A Guide To Summer Boat Shoes


Whether you’re chilling on the deck or rocking a summer outfit, boat styled shoes are a wardrobe necessity. They are known as an American tradition and are associated mostly with sailors. After the 70’s,  they became widely popular among coastal areas and were made both for males and females. In fact, they were first designed in 1935 in Connecticut by the same guy who invented the Sperry’s. He needed good shoes that will behave well on wet and slippery surfaces so that you can easily navigate the decks. The interesting thing is that he came to an idea while watching his dog easily run on ice.

So, what makes the typical boat shoe? It has a non-marking rubber sole, either white or dark, a moc-toe construction and usually a leather upper. Also, these shoes require no socks, making them perfect for hot days. Today, we made a few picks for the best boat shoes you can get this summer.

1 – Sperry Top-Sider A/O Boat Shoe

Sperry Top-Sider A/O Boat Shoe

Excellent workmanship and a comfortable fit.

You’ve guessed it right, the first pick is from Sperry. These shoes are extremely popular and have a great rating on Amazon. They feature the classic combo- leather upper and rubber sole. The shock-absorbing EVA heel cup makes them comfortable even after wearing them all day. The non-marking outsole provides great levels of traction, both for dry and wet conditions. More features include a moccasin-stitched toe, rust-resistant eyelets, and slotted collar. Not to forget the wide variety of colors to choose from. 

BUY | $44.94+

2 – Dockers Castaway Boat Shoe

Dockers Castaway Boat Shoe

Soft, subtle, affordable.

Dockers is a brand that manufactures casual apparel and footwear. They have been around for the last 30 years, eventually expanding their famous khaki’s to footwear. The spirit of the boat shoe is present in these Dockers – they have a super smooth leather upper and a 360-degree lacing. Of course, the highly flexible rubber outsole is there as well. The moc-toe stitching is bright, providing a nice contrast to the color of the shoe. Speaking of the color, these babies are available in tan and raisin. You may also find useful that the heel measures approximately 0.75″ and that the shoes are true to size. 

BUY | $41.97+

3 – Tommy Hilfiger Brisbane Boat Shoe

Tommy Hilfiger Brisbane Boat Shoe

Light, genuine leather shoes that mix the boat style with the slip on construction.

The last two models rocked the brown leather style. The Tommy Hilfiger Brisbane Boat Shoe has a nice green color and a 100% leather upper construction. There’s also the slotted collar and moccasin stitching, not to forget a synthetic sole that provides good arch support. This boat shoe has only one set of eyelets, making it more a slip on shoe. This is also practical since you won’t be needing lacing. Finally, it’s easy to clean them from dust and dirt. 

BUY | $80

4 – Timberland Two-Eye Boat Shoe

Timberland Two-Eye Boat Shoe

These sporty boat shoes are ideal for everyday, casual occasions and a laid back style.

Pair them with short pants, Hawaiian shirts are you’re ready to hit the street. The grippy rubber outsole is once again combined with the premium full-grain leather uppers, delivering a traditional nautical feel. There’s the slotted collar with rawhide lacing and an EVA insert with Poron foam. Timberland Two-Eye Boat Shoe is designed to be worn without socks. The weight of a single shoe is 14.9 ounces. 

BUY | $63.47+

5 – Sperry Bahama Boat Shoe

Sperry Bahama Boat Shoe

A boat shoe meets summer sneakers.

The last one for today is also from Sperry. These 2-eye sneaker shoes are a bit different- instead of leather, they have a light canvas upper. The hand sewn Tru-Moc construction is combined with the non-slip sole, rust proof eyelets, and 360° lacing system. Bahama shoes come in several color combinations.

BUY | $31.51+

How To Take Good Care Of Your Boat Shoes

There are a few tips for keeping your boat shoes clean and long lasting. First of all, you should stay away from liquids that contain alcohol, dirty, dusty and salty surfaces. If the upper is made from leather, you can use any leather care cream on them to keep them soft, clean and shiny. If they have a canvas upper, gently wash them with soap and avoid putting them in the washer- you wouldn’t want to damage the sole. When you’re done washing them, avoid drying them in the direct sunlight. Instead, leave them dry at a room temperature.

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