Where To Buy Boat Shoes
There’s a dizzying varieties of boat shoes available. Offline, upper end retailers usually sell some, although they don’t stock anywhere near a full assortment. Online, the best places to buy boat shoes are at Zappos, due to their huge assortment in sizes/styles/brands. The free return shipping, in the event the shoe doesn’t fit well, is also an added bonus.
Other places online to find wet shoes include , Shoes.Com and Shoebuy.Com, as all these online stores have large selections of boat shoes in stock. One note of caution. If you buy footwear through a third-party seller at Amazon, the order may not qualify for free return shipping.
Columbia Powerdrain Ii Water Shoe
Pros: This shoe slips on easily. Traction under wet conditions is excellent. Hikers and bikers like this shoe just as much as sailors do. It dries fast and is light weight. Provides good support for the foot.
Cons: Tends to stretch over time. Some reviewers reported a bit of wear and tear on the mesh. Obtains quite the odor after a long days wear. Good thing these shoes are easily washable.
The Importance Of Boat Shoes
If youve ever heard of Sperry shoes or Sperry Top-Sider, these come from Paul Sperry back in the 1930s. He invented these shoes after getting tired of sliding around on a wet boat deck. The shoes are still one of the go-to boat shoe brands for boaters today that offer traction for moving around a rocking boat cut into the leather shoe.
Just like how your boat needs to be geared up properly for a day on the water, your apparel needs to be on point as well. Boat shoes are an important part of your day because youll do everything from walking on a wet deck to boarding the boat.
Regardless of the trip, you should always have a solid pair of boat shoes to protect you from injury and allow you to move as needed. Along with boat shoes, make sure to have a good hat for sun protection, a pair of high-quality sunglasses, and a rain jacket.
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How To Choose A Boat Shoe
Different boat shoes dont look dramatically different from each other which you choose will come down to the subtle style differences you prefer, as well as the following factors:
Material. Pick a deck shoe in leather its both more durable and snazzier than canvas varieties, and can be paired with slightly dressier clothes for a sharper look.
Shoes made with Horween Chromexcel will be a little softer from the get-go and break in a little faster than other leathers, because of the amount of greases and oils its made with.
Color. Boat shoes come in a wide variety of colors these days, but its best to go with a darker brown. Its the most handsome, classic, and versatile color and will go with nearly everything. Navy is a runner-up in the versatility department it looks great with burgundy and gray bottoms, and decent with ones which are khaki-colored, though it doesnt look so hot with denim.
Most boat shoes have an elevated heel, but if youre a fan of more minimalist footwear, check out the boat shoes from Lems which have zero-drop outsoles that are so flexible you can completely roll them up .
Fit. Boat shoes take a while to break in , so dont expect them to feel like a dream right out the box. That being said, fit is quite important in a shoe youll likely be wearing without socks, and there are issues that breaking in wont fix.
Swims Waterproof Penny Loafer
Here’s a unique and modern machine-washable sailing shoe designed for comfort and good looks. The Swims Penny Loafer is a well-executed take on an old design and an excellent choice for warm-weather sailing.
The Swims Penny Loafer is completely waterproof and designed for use in wet conditions. It’s washable and contains antimicrobial materials to stay sanitary even in the worst conditions.
The shoe features a proven traction sole design with scoring and anti-slip compounds. It’s ideal for walking around fiberglass or wooden deck and maintains traction when the deck is wet.
These shoes are designed to look like penny loafers, which means they’re both stylish and comfortable. They can be worn with or without socks, but they’re designed primarily for sockless use.
Swims Waterproof Penny Loafer sailboat shoes are currently available in light blue, gray, brown, black, and dark blue. Two-tone gray and neon green are available, and the rest of the colors feature a close-to-matching sole.
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When Can You Wear Boat Shoes
Boat shoes are traditionally summer shoes and are ideally suited for casual spring or summer events such as garden parties. While they make for a stylish addition to many casual outfits, the siped sole adds the practical benefit of good grip in wet weather as well.
Image From Deposit Photos
With that in mind, lets go through some of the places that are best suited for wearing boat shoes in a little more detail.
Breaking In Boat Shoes
First of all, choosing the right fit is essential boat shoes should more or less fit like slippers, meaning tight enough to hold your foot securely without limiting its flexibility. There is a rough guideline that there should be a thumbnail of extra space between the top of the big toe and the end of the shoe, but take it with a grain of salt since it really depends on your toes. When you buy a pair of new boat shoes, especially if they happen to be the traditional kind, and you intend to wear them without socks, you have to break them in properly. Depending on the leather and shape of your foot you may experience painful blisters until the shoes are molded to the contours of your foot. In time, they will fit perfectly. Lately, there are quite a few boat shoes on the market that are made of Chromexcel leather from Horween its so soft, you will likely not experience any break-in period at all.
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What Happens If Sperrys Boat Shoes Get Wet
Please do not panic if your favorite Sperrys boat shoes get wet. They are, after all, made out of leather. So, if it gets slightly wet, it will dry off. In this situation, any real damage will not happen.
But, if your shoe gets wet in a proper rain or splash, you are fighting against time, and your shoes are in the ICU. You will have to dry it out.
If you dont dry it out or any force dries it, it will be catastrophic. First, talking about not drying or delaying drying. Leather tends to shrink if it is soaked in water. On top of that, wet leather tends to loosen with time.
Sometimes it is fixable, but the majority time it is beyond repair. Now, if you try to force it, or use any sort of heat source, it will ruin the shine and structure of the leather.
The heat from a hair dryer or other sources can easily dry out a particular part of the leather. If this happens, the portion will end up cracking.
What To Do When Leather Shoes & Boots Get Wet
When your leather shoes or boots get wet, its important to take special care of them to make sure the leather is not permanently damaged. Follow these step-by-step instructions to treat wet leather shoes and boots for best results. Also, note that these instructions do not apply to suede, which can also get wet, but has a different treatment process.
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Froats Water Resistant Options
Froats are proud makers of some of the best boat shoes out there, many of which are designed to tough it out for a day at the beach or on a boat. Heres a quick guide to the level of water resistance you can expect from all our different shoes that are also moisture wicking.
Our Wine and Dines are a highly water-resistant shoe and will hold up well to splashes, spills, and even salty seawater. If you are looking for mens waterproof boat shoes, look no further.
The Sharks and Minnows and the Nubuck Collection are designed for breathability and maximum sweat-wicking properties. This means they can be comfortably worn without socks, but theyll be highly absorbent of any spills – keep them away from anything thats not clean water.
As you can see, Froats can have a shoe for you, no matter what you intend to use your boat shoe for. Make sure to browse all those options in our online store for more information on their great features and iconic styles.
Dlgjpa Lightweight Aqua Water Shoes
The DLGJPA Lightweight Aqua Water shoe series is a radical departure from what most people would consider a traditional boat shoe. These woven shoes are designed for grip and use in wet conditions.
The Aqua Water shoe series takes a different approach to water resistance. Instead of keeping water out, they’re designed to let it flow around and inside of the shoe. The woven body of the shoe dries almost as quickly as it gets wet.
The Aqua Water shoe is a warm-weather shoe designed for wet tropical environments and water sports. They’re especially useful for launching boats if you need to get in the water to guide the vessel.
The bottom of the Aqua Water shoe is perforated for quick draining. These shoes are highly breathable and ultralight, making them a comfortable and non-slip option for warm weather sailing.
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You Will Not Want A Boat Shoe If
Boat shoes have a surprising amount of uses, at least outside of Montana. However, there are a number of activities where using boat shoes are a recipe for “problems.” These types of uses include:
- You Get In and Out of the Water Frequently While boat shoes will drain water, they drain it quite slowly. Moreover, boat shoes are usually made of leather. Constant submersion will slowly destroy the leather, not to mention keep the leather itself waterlogged. In short, if you’ll be hopping in and out of the water a lot , get something else.
- You Plan on Hiking – Boat shoes are just fine for walking the piers and streets of town. Or the back yard or office for that matter. But under no circumstances should these shoes be used for hiking out in the woods or in rocky terrain. While boat shoes have ok traction, the traction isnn’t ideal for hiking. Moreover, boat shoes lack any kind of ankle support, which is a recipe for huge problems while hiking in rocky terrain. As such, hiking in boat shoes is a wonderful way to sprain or break an ankle in the most inconvenient of places .
When & How To Wear Boat Shoes
There are no hard and fast rules, just simple guidelines. As usual, it is best to go with what you find most suitable and comfortable for yourself.
Eroll Flynn in off white boat shoes
Obviously, boat shoes are best avoided during the winter unless you live in a hot tropical climate. They are best paired with slim, clean-lined jeans, khakis, slacks or shorts.
In the summer, seersucker, madras or Nantucket reds work particularly well with boat shoes. Some people like to roll up their denims to draw the focus on the shoes not my cup of tea but why not? Dark or white denims go very well with boat shoes especially when combined with a polo shirt or an Oxford cloth button-down shirt in solid colors or vivid stripes.
To me, boat shoes are casual, and I would not wear them with a suit, blazer or sport coat, but that doesnt mean you cant wear them that way if you enjoy the look.
Personally, I reserve my boat shoes for casual days at the lake, a relaxed picnic or when grocery shopping in the summer but Id never wear them for dinner parties or anything that has a hint of formality. Again, thats just my personal preference.
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Sperry Sea Kite Sport Boat Shoe
We did a quick review of the Sperry Sea Kite Boat Shoes not too long ago on our site. Its a traditional boat shoe from Sperry with a twist for the water enthusiast.
Pros: All around great shoe. Sailors love it for sailing and being grippy on Fiberglass decks. Dries fast when wet. Has well thought out arch and heel support. Good for wearing around town as well. Odor control was also better with this shoe.
Cons: Surprisingly not too many bad words about this shoe. The main feedback we got was if you have narrow feet, these shoes may be a little wide for you. Otherwise, no significant problems.
Can You Wear Boat Shoes With A Blazer
Boat shoes can be worn with a blazer. The pairing works well in smart-casual summer and spring outfits, often combined with other items such as Henley shirts and chinos. Examples of events where a blazer and boat shoes could be appropriate include garden parties and dinners at mid-range restaurants.
It is easy to get this combination wrong if you opt for a blazer that is too formal.
Opting for a lighter colored blazer in a pastel shade can tone down the blazers formal effect, and can look great with boat shoes.
Boat shoes would look great with this outfitImage From 123RF
Beige-toned blazers together with boat shoes can also work very well, as again they are generally more relaxed-looking.
A blazer made of lightweight material, such as cotton or linen, will also pair well.
Choosing a blazer with a more unstructured and less fitted design will help to project a casual aesthetic that works so well with boat shoes.
Its important to recognize, however, that boat shoes should not be worn in business-casual outfits.
These are outfits that would be appropriate for office and work settings. They will always lead more toward the business end of the spectrum than the casual end.
While a blazer is perfectly appropriate for business casual outfits, boat shoes would simply look too casual.
A pair of Derbys, monkstraps, or loafers worn with khakis would be a lot more appropriate than boat shoes would be in a business-casual setting.
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What Are Boat Shoes
Boat shoes are moccasin-like footwear that are distinguished by their low cut, handsewn construction, soft, white, non-skid, non-marking, siped rubber sole, and laces that run not only through 2-3 eyelets on top of the shoes, but in and out of their sides as well this 360-degree configuration allows you to cinch the laces all around the shoe for a tighter fit.
While boat shoes are made with both canvas and leather, the latter is by far the most traditional and quintessential material, and the laces are typically made from leather as well. These laces, at least once cinched and tied, are largely decorative the shoe functions as slip-on footwear.
Honorable Mention Boat Shoe
I am throwing this boat shoe in as an honorable mention. One time I forgot my boat shoes so I picked up a pair of Croc boat shoes that do not look like traditional Crocs. They have a fabric upper and the traditional Croc foam for the sole. While I have never worn these in the water, they do well for daily slip on shoe duty. I like them, but I definitely wear Clarks as my primary choice.
The name of the shoe is the Crocs Mens Santa Cruz Loafer. Its comfortable and looks much better than a classic Croc clog, but the fabric can be a little scratchy until you get it broken in a little bit. After a day or two of wearing them, they are not broken in just fine.
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Sperry Leeward Boat Shoe
Sperry practically invented the 20th-century boat shoe, and they’re still the go-to shoe company for sailors across the world. The Sperry Leeward Boat Shoe is an excellent introduction to traditional boat shoes.
Sperry’s traditional Leeward shoe is a tan leather slip-on deck shoe made of a water-resistant hide. It features a rubber sole, which incorporates the Sperry anti-slip design that’s popular across the line.
The design of the shoe is simple, and it’s stitched together using thick and sturdy thread for long service life. Its water-resistant treatment makes it easy to clean and quick to dry should it become waterlogged.
This traditional marine shoe is both comfortable and stylish, making it ideal for regattas and dockside events. Despite its looks, the Sperry Leeward shoe is also practical. The Sperry Top-Deck line is popular with sailors and boat owners, as it stands up well to spray and slippery conditions.
What Do I Think Are The Best Shoes To Wear On A Boat
I told you at the beginning of this article, if you kept reading towards the end I would come clean and tell you what my favorite shoes are to wear on my boat. Before the big reveal, dont make ugly comments and hold the shoe memes .
First a little boating background
My family and I currently own a 25 boat. We use the boat for 70% family boating and 30% fishing. The 70% family boating consists of cruising to small islands, sand bars, and other spots to meet up with friends for the day. We are on and off the boat a dozen time unloading coolers, beach chairs and all of our gear for the day.
It generally takes us about 45 minutes to an hour one way to get to our favorite destinations from our Marina. For this reason, my favorite shoes to wear on the boat have to be comfortable, provide good cushion and support for standing while running the boat for several hours.
Okay, these shoes are comfortable, slip on and off, and they stay dry all day even getting in and out of the water all day long
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