Today officially marks the first day of summer, signaling the time to hit the deck. Whether you’re planning a day rowing on a local lake or sailing the high seas, make sure you’re equipped with the proper footgear.
There’s a wide range of performance boat shoes available for men and women this season, with standard features that include water-repellent uppers and outsoles with enhanced gripping properties that prevent slips and falls. However, this time around, brands are playing up the comfort factor, adding cushioned footbeds for all-day wear.
While these boat shoes are intended for the high seas, the iconic silhouette continues to be a wardrobe staple both on and off the shore. So when shopping for a pair of boat shoes for the first time, don’t be fooled by lookalikes — styles that mirror their styling but don’t include the performance features. You get more bang for your buck by going for the real deal since they double as a lifestyle look.
Look for styles by classic boat shoe brands including Sperry and Sebago, leaders in the category. There’s also Eastland Shoe and G.H. Bass & Co., with authentic versions of their own. While Timberland may be best known for its hiking boots, it is one of the largest producers of boat shoes, and always a sure bet. Also, look for styles by outdoor lifestyle brands L.L. Bean and Lands’ End.
And all these seafaring looks are accessibly priced in the $80 to $120 range, comparable to a pair of kicks.
Click through the gallery to see our picks.