The invention of the boat shoe, believe it or not, had nothing to do with boats. In 1935 Paul Sperry noticed his dog’s ability to run on ice without slipping, and inspired by a sole that could do the same inadvertently created one perfect for boating. Since becoming fashionable on shores as well as the seas in the 1980’s, the boat shoe has been an American icon: the perfect shoe for dressing up for a summer wedding, or dressing down at the cottage. They’re light, stylish & don’t show any signs of going out of style.
So here we present our curated selection of 5 Boat Shoes that will see you through those heady days of summer, ranging from the original Top-Sider to some seriously high-fashion remakes. There’s a boat shoe for every guy.
Sebago Spinnaker Boat Shoe
From their Authentic Docksides Collection, Sebago has created this fantastic Spinnaker boat shoe. Featuring premium leather uppers with a hand sewn moc-toe, these Sebago’s are faithful to the original in terms of construction, but trail-blaze when it comes to color. You can get them at Urban Outfitters for $95 USD.
Sperry Top-Sider Authentic Original
Sometimes you can’t beat the original, and when it comes to Sperry’s Authentic Boat Shoe, this is pretty much true. Simple and timeless, they look great out of the box of after a few summer’s of wear-and-tear. If you find the tan tonal colorway a little subdued for you, try the version with a red brick sole a-la-McNairy. Both the regular and red-soled styles are vailable at Park & Bond for $80USD.
Timberland Classic Two-Eye Boat Shoe
This take on the boat shoe from Timberland is a little more substantial than others, which isn’t a bad thing since you’ll find yourself wearing them all the time. Featuring a full-grain leather upper that’s stitched to both the midsole and the outsole, these shoes are rugged, yet refined. Best of all? They’re on sale for $54USD at Park & Bond.
Vans Chauffeur Boat Sneaker
Okay, so they aren’t technically boat shoes, but if you’ve ever sprinted to catch a train in a boat shoe, you’ll know they aren’t made for running much father than the length of a boat. These sneakers from Vans incorporate a lot of the stylistic elements that make boat shoes so iconic while bringing in an ultra-comfortable sole for days when you’re really covering some distance. Available at Urban Outfitters for $44.99 USD.
Quoddy Boat Shoe
From made-to-order outfit Quoddy comes a beautiful boat shoe, done in your choice of blue, black, or brown chromexel leather. With 3 eyelets instead of the typical two, these boat shoes cinch up on your ankle a little more firmly when you’re riding out those stormy seas. Custom order a pair today from Quoddy for $265 USD.