Preppy People Won’t Like This Boat Shoe-Sandal Hybrid — And That’s OK

Purists might shy away from a boat shoe sandal.

“I know that the preppy style isn’t going to wear this — it is more casual,” shared Shane Pisko, the founder of Cape Dory Rigging who came up with the quirky-yet-functional design for the company’s signature shoe, the Dory. “They resonate with people who don’t identify with either preppy — or casual [styles]. That’s what we’re hoping.”

dorys boat shoe sandals
Dorys boat shoe sandals.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Dorys.

Pisko recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to help crowdfund production costs for the shoes. He first cobbled a prototype in 2011 out of sandals and old shoes — he wanted a slip-on sandal that provided all-around cling to the wearer without a gap between the foot and footbed. Think of it as a lace-up Birkenstock.

“I wanted a sandal that would stay on my foot,” Pisko recalled. “Even athletic sandals or Birkenstock — anything currently available slips off, so I felt like it was only holding onto my toes.”

Dorys boat shoe sandals.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Dorys.

Pisko’s model took inspiration from the way boat shoes incorporate wrap-around lacing, but he utilized the design on a sandal silhouette.

“The footbed had rigidity, and as you flex your toes it’ll go up, but it has heel loops — one toward the middle and one on the either side,” he explained. “As you pull up, it pulls up the back of the shoe. Rather than flexing like a regular foot, it brings up the back up, as well.”

The construction of the footbed is “no different from what’s used on a Birkenstock,” Pisko said, adding that it’s made in Italy and the rest of the shoe is produced in Portugal.

After the Kickstarter campaign concludes today, Pisko plans on presenting his line at footwear shows during the summer.

“I think it has something for everyone,” Pisko said. “It’s more of a fun version of a preppy style.”

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