in September for that purpose. They’re slightly heavier than other trainers, with a thick rubber sole and cap-toe detail that riffs on the look of dress shoes. The upper, made of smooth nubuck, features minimalist details and the shield logo the company revised last year. They’re also just incredibly comfortable. A month of regular wear passed by pain-free; the shoes molded into pillows for my feet but never started looking soft. Keeping them white is on you, though.