Updated: November 2017

Boat Shoe Reviews:

Finding Great Boat Shoes - Women are typically the ones known for being the greatest shoe lovers, but there is one area where men tend to surpass the ladies with their need for the best: boat shoes. The boat shoe may be to men what the sandal is to women. They are casual, have a sporty flair, and convey rugged athleticism while remaining a great choice for casual office days, outings, and around-the-house use. And, of course, you can even wear them for a day of sailing. On the boat or off, these are great, versatile shoes for both men and women. While they are very casual, they also tend to have a connotation of quality and superiority that is shown in the detailing and material. What are the best boat shoes? Where do you shop for the best at the best prices?
boat shoes

The Versatile Boat Shoe - Boat shoes likely are a descendent of the Native American moccasin. These shoes were imminently practical because they offered a rugged, leather construction; leather is both very waterproof and very breathable, making it ideal for all-season wear. Original boat shoes added a rubber sole for great traction on slippery decks while retaining the moc-like look. In addition to the quality material, these shoes have a low profile that makes them easy to get on and off. When buying a boat shoe today, you generally have your choice of shoes that have been created to look like boat shoes and shoes that actually are boat shoes. How do you tell the difference? One good was is the material: real boat shoes will typically be made of leather that has been waterproofed and conditioned. You may also see canvas. Flipping the shoe over, you should see a very tight rippled sole tread. This allows for traction on wet, slippery surfaces. If the shoes have laces, they are typically low-cut, allowing for easy donning and doffing. Finally, you'll very likely be able to tell a real pair of boat shoes by their price tag. You can expect to pay $80 and more for top quality boat shoes, such as those made by Sperry. When shopping for boat shoes, you may also see them as "topsiders" or "deck shoes." These terms are used interchangeably. Top brands include Sperry, Rockport, Sebago, Clark's Whaler, and Timberland. High quality and modern versions are available through retailers like Vans and Urban Outfitters. You can browse the best selling men's boat shoes here.

Best Boat Shoes:

Sperry Boat Shoes: The Classic Boat Shoe - Sperry is a name that you can't help but run into as you search for boat shoes: the name frequents "Best of" lists the world over, and it is no wonder. Paul Sperry invented the first boat shoe in 1935. Known as the Authentic Original, this shoe is not only a "real" boat shoe, it is standard issue for most sailors and part of the US Naval Academy's casual uniform. The Authentic Original was also selected by Complex.com (magazine of choice for discerning young males) as one of the 10 best boat shoes on the market. The Top Sider Original Seasonal is hand-sewn of stain and water-resistant leather for unparalleled durability and comfort. They feature a 360-degree Lacing System with rust-proof eyelets, non-marking rubber outsole, shock-absorbing EVA heel cup, and Razor-Cut Wave-Siping for the best dry or wet traction. Available in full grain leather, suede, or nubuck, the Top Sider Original can be found in a range of sizes and widths in an array of fresh colors. The Top Sider Original Seasonal boat shoes are available at Sperry's website for $85. As an aside, women may also find Sperry the best choice: the Top-Sider Women's Sausalito Boot are sure to be a favorite with any chic lady. These Sperry boots feature a 2.5-inch heel, 16-inch shaft from the arch of the foot, fun, waterproof patent leather, and a solid rubber sole. Rain boots have never been this sexy. You can find them for $60 - $195. You may not want to wear them for a day of sailing, but they are certainly right for a night out. Back to boat shoes! You can find a variety of Sperry boat shoes on Amazon at incredible prices. These are classics; you cannot go wrong with Sperry.

Sebago Boat Shoes for Men and Women - About.Shoes named the Sebago Spinnaker as one of the top boat shoes. The Spinnaker is available in both men's and women's styles and is designed after a classic boat shoe. The moccasin-style shoe is hand-sewn from full grain, nubuck, or waxy pull-up leather. They also feature rawhide laces and a non-slip solid rubber outsole. About.Shoes said the shoes were classic and the colors are "new and exciting." Interesting color combinations, like classic brown with olive, navy, burgundy, and pine, or blue and chestnut add a splash of color to any casual outfit. The men's Spinnakers costs from $50 to $77 (mens' Sebago boat shoes here), and the women's cost from $70 to $92 (ladies here).

Deck Shoes:

Vans Boat Shoes: Classic with a Fresh Twist - Another Complex.com top pick is the Vans Zapato Del Barco Shoe. You won't find US Naval cadets wearing these, but they're a great choice for those who want the style of a boat shoe over the practicality. The Zapato is made of canvas and has a gum rubber sole. It is recommended for streetwear, though Vans likes to say that the "grippy outsoles help you stay upright on a champagne-soaked boat deck." And really, who hasn't been on a champagne-soaked boat deck, wishing they had worn more appropriate shoes? Comfortable and stylish, the Vans boat shoes are also a little less expensive. They cost from $50 to $55. This is only a brief look at some of the best boat shoes. Again, remember to check out Rockport, Clark's Whaler, and Timberland for other great choices. Boat shoes are a classic but many of today's best versions have an updated look. Our advice: spend a little more and get a terrific pair of boat shoes that will last season after season. Top rated deck shoes here.