Style Bee - Oliver Cabell - Low 1 White Sneaker Review

LOW 1 WHITE SNEAKER REVIEW

04.29.21

In my experience, white sneakers seem to be one of those ubiquitous capsule closet staples that are ironically difficult to find.

That said, I’m happy to report that I’ve found a really good option for anyone in search of a truly minimal, white leather sneaker. Over the last couple of months I’ve been wear-testing a pair that’s high-quality, comfortable, easy to maintain, and reasonably priced. Hurray!

You may remember when I reviewed The Dream Flat last fall and asked readers to weigh in on any other styles from Oliver Cabell that they’d like my thoughts on. The Low 1 White Sneaker got lots of votes and it was high on my personal wish list, so here we are!

Read on for a full review in case “the perfect white sneaker” has been on your wish list too!

Ps. I’ll be comparing the Dream Mule to the Jenni Kayne Mule in another post too, so don’t you worry!


The product under review in this post was gifted with no expectation of a feature. This post was not produced in partnership with any brands mentioned but does contain affiliate links. If you see something you like and decide to shop through the links included, I may earn commission on a sale at no additional cost to you. All opinions are always my own and I only share items I love and think you might too. Thanks for supporting Style Bee!


Style Bee - Oliver Cabell - Low 1 White Sneaker Review

WHY I TRIED THE LOW 1 FROM OLIVER CABELL


I had a pair of VEJA Esplar Extra White sneakers for several years but they never fully broke in to the point that I loved wearing them (I’d still get blisters around my ankles and the tongue was too stiff). Aside from functional troubles, they didn’t fully meet the ultra minimal, bright white sneaker I had always wanted. I finally let go of them and decided to continue on my quest for the “perfect white sneaker”.

The Common Projects Original Achilles Leather sneakers had long been the aesthetic benchmark of what I wanted but at $475 USD I had to pause and see what else was available.

After discovering Oliver Cabell’s Low 1 White, at less than half the price, I was very intrigued. It didn’t take much digging to see that they were highly comparable in both craftsmanship and design. There is also a really great video in which both sneakers are dissected and compared, essentially stitch by stitch, and they are virtually the exact same shoe.

Seeing this, I decided to give them a try. Having been a brand partner with Oliver Cabell for a little while, I asked if I could test out the Low 1, and they happily sent a pair with no strings attached, aside from laces that is.

Fast forward a couple of months of wear testing, and we’re ready to dig into today’s review!


Style Bee - Oliver Cabell - Low 1 White Sneaker Review

OLIVER CABELL

LOW 1 WHITE REVIEW


QUICK FACTS

  • $215 USD $189 USD – First time shoppers save 15%.
  • Sizes 4 – 10 (whole sizes only)
  • These sneakers ship Free Worldwide (Customs & Duties may apply)
  • Returns and exchanges are welcome but return shipping is at the customers expense. More information here.
  • Handcrafted in the Marche region of Italy (learn more about the tannery, outsole factory and workshop on the product page)
  • Oliver Cabell is an independent brand, focused on thoughtfully producing quality footwear for women and men at accessible prices in elegant and functional designs. You can learn more about the brand here.
  • 23 Colour VariationsHere are a few I like:

Style Bee - Oliver Cabell - Low 1 White Sneaker Review

BREAK-IN PERIOD

After the easy break-in of the Dream Flat, I was optimistic about how the break-in would go with these. It wasn’t quite as painless, but almost. The leather is (as advertised) buttery soft so it was quick to warm up and soften, even within the first wear. I didn’t get any blisters or find any significant rubbing on my heel or ankle (just a little), which was a pleasant change from my previous sneaker experiences.

The hardest element to break-in was the tongue as it’s made of two layers of leather, which just needed some time to form to my foot and soften. I’ve found the easiest way to speed this up was to wear the sneakers with a slightly thicker sock than I normally would.

I’ve worn these sneakers on many dog walks around the neighbourhood (probably 20 at this point) and they’re very comfortable now.


SHOP THE LOW 1 WHITE SNEAKER

{ Not sure if an all white sneaker is practical for you? Try the Vista for a similar look that’s less pristine. }


Style Bee - Oliver Cabell - Low 1 White Sneaker Review

FIT

  • Oliver Cabell recommends taking one size down in this style, which I think is probably a good idea.
  • It would be great if the brand offered more details on the sizing such as insole measurements, so it would be easier to determine the best size to order.
  • That said, I went with my usual size 7 US / 38 EU because I’m typically between either a 7 or 7.5 US in shoes depending on whether or not I intend to wear socks.
  • In these I plan to wear a mid-weight no-show sneaker sock (use STYLEBEE for 15% Off) and I really didn’t want to risk them being too short.
  • The 7/38 does fit with room to spare in the toe, so I think a size 6 could have been OK, but I’m happy with the size I have and don’t feel like I’m wearing clown shoes lol.
  • For reference the insole in my Low 1 White is 25 cm and the insole in my Chuck Taylor High Tops is 24.4 cm. Both are listed as a women’s size 7.
  • I have a narrow foot (AA) and heel with a high arch.
  • Thanks to the softness of the leather and adjustable laces, these can fit anywhere from a narrow to a wide foot.

MATERIALS & CARE

  • 100% leather with a rubber outsole.
  • The leather has a smooth, matte texture.
  • It’s quite soft but feels very durable and I’ve found that it stands up to scrapes and scuffs well so far.
  • The rubber sole is flexible and easily bends and moves with your foot. It’s also nice and grippy on smooth surfaces.
  • The white is a bright, clean white that leans a little cool if anything.
  • I gave mine a quick spray with leather protectant and wiping off any dirt or stains with a damp cloth. Scuffs and stubborn marks on both the leather and the sole come off easily with a magic eraser.

Style Bee - Oliver Cabell - Low 1 White Sneaker Review
Style Bee - Oliver Cabell - Low 1 White Sneaker Review

DETAILS TO NOTE

  • Everything on this sneaker is white except for a minimal gold logo on the upper heel. The leather inside and out, the stitching, the laces, all of it.
  • The entire shoe is also leather (except for the rubber sole and laces.), meaning the insole and the inside of the shoe, including underneath the tongue. All leather.
  • Breathability is not bad, but when I don’t wear a sock I find my feet get clammy.
  • It has a cushioned insole, back panel and around the ankle, which makes them very comfortable on the foot.
  • The inside is lined with leather (except for the very back of the lower heel) and it’s so soft right away and only gets softer as they break in.

COMFORT

  • Compared to most of the flats I wear in the spring these are very comfortable and cushioned.
  • The rubber sole combined with the leather/foam insole is a delight to walk on.

STRETCH OUT

  • So far these have not stretched out at all, which I’m happy about.

SUPPORT

  • No significant arch support to speak of but you could swap out the insoles very easily with something more contoured to your foot.
  • I’ve worn them all day and for long walks and my feet and lower back feel fine.

Style Bee - Oliver Cabell - Low 1 White Sneaker Review
Style Bee - Oliver Cabell - Low 1 White Sneaker Review

FAVOURITE ASPECT

These are the “perfect white sneaker” I’d been hoping to find and excellent quality for the price point. They’re endlessly versatile and have a contemporary, elegant feel to them while still being highly comfortable and functional. I hope to have them in my wardrobe for a long time.

LEAST FAVOURITE ASPECT

Without socks my feet sweat. Now this is something that I was anticipating and it is easily resolved with a pair of low/no-show socks, which I’d planned to wear anyway. Not sure how to resolve this without adding vents to the shoe, which might deter from the clean look.


OVERALL SCORE: 9/10

I like these sneakers a lot, however, I had to knock a point off because I do think the brand should offer more sizing information and even consider free exchanges to make the ordering process more stress-free. Ordering footwear online is tricky at the best of times so any details the brand can offer helps.


SHOP THE LOW 1 WHITE HERE


HOW TO STYLE WHITE SNEAKERS


White sneakers are one of those rare closet heroes that transcend any right or wrong way to style them. I think just about any outfit can work with white sneakers but I personally like to pair them with easy-going outfits that have an elevated but still very comfortable feel.

Here’s a few recent ones from the Style Journal:


HERE ARE A FEW MORE WHITE SNEAKER OPTIONS FOR UNDER $200 USD


Thanks for checking out this review!

I hope it points out some things to consider next time you’re adding white sneakers to your closet.

If I’ve missed anything or you have any questions, please let me know!

Leave me a comment here!

  1. Amanda says:

    Wondering on how these compare to the Veja? (I believe you reviewed those quite awhile ago!)

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Hey Amanda, I’ve found these to be much more comfortable than the Veja’s, which never fully broke in for me (not for lack of trying either!). These are softer around the ankle and heel and lighter overall. They’re a true bright white and don’t have a suede heel exterior, which I found hard to keep clean on the Esplar. I hope that helps!

  2. Mct16 says:

    Thank you for introducing me to this brand!! When I checked out their selection I saw they have the exact same pointy mule you often feature here from Jenni Kayne at a fraction of the price. I can’t wait to try it and also some of their sneakers.