Black and white shoes need little introduction. They’re stylish, timeless, iconic, and work perfectly with almost every clothing combination imaginable.
Whether you’re talking swinging Mod-like bowling shoes, classy James Bond brogues, casual yet eye-grabbing sneakers—or any other kind of footwear style for that matter—black and white shoes will grab attention and make a perfect impression, every time.
But, as cool as black and white footwear is (you could even wear black and white Crocs to a cocktail party and pull it off), with so many choices out, making the right choice can prove an uphill struggle.
Making the right choice for your look or style preferences can be a bit of a minefield, but we’re here to guide you to footwear glory with our guide to the best black and white shoes on offer right now. Read on to find your ideal shoe.
Our Top Picks
The Genesis Vintage Runner is (as the name suggests), labeled a running shoe. While the jury’s out whether they’d help you run a half marathon, these retro sneakers boast a sporty retro look and a chunky soul that will turn heads on every occasion.
If you’re looking to bridge the gap between luxury and casual, these versatile yet classy black and white numbers are the ones for you.
- The fact that you can wear these pumps on a special night out or a casual drink with friends
- The chunky retro appearance and sleek simplicity
- These bad boys are great but perhaps a little on the pricey side (at around $255)
If you’re a vegan or someone who is trying to live more sustainably while looking cool, these
With a classic streamlined look (a little like an Adidas Stan Smith), these black and white shoes also walk the line between casual and formal.
- The green and sustainable ethos of these shoes
- The classic yet contemporary look
- The ‘Natural gum’ color on the soles may not be for everyone
These handwoven black and white shoes ooze pure luxury while offering a sleek modern look and a slightly off-black (cognac) tone that really stands out from the crowd. A formal wear and trainer hybrid (leaning more towards the formal end of the spectrum), these wonderful creations will work a charm at high-end job interviews, sophisticated parties, and weddings.
- The soft yet durable leather and streamlined laces
- The high quality finish and stitching
- The fairly colossal price tag means you might not want to wear these shoes too often
These super classy sneaker-style black and white shoes sport a unique fade from black to white on the sole, which means they will turn heads and make people look. The artistic stitching, soft leather, and branded laces really bring everything together—a real pair of smart-casual showstoppers.
- The faded black and white sole (of course)
- The pure originality of the overall design
- The slightly abstract style of these shoes could make them a little less versatile than others
Okay, these may be ankle boots rather than black and white shoes, technically speaking, but they’re so good that they had to make the cut. With a comfy soft leather and a timeless sneaker shoe-like aesthetic, these high-quality beauties are perfect for wearing to the office—as well as for drinks after work.
- The compromise between style and comfort
- The excellent shoe-like cut
- As much as they appear like shoes, boots aren’t for everyone
These comfy, slightly retro black and white creations are crafted with a sturdy sole, a durable soft leather, and a look that isn’t too formal or sporty. This slick-looking pair of sneakers are excellent all-rounders as you can wear them to work (unless you work in a suit), on the basketball court, and when out and about with pals.
- The everyday versatility and comfor
- The sporty yet understated and slightly retro design
- If you’re looking for something that is a little more formal, these probably aren’t the shoes for you
These aristocratic-looking wing-tipped black and white shoes are the perfect footwear for black tie shindigs and all of life’s suit-worthy occasions, big or small. These black and white sneakers are slimline, perfectly balanced in terms of color, and will transform your formal wear ensemble from average to astounding.
- The surprisingly modest price tag considering the quality
- The classic, perfectly balanced looks of these shoes
- You can’t really wear these down the pub or with denim
We couldn’t put together a list of the best black and white sneakers without including a pair of Puma suedes. They may be casual numbers but they just look so good with almost every clothing combination imaginable. They‘re timeless, versatile, and comfy – if you’re the daring type, they can actually work with formal wear or with a suit (preferably without a tie).
- The sheer versatility of these classic sneakers
- The timeless design and excellent return on footwear investment (ROFI!)
- Suede can take a little more TLC and maintenance than leather or canvas
Under Armour is known for its brand of hardwearing and eye-grabbing sportswear—these black and white shoes are no exception. Also sporting a faded black and white look, these breathable concoctions are literally excellent for basketball but are also more than acceptable for casual situations.
- The shoes’ original faded bee hive sole design
- The gripped sole and chunky laces
- These don’t work well with all smart-casual clothing looks
A slimmer, more understated take on Adidas’ iconic superstars, these canvas wonders are reasonably priced, well-made, work wonderfully with pretty much every casual to smart-casual combination imaginable (even with chino shorts), and simply put: they are ultra-chic but in a laid back way.
- The iconic and timeless nature of the design
- The versatile comfort and ice cool shape
- If you’re looking for something a little more striking, these might not work for you
These black and white shoes from Lamincoa almost have a knitted appearance and while you can use them for running or tennis, wouldn’t look out of place at a classy brunch or a poolside cocktail bar. A sporty yet sleek-chic pair of shoes for looking good on sunny days.
- The affordable price tag and high-end finish
- The flexible soles and angled chunky sole
- The shape of these shoes is quite niche and in a sense, a little like Marmite
Circling back to Uniform Standard for a moment (they really know how to make a black and white shoe), these streamlined icons will never go out of fashion and much like their boot-like brothers, are excellent for looking good at work as well as bars, restaurants, cultural days out, and even most formal occasions.
- The stylish versatility of the design
- The cool stitched and well-placed branding
- If you like to mix things up a little more, you might want to buy a second pair of black and white shoes
An excellent alternative to the ultimate chunky Balenciaga runners, these jaw-dropping creations from Prada are beautifully designed, chunky, and sport a subtle fleck of branding to make them stand out from the pack. Who cares if they’re a little pretentious? It’s designer luxury at its finest.
- The luxurious yet functional design
- The subtle label
- These may not be comfortable for men with wider feet
Without a doubt, one of the wackiest designs in our best black and white shoe list, this outstanding pair from Hey Dude marries pure skater comfort with a slightly more formal wallaby shape. These tasty little numbers are striking, to say the least—they’re also like warm hugs for the feet (but they work with smart-casual outfits).
- The completely original take on the classic wallaby
- The functional comfort and flecked black and white material
- These are so unique, they can sometimes dilute the rest of your outfit
Dr Martens are legendary—and in recent times, this world-famous footwear brand has released some pretty amazing black and white shoes and boots. These chunky, funky, and decidedly edgy black and white brogues are not only long-lasting, but are also the perfect fit for alternative gents, musicians, arty types, and anyone looking to make a bold statement.
- The classic yet contemporary take on traditional brogues
- The fat, hard wearing sole that’s synonymous with Dr Marten footwear
- The bold and brash nature of these shoes isn’t for everyone
What to look for in black and white shoes?
Now that you’re familiar with the best black and white shoes for the modern gent, let’s consider what to look for when making that big final choice.
Much like when you’re choosing a pair of black sneakers or shoes, you should think about your personal style when you’re getting close to selecting that perfect pair of penguin-like wonders. Are you bold and alternative, classy and understated, slightly more formal, super sporty, eternally casual, or a combination of these styles?
Depending on your general look as well as your lifestyle (the events or occasions you attend should also have an impact on your decision), you should choose a pair of black and white shoes that will always go the extra mile (or in other words, wear more than once or twice a year).
Whether you’re active or slightly more sedentary, comfort should always factor into your choice.
Think about the main purpose these black and white shoes will serve and choose your level of comfort accordingly. If you’re buying shoes for formal occasions that will come out of hibernation once a month, for example, you won’t need them to be as comfy as a pair of every day sneakers. But, as a rule of thumb: never buy any shoes that are known for ripping your feet to shreds.
When you’re considering your potential shoes’ primary purpose, you should also think about the seasons you’re likely to wear them in the most as well as the climate where you live.
You wouldn’t buy a pair of thin fabric pumps for big outdoor stomps in the heart of winter or chunky gripped soled leather pumps for taking to the beach, after all.
The best thing about black and white shoes is the fact that you can wear them with almost any color combination. But, for the ebay styling results, you should limit the rest of your outfit to no more than three additional tones or colors, opt for plain socks, and if your shoes are low cut, add a turnup or two to your pants or trousers.
Your outfit choice will depend on the type of black and white show you’re looking to wear. For more formal footwear, a dark pastel suit or turned up khaki will work wonders or if your shoes are a little more casual, a classic denim and plain T-shirt with a bombe, harrington or leather jacket always works well.
For the best results, making an easy baking soda paste will have your black and white shoes looking sparkly in no time. Simply mix two tablespoons of baking soda with one teaspoon of warm water and apply the paste with a clean cloth. Gently rub the mix into your shoes using a circular motion. Leave for five minutes and gently rinse. Or, if you don’t want to make a paste, there are plenty of good natural shoe cleaning products out there on the web.
The most popular styles of black and white, or two-toned, shoes available in the 1950s were Oxfords, saddles or slightly more minimal brogues.
These styles are iconic and have seen a revival in recent years, especially among those that like retro or vintage wear.