Greats Royale Review: Are Expensive White Sneakers Worth It?

by Barron Cuadro  |  in Accessories

Have you ever wondered what the differences are between a more affordable and a more luxurious pair of all white leather sneakers?

In this Greats Royale review, we look at 3 key details that separate the best white leather sneakers from the cheaper options.

Classic all white leather sneakers deserve a place in every guy’s Lean Wardrobe. They look great with just about everything – from chinos and denim to tailored shorts. You can even get away with wearing them with a dressed-down suit (when styled right).

So you’re convinced – you want a pair of the best white leather sneakers. But there are tons of options at a wide range of price points, from under $50 to over $400.

Which should you choose? Are expensive white sneakers worth it?

Before we give you the answer, consider these 3 main differences between affordable and high end sneakers. Then you can decide which price point and level of quality is right for you.

For this review and comparison, we’ll be looking at the high end – the $180 Greats Royale – versus the affordable $40 K-Swiss Quick Court sneakers.


Whether you’re walking, working, or simply kicking it, the versatile and understated Royale Blanco is going to get you where you need to go.

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Key Detail #1: Type of Leather

High quality leather shoes are – unsurprisingly – made with a higher quality form of leather than their cheap alternatives. More affordable options tend to use “genuine leather”, one of the cheapest and lowest quality types of leather available.

For the purposes of our comparisons, the K-Swiss sneakers are made from genuine leather. (At least that’s what it seems – there’s no specific mention of what type of leather is used on their website. And that’s usually a giveaway that it’s the cheapest kind.)

cheap genuine leather shoes example - cheap vs expensive leather shoes

The Greats Royale, on the other hand, are made with full grain leather. What’s the advantage?

  • Better feel and texture
  • Less prone to cracking and similar damage
  • Appearance is enhanced by age and wear
Greats Royale review: best white leather sneakers

It’s not just that the leather is more luxurious. Greats uses much more of it in their shoes for a high end look and feel. The entire upper, inside, and tongue are lined with the same full grain leather. You won’t find that on cheaper shoes.

Key Detail #2: Construction

High quality leather shoes – like these Greats Royale white leather sneakers – are built to last. They’re also designed with comfort in mind. Notice a few examples that set these two shoes apart:

Cheap sneakers:

  • Inside isn’t lined with leather, just a small area at the heel
  • Tongue isn’t padded
cheap leather sneakers with no padding in tongue

High end sneakers:

  • Inside is totally lined with top quality leather
  • Tongue and collar are padded
padded tongue and leather lining of the Greats Royale white sneaker

These details make more expensive sneakers much more comfortable to wear. If you’re using them all day, your feet will appreciate the feel of high end construction – like the additional leather lining and padding.

Key Detail #3: Durability

Because of their lower quality materials and construction, cheap sneakers can’t last as long as their high end counterparts. You have to replace cheap leather shoes more often. They break down, wear out, and show their age quickly.

This is especially true of so-called “genuine leather” shoes. The stress points where your foot puts most pressure on the leather upper will show up quick. This cracking and damage to the leather is common in low quality shoes.

example of cheap genuine leather shoes cracking - cheap vs expensive leather shoes

Conversely, high end white leather sneakers are designed to last. Full grain leather ages better and won’t crack like the cheap stuff. In the case of the Greats Royale, even the laces are made with durability in mind. They’re waxed cotton, so they look great, resist dirt, and last longer.

top down view of the Greats Royale in white

Greats Royale Review Verdict: Are Expensive White Sneakers Worth It?

Yes, definitely.

If you can afford to spend $150-$200 for full grain leather sneakers, you will get a better experience and an all around better pair of shoes with the Greats Royale.


Whether you’re walking, working, or simply kicking it, the versatile and understated Royale Blanco is going to get you where you need to go.

Check Latest Price

This principle of investing in quality applies to all your leather goods – shoes, belts, wallets, bags, etc.

When you spend a little more on a thoughtfully designed product with higher quality materials, you get more out of it. And at EG, we always recommend that you build your Lean Wardrobe from classic, high quality stuff that you will enjoy wearing and will last a long time.

One exception: If you just want the look of a classic white sneakers and longevity and durability aren’t critical for you, you can get the cheap shoes. Keep in mind that the experience won’t be the same and you’ll have to replace them pretty soon.

What do you think of our Greats Royale review? Is it worth it to you to spend more? Or are you just interested in the look and not so much quality?