If there is one constant in footwear that we all seek it is comfort and style. While we may disagree on what is stylish, and we all will have our differences on what ‘comfort’ is, we can still come to a consensus that those two things are vital in our shoes. One such trend that has both of them at heart is that of ‘boat shoes.’ Boat shoes are by no means a new idea. However, they have come back into fashion in recent years and are also once again popular throughout the world. If you happen to love this trend, then you’re going to want to sit back, relax, and take a gander at our list. We’ll be breaking down the ins and outs of them, all before we headed into reviews for the top and most popular ones on the market. So let’s get ready to sail!
Top Boat Shoes Comparison Chart
|Product||Type||Material||Price||Where to Buy?|
|1. Sperry Men’s Billfish 3-Eye Boat Shoes||Loafers||Leather & Air Mesh||$$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|2. Margaritaville Men’s Anchor Lace Boat Shoes||Loafers||Leather, Rubber, Mesh||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|3. Sperry Men’s Authentic Original 2-Eye Boat Shoes||Loafers||Leather||$$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|4. Under Armour Men’s Kilchis Sneakers||Trainers||Textile||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|5. Polo Ralph Lauren Men’s Faxon Low Sneakers||Trainers||Cotton/Suede||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|6. Crocs Men’s Santa Cruz 2 Luxe Loafers||Loafers||Canvas||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|7. Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Bowman Boat Shoes||Loafers||Leather||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|8. Dockers Men’s Vargas Leather Handsewn Boat Shoes||Loafers||Leather||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|9. Globalwin Men’s Casual Lace Up Boating Loafers||Loafers||Manmade||$||Check Price On Amazon|
|10. Faranzi Men’s Driving Moccasins Slip On Loafers||Loafers||PU Leather||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|11. Dockers Men’s Beacon Boat Shoes||Loafers||90% Leather/10% Rubber||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|12. Sonlleivoo Men’s Slip On Deck Shoesz||Loafers||Canvas||$||Check Price On Amazon|
|13. Nautica Men’s Spinnaker Lace Up Boat Shoes||Loafers||Canvas & Synthetic||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|14. Columbia Men’s Bahama Vent Relaxed PFG Boat Shoes||Loafers||Canvas,Leather||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
Boat Shoes Buying Guide
A Trend Setter
This is not the first time we have seen so-called boat shoes being all the craze. Rather, it’s just the spinning of the wheel of fashion that has happened to land upon them coming back around. Originally, it’s thought that these types of shoes came into vogue back when boating and yachts were more popular. In olden times, after all, boats were the primary means of transportation. So if you were partaking on a long trip, you’d be stuck on a boat for a while. Stick to that sort of routine for long enough, and you’ll be changing up your wardrobe, too. Much like that, today’s boat shoes are also intended for summertime use. They will keep you cool and help you look cool, too, all in one fell swoop.
No Longer A Two-Horse Race
There was a time when there were only a couple of companies involved in the arms race with boat shoes. We all know about Sperry and how strong they are. Many of us would even know of them without knowing what a boat shoe was, such is their prominence in the world of shoes. It wasn’t even that long ago, though since it was just Sperry and a brand called Sebago ruling the seas if you will. Now, however, there are a ton of options to go with for your boat shoes, and that also means you are able to get a bit more varied uses out of them as a result.
What’s a Boat Shoe?
For our purposes, we need to define what a boat shoe is and what it is not. Technically you could wear just about anything on board of a boat, so it’s nice to get this out of the way earlier to prevent confusion. A boat shoe is going to be, for our list, a closed-toe pair of shoes that are generally going to be used for more casual wear than for anything else. The main difference between boat shoes and other types of casual shoes is that they have traction on the bottom like a tennis shoe would have. They also have to be easy to put on and wear and are fairly breathable, even if they do not appear to be that way. On top of all of this, a boat shoe is a type of footwear that is very versatile. You can wear them with more casual bits of clothing and can also get dressy with it, too. Because of that, it’s something nice to have in the closet to throw on during the warmer months of the year. Outside of that, there is a lot left up for interpretation and it all depends on what exactly you are striving to do in them that should make your decision for you.
Getting Them Wet
Many are going to wonder if they can get boat shoes wet. They are, after all, called boat shoes, so it only makes sense that they can get wet, right? Or maybe not? The answer is generally a yes, but there are some important caveats about it. You can’t just take your shoes and dip them into the water over and over again. You can get them a little wet, but doing so over and over will help them get destroyed. This is because of the materials that are usually used to make them. With that being said, there are always advances on shoes, and our reviews will reflect that with some pairs that are able to be more than just splashed and then fight back well. So, just be careful with this or go with something different if you want to get your shoes wet consistently.
The sole of a boat shoe is where a lot of the magic lies. At its heart, it’s very simple. They were originally made to be able to keep you on your feet on a slippery deck. This way, if there was water, you would have your footing about you. When you combine this with their general style, you basically have the boat shoe. Just as was the case then, rubber is the choice of boat shoes today. There are different methods and patterns that this rubber can be laid down on, but the idea is the same. To keep you sealed to the ground. So, their usefulness goes beyond mere style concerns, thankfully for you!
One of the reasons that you can get them wet on the soles and stay on your feet is due to the pattern known as “wave-siping.” This pattern was invented, like the boat shoe, for use around and with water. What it does is work to give you traction by pushing water away from the shoes. It’s the same basic idea of a rain tire of a race car. The tire pushes the water away, rather than absorbing it, like a regular tire would do. There are other patterns that you could also turn to, such as molded siping or raised areas in the shoes for this purpose as well. As long as one of these are present, you should be good to go and feel nice and safe!
We know that the soles, or the bottoms, have to have rubber to them to be effective. Even if you want to look cool, you’re not going to be very hip if you fall, after all, so this is a given. But the upper is going to go a long way toward giving you the best experience you can. The upper, if you aren’t aware, is the top part of a pair of shoes and can be viewed by you by simply looking down. This is the area that is easiest to see by others. A number of materials can be used to construct this upper, so here’s a look at what you might find and the pros and cons of each.
Leather is going to be the main choice here, and it’s mainly going to be down to the fact that it is one of the most comfortable materials in the world. Leather is super plush and fits to you well, and for that reason is a choice that many will stick by. However, it is not as breathable as others on the market, and they don’t do the greatest when completely doused in water. Not to mention that they are typically pretty expensive. Oh, and you also have to think about the amount of work you have to do in order to keep the leather looking nice. Conditioning and buffing is sure to be a part of your routine if you go this way, so that’s something to think about. Still yet, the looks and the comfort are more than enough to get most people to stick with them.
There are three main types of leather that you might see used, and these can be labeled as such. Sometimes they do not state the word ‘leather’ after them, so it can be a bit confusing. The types are full-grain, suede, and nubuck. The advantage of full-grain is that they are nearly perfect and without defects due to not having to be sanded during the process of making them (ie tanning). It is more premium than the other two, but all three are good choices and can hold up well. Most of the differences are merely cosmetic and have nothing to do with their functionality.
Synthetics are an answer to leathers and it’s one that’s been brewing for a very long time. Synthetics basically look to take the best of leathers and then improve on their weaknesses. For example, synthetic materials are cheaper than normal leathers are and are also more breathable in so many cases. They also absorb water in huge doses much better as well. The looks are the one place where you might have some concern here, though. They don’t necessarily look bad, no, but it’s just going to look different than ‘real’ leather does. This is one reason some will instantly turn away and return to leathers.
This is another possible choice for the upper, and it’s a good one if you are looking for a cross between breathable materials and durability. Canvas is very flexible and has a distinct look to it that just looks and exudes an aura of hanging out and relaxing. It’s also super easy to clean and is going to be breathable because of how thin it is compared to leather. It’s also going to often have a lower price tag than leather, but this does depend greatly on the company you end up going with.
Mesh is another ‘ingredient’ that can be used on the upper, and it’s one that is all about making the shoes more breathable and thus comfortable for you. Mesh is light and is going to allow air to get in and out of the shoes, giving your feet a chance to literally ‘breathe.’ This type of material can be used along with leather and synthetics, so it can make up for any deficiencies those materials may have. The drawback of mesh is that it does not have as much durability as the others, since it is so flexible and light. The cost, however, of it does help to lower the price of many pairs of shoes.
The insole of a shoe is just as important as the soles and the uppers, and that’s especially going to prove to be the case for boat shoes. That’s because boat shoes place such a premium on comfort and the feel you need to have. Insoles are already big factors in other shoes, but they have to be given a particularly large role in this type. What you want to look for is either leather or mesh, or some combination of the two of them. Leather is going to provide you with the most comfort inside, since it does mold better to your feet. Meanwhile, shoes that have some mesh in the insole have the advantage of being able to drain better. If you are going to be on the boat or somewhere wet, then you will be very thankful for this runoff, if you will. Also, consider shoes that have insoles that can be removed. If you get soaked, then you can take them out so that the entire shoe drains faster and gets you back to a normal state sooner than later.
Even if you didn’t realize it, midsoles are still a big factor in what constitutes a good boat shoe from a poor one. Midsoles are what brings it all together. They linked the uppers with the soles, but their purpose goes far beyond that. They also are there to give you cushioning. This can be done by adding extra thickness to the shoes. This is either done via their height, or it can also be done by widening out the shoes as well in some instances. A lot of the midsoles currently available are going to be made out of materials like EVA. EVA is great because it is a foam that has more give to it. However, unlike some of their predecessors, EVA is lighter weight and thus takes a big load off of you. No longer do you have to settle for one or the other; you can have both!
There is an awful lot going on toward the heels of a pair of boat shoes, both internally and externally, so we should take a quick look at this as you try and nail down exactly what it is you are looking for. For starters, we should take about the ‘heel counter.’ This area is the part of the heel that is located inside of the shoes and is there to help lock you in and hold you into place. Without a good heel counter, you can find yourself sliding inside of your shoes, falling out of them, or with blisters forming. None of these are fates you want to see. On the outside, you have some different options as well. Most boat shoes are relatively flat to the ground, but you can find some with heels that are elevated a bit. This is mainly a style choice, though you can definitely argue that this does take some pressure off of the heels when walking and standing.
The last part of the shoes we will talk about here in detail is the laces. This is a decision that is one that will have to be made by you and is totally up to you. Laces are not essential to the boat shoe experience, but there are plenty that offers options. Basically, there are three main types to pick from. One of them are laces that are there for just about nothing but decoration. This is not the case, though, because when you look closer, you’ll see that the laces are actually on the outsides of the shoes, too, which helps to give you even pressure and lockdown. Next, you have the more regular type of laces. These are not all that common with boat shoes, but if you do go with a model that is a little closer to a trainer or a tennis shoe, then it may be possible to find them. Lastly, you can go with no laces at all. This option, it should be said, is going to have a different fit and will need to be ever so slightly more snug on you. This way, you will not have those slip ons slip off! For that reason, many either love or loathe that type and will pick them or steer clear of them as a result.
Breathability and Drainage
When describing the perfect pair of shoes, it would be wrong to leave out the need for breathability to be built in. After all, comfort cannot be had if your feet are a hot, sweaty mess due to poor shoe design. Something to take into account, however, is to not assume that breathability and drainage will be linked. While the two are similar and can be related, then are not always. A shoe that is breathable may not drain very well, meaning you could see it end up being destroyed earlier than it should have. This is something to be on high alert for, so you should make sure to look over and consider your options fully before ultimately picking a pair. Just because you see that it has one or the other doesn’t mean it will have both in a decent amount for you.
Thinking About Usage
One thing that you really have to do before you buy a pair of boat shoes, or begin to look for them, is to figure out exactly what you plan to use them for. Many people will be keen on using them solely for casual wear. They will not be planning on getting them wet and might never ever step foot on a boat with them on. If that’s going to be you, then you don’t have to worry about the leather. However, if you are someone that is planning on possibly staying on a boat or getting near water a lot, you have to think long and hard about the materials and type of boat shoe you want. You will want a pair of shoes that are made out of something else so that you can protect the integrity of the shoes. We will have choices for you if you are on the boat and will also have some for those that are just going to be casually walking around. Either way, you’ll have your bases covered in our reviews!
Types of Boat Shoes
While the term ‘boat shoes’ leads you to believe it is its own type, and we suppose it is, there are still some subsets inside of boat shoes that need to be hashed out. There is no longer one uniform way of looking when you bring up this term, so here is a look at some of the (albeit minute) differences that they can have from one another.
You’ll see in our reviews below that there are some loafers included, so it only makes sense to mention them. Loafers are shoes that differ from the old school version of boat shoes in a couple of ways. One of them is that they are slip ons. They also have a heel that is raised ever so slightly off the ground. There are some different shapes that they can take, mainly the ‘Penny’ and the ‘Tassel’ loafer, with the latter choice proving to be the more dressier option of the two.
Trainers are a sort of cross between a regular boat shoe and a tennis shoe, representing a middle ground that many a man is appreciative of. These types are usually much better at taking on more water, leading them to be able to also stand up to work conditions a lot better. This type is not going to, usually, be made out of leather, instead using different types of materials in order to give you more solidity and durability. This type is going to be the best to actually get into the water with. With that said, not all of these are going to be able to take a ton of water and last very long, so there is a fine line you have to walk.
No matter the type of shoe you are dealing with, you have to make sure you have the proper fit above all else. With comfort playing such a key role in your decision regarding boat shoes, it would be totally negated should you not have the best fit possible. You’ll just be throwing money out into the ocean if you don’t have the most basic of fits. Here are some things to think about when getting the best out of your boat shoes:
– Don’t forget the sock factor. Most people will not wear their boat shoes with socks, so this changes the equation completely. A lot of folks forget this fact, and it really does end up giving you a different fit and feel. So this means you can’t just assume it will be the same size as your regular shoes that you wear along with socks.
– Boat shoes come with materials that are quite a bit different from the ones that you are used to seeing in tennis shoes and other forms of casual footwear. Because of that, they tend to stretch out more over time and because looser as you go. What this means is that you need to pick a size that is a little bit more snug to you than usual. Unless, of course, you don’t care about them getting loose after a while. If you want the most durability and practicality, then you will want to size a little up, ideally. If not, then you can just go with whatever you normally get.
– A loose heel is not the safest thing in the world, though, so take that into account. Loose heels can cause a number of problems with all sorts of footwear, but with boat shoes there is a very real possibility you will develop blisters. This is more of a problem in the toes for most shoes, but since you presumably won’t have socks on and will be in contact with leather, you can get them from boat shoes.
– You still want to ensure that you have enough toe room, though, so don’t forget that. Just because you want a more snug fit doesn’t mean that you should look to restrict your toes from any and all movement. You have to have a modicum of ability to move around, or else your ‘comfortable’ shoes won’t be so comfy.
– Never forget about the width. Unfortunately, there are a lot of boat shoes that run very narrow. This is sure to leave you in a big lurch if you are someone that has wide feet. We’ll make sure to point out in our reviews if there are any obvious sizing problems, but you should also check yourself just to make sure. Failure to account for this can lead to the shoes having a much shorter lifespan than they would have had due to increased strain being placed upon them.
– Given that the majority of people will be buying online, it’s tough to ask for you to try on shoes beforehand anymore. If you can do that, then that’s great. But if not, take time to walk around the house with them on after they have arrived. Check to see if there are any kinks for you to work out. You might not like the feel of the heels, or you may find that the uppers are too repressive to the top of your feet. If so, you may want to consider sending them back and exchanging them.
Brands, Price, and Durability
As always there are going to be things that go beyond the function and makeup of shoes that determine their price. The brand is going to play a big role in this. If you have a bigger, more well-known brand, then you are going to pay more money. Oftentimes, these brands will also be more durable, since they have been at it longer and are more expensive to purchase. This, though, doesn’t mean that you can’t find good deals or that others aren’t a decent option. You can find some very good looking choices from other brands, even ones you can only purchase via online means. You just have to realize that you will not be getting as much durability from them in all likelihood. The usage, or planned usage, of your shoes, is also something that has to be considered. If you are planning on wearing them for heavy-duty purposes, then you have to expect them to cost more than a ‘normal’ pair of boat shoes would. Again, it’s all relative and is just going to depend on what you want and the budget that you have set aside.
The color you pick is also something that you’re always going to have an interest in, so that, too, has to be a consideration for you to go with when picking out a pair of boat shoes. Most boat shoes, as a general rule of thumb, will be made out of browns and other earthly tones. Tan and beige are super popular, just because they do go with everything. There is very little flash in most cases. But there are still some out there that you can turn to if you want to spice it up and show some color. Trainers are more likely to feature some flashy, vibrant colors, so don’t pigeonhole yourself into a corner by thinking you have to have a ‘boring,’ plain white color.
The 15 Best Boat Shoes of 2019 Reviews
Sperry Men’s Billfish 3-Eye Boat Shoes
The list just had to begin with an entry from Sperry, didn’t it? The originator of the boat shoe, Sperry tops our list with what could only be called the quintessential example of them. There are a number of colors on tap, though all of them are a more earthy tone. They have the traditional lace setup to them as well, running on the ‘tongue’ and around the sides to give even pressure throughout. Perhaps the biggest bit of good news is that the use of EVA is prevalent. This is not only found in the midsole, but it’s also the case with the heel cup. Not only does this pad and comfort, but it also works to give absorb shocks as you walk and stand. The traction is provided by the wave-siping pattern, while the upper utilizes their hand-sewn ‘Tru-Moc’ construction to give you both comfort and durability. Lastly, the leather they have used is not only good looking but will be long-lasting, too, due to it being resistant to both water and stains!
- Traditional boat shoe looks
- Prevalence of EVA
- Leather won’t stain and is resistant to water
Margaritaville Men’s Anchor Lace Boat Shoes
Next up is another pair that is very well known for making leisurely shoes a well. Like the Billfish above, these are a very traditional looking pair of shoes. Unlike those, they have only four color choices, though, so you are a bit limited there. But that’s where the limits stop. They are a made from leather and mesh, giving you everything you want and need. The looks are on point, they will be durable, and the side panels will provide you the breathability that you so desperately crave to have. The midsole area isn’t quite as thick as the Sperry was, but they are still present and do a good job to absorb shocks and make your day a little more comfortable. The tongue and collar (heels) are padded, as is the insole itself, giving you a plush and cozy feeling each time you slip them on and head to the docks.
- Plenty of breathability
- Super comfy insoles
- Screams leisure and fun
Sperry Men’s Authentic Original 2-Eye Boat Shoes
Sperry quickly returns to the list here yet again, only this time it is with something different than their first entry. This is a wholly different look, offering a range of color choices from the more plain to the outlandish and vibrant. In addition to that, they will stick out a bit more because they have a slightly raised heel, too, making them an entirely separate entity as they help to take some of that load off. Despite how they appear, there are some things that just won’t change. One of them is the comfort you experience. The EVA heel cup is still present with them, as is the Tru-Moc setup that is there to help increase the life of the shoes. They also have the 360 degree lace design to them, as is commonplace with these types of shoes, helping you to have the right feel all around and increase consistency. The soles make use of wave-siping patterns as well, not deviating too far from the tried and true!
- Flashy colors and style
- Still super comfy and durable
- Pressure taken off the heels
Under Armour Men’s Kilchis Sneakers
These are out first departure from the more typical examples of boat shoes, but these still certainly qualify, though they have a purpose all of their own. First off, these are made from synthetics in order to make them much more resistant to being soaked with water. Secondly, they are also made that way to make them incredibly resistant to abrasions from outside forces. What this does is make these shoes very good for actual use in and around water, rather that just casual leisure. Plus, they are able to have a style all of their own, blending the look of boat shoe with a tennis shoe to create something that is unique on the market currently. The lacing system uses a bungee, so there is no tying, and they have a pull tab affixed to the heel to help you pull them on and off in an instant and get along with whatever it is you are doing. Both the midsole and footbed are contoured to allow water to drain very quickly, helping them stand out and go further than most of their more casual brethren.
- Takes a beating from water
- Mixes tennis shoes with boat shoes
- Drains remarkably well
Polo Ralph Lauren Men’s Faxon Low Sneakers
Everyone knows the name of Polo Ralph Lauren, so that alone is going to be a hit automatically to a whole lot of folks right there. Aside from that, though, these are a good choice for you if you are someone that is a bit more sporty in your style. Featuring a number of colors, some of which are traditional and classy and some of which are outlandish and flashy, to say the least, you can get all kinds of looks. On top of that, their use of cotton and suede makes them unique in their appearance. They do use laces on the top, just ordinary ones, so that is also different from everything we have seen so far. These are basically sneakers made to look like they are boat shoes by sitting them down on the ground flatly and with their roundness. While they will not be able to get wet as well as their counterparts, they just have that special bit of fashion about them that makes them stand out and force you to mention them.
- Tons of colors
- Sporty style with laces
- Very flexible materials
- Not as good in and around water
Crocs Men’s Santa Cruz 2 Luxe Loafers
Next up is another departure from the usual boat shoes, but one that still encompasses the spirit of them nonetheless. These loafers from Crocs, a massive player in the casual footwear industry, are made out of canvas. While there are more than a couple out there with this material that are close to being boat shoes, it is still by no mean the norm. This makes them very breathable and much more apt at being able to take on water. Plus, they are way more flexible than leather is, so that’s a plus sign for sure. The insoles they use are said to be their softest ever, using memory foam to help you get a feeling not all too unlike that of a pillow. They even have their Croslite material inside, which gives you an extra spring to your step. They are slip ons a well, allowing you to just slip them on and go without any fuss. All in all, these are awesome travel and leisure shoes simply due to their construction and the way they look.
- Canvas makes them more breathable and flexible
- Deals with water a bit better
- Very soft and springy insoles
Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Bowman Boat Shoes
We return here to a more traditional boat shoe look with these Tommy Hilfigers. These, though, do have a way to stand out from the crowd. The heel is up off the ground, taking pressure off of that area and allowing additional grip to hold onto rails and the such. All the while, the upper is made out of 100% leather, which is an interesting choice. This does make them look more classy, but it does come with the cost of them being less breathable and not able to handle water as well. Leather is not poor at breathability, but it does not hold up and let air in as well as mesh, for example, so that’s one thing to keep in mind. They utilize the 360 degree style of laces, so you get a more complete and even load placed around the foot thanks to them.
- More stylish
- Even pressure applied throughout
- Very comfy
- Won’t handle water as well
Dockers Men’s Vargas Leather Handsewn Boat Shoes
Dockers are known for a lot of casual and dressy wear, so it’s no shock to see them here. These boat shoes are a lot like the above Tommy Hilfigers, taking a raised heel, all leather makeup, and 360 degree laces combination and bringing it home to you. The traction on these does represent an uptick on the above, though, as they do have the siped outsoles to help navigate wet surface. The footbed and the heel cup each have EVA to them, helping you to get a more comfy experience during the day at sea, or on land. They do have a leather exterior, which does help with the looks a little but does penalize if you get soaked or want a lot of breathability. So that’s something you will have to weigh and decide upon. They also come in wide widths as well, which is sure to delight a section of readers!
- Wide widths are also available
- EVA laced footbed and heel cup for comfort
- Superior traction
- All leather makes them warmer
Globalwin Men’s Casual Lace Up Boating Loafers
If you don’t mind taking a flier to turn to a lesser known company, then this could be just the way for you to turn to. These loafers are extremely nice looking, in a myriad of colors, and perhaps the best news is that they come in at a very affordable price point. They are made from synthetic leathers, helping to drive down the price, all the while making them more resistant to water in the process. Because of this use of material, they are also able to be a little bit more colorful than many of the others on the list, while still remaining fairly close to the boat shoe getup you’re used to. The laces have 360 degrees about them, while the front toe is held up on the ground to take some of the pressure off those toes for. If durability is your main thing, you might want to steer clear, but other than that these can be just right for you!
- Awesome price
- Synthetics deal with water a little bit better and are more colorful
- Front toe off the ground to relieve pressure
- Not going to be as durable
Faranzi Men’s Driving Moccasins Slip On Loafers
Much like the Globalwin above, the Faranzi is another lesser known choice that is out there. With that said, they are also fairly affordable and come in with a completely fresh look. These are made out of a polyurethane cover, making them look so much different and smoother to the eye. This is accentuated with a buckle that runs where the ‘tongue’ would be on more normal shoes. This helps the slip ons for style but adds little to the fit of them, to be fair. The insoles are lined with synthetic materials to help yield comfort, while the footbed has foam to it to do the same. The bottoms have a non-skid tread to prevent you from falling, which actually does a much better job than you would anticipate. These are very outside of the box, but their comfort and ability to be different make them viable contenders for your selection.
- Smoother looks
- Slips ons easily
- Foam cushions and comforts
- Not everyone’s cup of tea stylistically
Dockers Men’s Beacon Boat Shoes
Dockers makes its way back to the list here with an offering that is more like the traditional boat shoes than their first. These are made out of leather and mesh, with the mesh pockets giving you plenty of breathability in the middle of the foot and back toward the heel on the side panels. The laces are a little different than most, but it’s only a style thing, using three sets of eyelets in addition to the 360 degree lacing you typically see. The leather look is going to make you stand out among your peers, while the rubber used on the soles is exceptional and will keep you grounded in some of the worst conditions. There will be no stains or cases of them being ruined by water thanks to their groundbreaking ‘Never Wet’ tech that repels liquids from them. The footbed is comfortable but better yet has been treated with an anti-microbial technology to help control odor and bacteria.
- Comfy and odor-free footbed
- Nice blend of materials
- Won’t by ruined by liquids
Sonlleivoo Men’s Slip On Deck Shoesz
This is another one of those that thinks outside the box about boat shoes. In fact, these even go so far as to look like boats themselves! They are titled up in the front like a boat and arch toward the heel in the back. Apart from that, they look tattered and totaled, like a shipwreck left on the beach. With that said, it’s a very casual style that is sure to draw in with its rugged looks. These slip ons are made to be relaxed fits, so you won’t have the usual snugness that many in this category place upon your feet. The inner lining is made from cotton to make it very soft, though this is going to be a tad bit warmer than other materials. The upper is made from canvas, though, so it will be light and breathable enough to get you through the day very comfortably. As an added bonus to all of this, they are also extremely affordable. One thing to watch for is that the sole is on the soft side, meaning they will not be super durable.
- Very relaxed fit
- Extremely low price
- Super casual, rugged look
- Not the most durable
Nautica Men’s Spinnaker Lace Up Boat Shoes
Light, flexible, and comfortable are the three things you look for in a pair of boat shoes, and that’s what Nautica’s Spinnaker brings to the table- and much more. One of those things is the looks- which are varied depending on the color you pick. Some are more plain but many are much more colorful than you are used to seeing. The upper is comprised of both canvas and synthetics, and this blend makes them flexible and lighter than many out there, all the while promoting maximum airflow without using mesh. These have both traditional shoe laces for you to tie and a 360 degree system going around them, so that also makes them stand out all on their own as something new and different. These ‘sneaker’ designed shoes are very flat to the ground, so that is one thing you may or may not enjoy about them. One of their issues could be that they only have tread to them in the middle part of the soles, meaning you could slide a little.
- Canvas and synthetic a nice blend
- Very freeing and light
- Laces make them unique
- Traction is not the all-time best
Columbia Men’s Bahama Vent Relaxed PFG Boat Shoes
Rounding out our list today is a really cool pair of boat shoes that are going to differ greatly from most by looking a whole lot like tennis shoes. With that said, not all of them do this, so it does depend drastically on the color you pick. Nevertheless, these shoes are made with waterproofing AND breathability firmly in mind. They are not just resistant to water but will release it via the vents they have, which also work well to make you super breathable. The use of canvas also helps ratchet that up tremendously. The closure is a lace system, making them easier to adjust than so many out there. With an advanced rubber sole, the traction is great. These are not as casual as others, since they are more sporty, but if you are active aboard a boat or near water, you really can’t go wrong with this excellent choice.
- Waterproof and breathable
- Lots of adjustability
- Awesome for hard work
Conclusion And Final Boat Shoes Recommendations
The term boat shoe is probably going to cause you to either instantly roll your eyes or to get very excited. There is little doubt about that. It’s either your style or it isn’t. Except the fact that our list above has helped prove that to not be the case. There are small yet noticeable changes that can be made to the looks of the shoes, and that is only going to serve to help you find something you enjoy. Comfort is a very big part of the equation, so we can’t forget about that, either. All of our choices are sure to leave you feeling great, whether you’re on land or indeed on a boat!
FAQ’s About Boat Shoes
Do You Wear Socks With Boat Shoes?
This question is one that can only be answered by you. It really just depends on your style, what you are doing, and what makes you feel the most comfortable. There are some situations where you will want to wear socks and then others where you will not. For some pairs, it will be best served if you do wear them, but for others it will not matter all that much and you will have more freedom. Generally, however, the answer is going to be a firm ‘no.’ Only if you are going with a more advanced pair of boat shoes that aren’t just for casual use should you consider wearing socks.
How Do I Maintain My Shoes?
Maintaining your shoes starts with storing them properly. When not using them, a shoe tree is the best bet. If you don’t have one, put them in a controlled climate out of the way of things so they don’t get destroyed. As far as cleaning goes, it just depends on the type of material used. All materials differ in this regard, so you can’t assume they will all be the same. Following instructions for the material, and you should be good to go toward having great looking shoes for a long, long time!