Growing up at the start of every spring I’d pick up a new pair of skate shoes, and like clockwork by the end of the following summer they would be entirely trashed. Those torn up shoes carried me through the warm weather and while they looked like total hell, it was always tough to get rid of them. Skating those shoes to shreds was a crucial part of my summer and despite being beat up they always held a season’s worth of memories. With my skating days behind me, my threadbare skate shoes have largely been replaced by a pair of white sneakers. For this season I picked up a pair of white Tretorn Nylites and while I don’t abuse my shoes like I used to, a dirtied-up pair of sneakers just feels right during this time of year.
Since tennis shoes first moved off the court in the 20th century, the basic white sneaker has always been an important part of any spring wardrobe. The simplicity of a white shoe – the way it can be worn with pretty much anything, carrying you through a season, collecting scars along the way – just seems to go hand in hand with spring. Sure, they won’t last you longer than a season, but they’re easy to kick on and off, and there’s something liberating about a pair of shoes that inherently look better when they’re a bit beat up.