Heading for the water on Independence Day weekend? A pair of performance boat shoes will enhance your enjoyment — and safety. Authentic American brands such as Sperry, Sebago, Eastland, Rockport and Timberland offer boat shoes that are packed with performance features.
Did you know it was Sperry founder Paul Sperry who came up with the original boat shoe’s siped-outsole design. According to the company, Sperry, an avid sailor and inventor, almost lost his life to a slippery deck, so he set out to create a nonslip outsole. After watching his dog effortlessly cross the ice, he carved grooves similar to those on the bottom of his dog’s paws into the bottom of a rubber sole. During World War II, the U.S. War Dept. named Sperry Top-Sider one of the official shoes of the U.S. Navy.
One of the factors contributing to the ongoing popularity of boat shoes is their unisex appeal, with both men and women comfortably stepping into the look.
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While there are lots of performance versions of the classic boat shoe available, the fashion community continues to put its spin on the iconic style as well. Keeping true to the the two-eyelet silhouette, check out looks in novelty colors and materials for a fun take on tradition.