April 11, 2018

10 Best Boat Shoes in 2018: Compared, Rated & Reviewed

best boat shoes

With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start looking for the best boat shoes you can find. They aren’t just appropriate to wear for any occasion but also quite comfortable.

They’re versatile, stylish and a timeless option. That’s why we’ve gone ahead and found the ten best boat shoes for you to choose from.

Image 
Product Name
Material
Colour Options
Price Guide & Amazon Rating
View Product
Sperry Top-Sider Men's AO Boat Shoe

Sperry Top-Sider Men's A/O Boat Shoe

Leather

37 Options

$

Polo Ralph Lauren Men's Rylander Boat Shoe

Polo Ralph Lauren Men's Rylander Boat Shoe

Textile and Leather

Khaki/Tan/Cream, Black/Charcoal, Khaki/Tan

$$

Timberland Men's Classic Two-Eyelet Rubber-Sole Boat Shoe

Timberland Men's Classic Two-Eyelet Rubber-Sole Boat Shoe

Leather

Dark Brown, Gaucho Roughcut, Navy, Bosphorous Green/Green, Brown

$$

Sperry Top-Sider Men's Billfish Slip-On

Sperry Top-Sider Men's Billfish Slip-On

Leather

Coffee, Tan/Beige

$$

Sebago Men's Clovehitch II Oxford

Sebago Men's Clovehitch II Oxford

Leather and mesh

11 Options

$

Sebago Men's Docksides Boat Shoe

Sebago Men's Docksides Boat Shoe

Leather

23 Options

$

Sperry Top-Sider Women's Bluefish Boat Shoe

Sperry Top-Sider Women's Bluefish Boat Shoe

Leather

10 Options

$$

Sebago Women's Bala Slip-On Loafer

Sebago Women's Bala Slip-On Loafer

Leather

Navy/White, Brown, Brown Oiled Waxy, Cognac/Beige, White/Black, Navy/White

$

Sperry Top-Sider Women's Authentic Original Two-Eye Boat Shoe

Sperry Top-Sider Women's Authentic Original Two-Eye Boat Shoe

Leather

8 Options

$

Sebago Women's Docksides Boat Shoe

Sebago Women's Docksides Boat Shoe

Leather

12 Options

$


What are Boat Shoes?


Boat shoes have long been referred to as deck shoes. Whatever you call them, these canvas or leather shoes feature a non-marking rubber sole for use while on the boat. This provides a strong grip while on the deck.

The leather construction is designed to repel water while the materials and stitching are top-notch for durability. Boat shoes have become a huge fashion trend and are often worn to places other than on the water. Nowadays, most people find that wearing boat shoes without socks is the best way to enjoy them.

The Story Behind the Shoe

The modern boat shoe was invented back in 1935 by Paul A. Sperry. He took notice of the fact that his dog was able to run on ice without falling. With the help of a knife, he cut strips into the soles of his shoes which became the inspiration behind the company Sperry Top-Sider.


They quickly became a hit with sailors across the world, but in the 70s they became a casual footwear trend as well. Traditional boat shoes feature a white, non-marking sole, but there are more varieties available today with a dark sole instead. 


Nowadays, boat shoes are worn by men and women as well as children with school uniforms. 


Not Just for Boats


Even though the boat shoe was created to be worn on the deck, it has many more purposes now. You’ll see people casually walking wearing a stylish pair of boat shoes with their jeans, khakis and shorts.

With the versatility to wear boat shoes with or without socks, it’s easier than ever to achieve the style you’re looking for.


Features to Look for in Good Boat Shoes


When you’re attempting to find the best pair of boat shoes, here are some features you’ll want to look for.

Look

Looks are an important factor when picking a new pair of boat shoes. There’s no one look for all people so you have to pick based on your individual tastes. Boat shoes come in a variety of styles, colors and materials perfect for customizing to your preferences.

Grip

If you’re using your boat shoes on a wet deck, you must have a non-marking, non-slip sole. Rubber is the best material for superior grip. Some boat shoes also feature a patterned sole to help drain excess water away. A soft sole is your best choice when looking for a superior grip.

Breathable

When you’re on your feet for long periods of time, you want to have footwear that keeps your feet comfortable. Many boat shoes feature materials to help drain water quickly and allow the foot to breathe throughout the day. This means that even on the hottest days, you can have comfortable, cool feet.

Leather vs. Synthetic Mesh Upper

Boat shoes are made from either leather or canvas uppers. This is meant to minimize water absorption and keep the foot dry. Premium materials paired with heavy-duty stitching are going to allow for maximum durability even when they’re exposed to the elements.


10 Best Boat Shoes Reviewed


Here are our picks for the ten best boat shoes on the market. We have split the list into mens and womens shoes.


Men

Sperry Top-Sider Men's A/O Boat Shoe

This classic type of boat shoe is a winner with guys everywhere. It’s made from leather and features a moccasin-stitched toe. In addition, this shoe has a slotted collar plus rust-resistant eyelets. The EVA heel cup offers superior shock absorption to give you the comfort you desire.

This boat shoe also has a rubber sole for great traction on the deck. It’s great for boating or hanging out around town. There are almost forty various styles of this shoe to choose from, so you’re sure to find something you like.

Some of them are even available in half sizes. Keep in mind that a few styles run up to a couple of hundred dollars in price and a few people mentioned they felt small.

Sperry Top-Sider Men's AO Boat Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

78%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Many styles to choose from
  • Made of leather
  • Durable stitching
  • EVA shock-absorbing heel
  • Rubber sole for traction

Cons

  • Some styles are expensive
  • Shoes might run small
Polo Ralph Lauren Men's Rylander Boat Shoe

Our Rating

Polo Ralph Lauren Men's Rylander Boat Shoe

This stylish boat shoe from Polo Ralph Lauren goes with everything. When you want to look cool no matter what activity you’re doing, this shoe is a winner.

It has a distinctive character and is made from a leather/canvas mixture for superior breathability. This shoe also has metal eyelets, textile lining and 360-degree lacing.

The sole of this shoe is fitted with a sure-grip tread which keeps you stable on wet surfaces. There are three styles to choose from and the prices are reasonable. Customers found that they often ran larger than expected and many sizes are out of stock.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

75%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Unique character
  • Leather and canvas materials
  • Maximum breathability
  • Sure-grip tread on sole
  • Reasonable prices

Cons

  • Sizes are out of stock
  • Shoes might be large

Timberland Men's Classic Two-Eyelet Rubber-Sole Boat Shoe

Whether you’re heading out on the water or simply taking a stroll in the city, this shoe is for you! It’s made from hand-sewn leather and features a superior rubber sole with maximum grip.

This gives you the traction you need no matter where you are. In addition, it features a slotted collar, moccasin toe and rawhide lacing to give that classic look.

There is Poron foam and an EVA insert inside the shoe for additional comfort. This shoe feels like a pair of slippers have invaded your feet. There are five colors including a vibrant green option.

You’ll even find some half sizes available if you need them. Keep in mind that a few styles run up to a couple of hundred dollars in price and a few people mentioned they felt small.

Timberland Men's Classic Two-Eyelet Rubber-Sole Boat Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

76%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Classic design
  • Hand-sewn leather
  • Superior traction
  • Poron foam and an EVA insert for comfort
  • Many styles to choose from

Cons

  • Some are expensive
  • Shoes might be small
Sperry Top-Sider Men's Billfish Slip-On

Our Rating

Sperry Top-Sider Men's Billfish Slip-On

When comfort and style are top on your list of priorities, you’ll love this boat shoe from Sperry. It has a modern feel to it with the ultimate in durability. The high-quality construction is a hand-sewn true-moccasin design. It also has a shock-absorbing EVA heel cup for additional comfort.

Prices are reasonable and you’ll find a few half sizes if you need them. There are only two colors to choose from: coffee and tan.

These two colors aren’t that much different from one another, so it would have been nice to see more offerings. In addition, many customers felt that the shoes ran on the large size.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

69%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Durable
  • High-quality construction
  • Shock-absorbing EVA heel cup
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Half sizes available

Cons

  • Only two colors to choose from
  • Shoes might be large

Sebago Men's Clovehitch II Oxford

If you want the best boat shoes for walking around town or heading out to sea, this Sebago is a true winner.

With weathered full-grain leather, a nubuck upper and mesh panels you have a design that’s durable and allows for maximum breathability. With the eyelet setup and slotted collar, you have a truly nautical feel.

On top of that, the rubber sole is non-marking and offers razor-grip traction. There are more than ten styles to choose from but sizes are limited and some are pricey.

There’s also a good amount of customers that felt the shoe ran slightly large.

Sebago Men's Clovehitch II Oxford

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

76%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Weathered full-grain leather construction
  • Breathable
  • Nautical feel
  • Non-marking rubber sole
  • Lots of styles to choose from

Cons

  • Some styles are expensive
  • Lack of stock in some sizes
Sebago Men's Docksides Boat Shoe

Our Rating

Sebago Men's Docksides Boat Shoe

These shoes feature a classic style and are constructed of rugged leather. The durable non-slip sole is just what you need for superior traction.

In addition, it features authentic rawhide laces. The molded EVA foam insole offers all-day comfort so you can travel anywhere you want.

There are over twenty styles to choose from with this shoe, so it’s good to purchase more than one for varying outfits.

Another plus is that this shoe is available in wide and narrow sizes. Some of the prices are a little high and several customers felt they ran a little small.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

70%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Classic style
  • Rugged leather design
  • Non-slip durable sole
  • EVA foam insole
  • Lots of styles to choose from

Cons

  • Some styles are expensive
  • Shoes might run small


Women


Sperry Top-Sider Women's Bluefish Boat Shoe

When a woman wants a stylish boat shoe, she really can’t go wrong with this Sperry Top-Sider. They’re designed to be fashionable and comfortable.

In addition, they are flexible and durable. Chances are you won’t want to put on another pair of shoes once you wear this.

The full-grain leather design combined with its rubber outsole make this the best women’s boat shoe available. There are ten great styles to choose from, so you could have a different pair for each day of the week.

Prices on the shoe are reasonable and they seem to fit true to size.

Sperry Top-Sider Women's Bluefish Boat Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

81%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Reputable brand
  • Fashionable and numerous styles available
  • Flexible
  • Durable
  • Fit true to size

Cons

  • None that we are aware of
Sebago Women's Bala Slip-On Loafer

Our Rating

Sebago Women's Bala Slip-On Loafer

Sebago is the choice among women sailors across the world and has even been featured in Sailing magazine, but that isn’t all they are good for. Kate Middleton herself has been seen wearing them while jet-setting. That’s because they’re incredibly comfortable and practical as well.

With a leather construction and rubber outsole, you have just what you need to make a lasting impression on those you meet. Choose from six styles including a navy color. You can choose from half sizes if you need them but you’ll want to be aware that some people felt they ran a little small.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

59%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Brand worn by Kate Middleton
  • Fashionable
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Available in several colors

Cons

  • Prices can be expensive
  • Shoes might run on the small side

Sperry Top-Sider Women's Authentic Original Two-Eye Boat Shoe

This classic and favorite choice among women features exceptional traction for your time on wet decks plus a classic design to run errands around town.

This moc-toe boat shoe features a slotted collar and 360-degree lacing system with rustproof eyelets. There’s also a shock absorbing EVA Heel cup for comfort.

You can choose from eight different styles and a variety of size options. Prices are reasonable on most of the styles but people have noticed that the shoe tends to run a little on the small side.

Sperry Top-Sider Women's Authentic Original Two-Eye Boat Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

71%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Classic style
  • Exceptional traction
  • 360-degree lacing system with rustproof eyelets
  • Shock absorbing EVA Heel cup
  • Available in several colors

Cons

  • Prices can be expensive
  • Shoes might run on the small side
Sebago Women's Docksides Boat Shoe

Our Rating

Sebago Women's Docksides Boat Shoe

When you desire a classic boat shoe for heading out on the town, this Sebago is a great choice. They might not be the best cheap boat shoes, but you pay for the added durability and comfort.

This Sebago brand shoe features the moc-toe stitching for an authentic look. In addition, they have an embossed rubber midsole and raw leather around the collar’s lacing.

They’re available for purchase in over ten different styles including a pink and yellow combination. You might pay a little more for this brand, but they should last you for a long time. Keep in mind that a few people felt they might run on the smaller side.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

69%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Classic boat shoe style
  • Long-lasting and durable
  • Comfortable feel
  • Raw leather features
  • Ten styles to choose from

Cons

  • You will pay more for many of the styles
  • Some people felt they ran small

Caring for Your Boat Shoes


Now that you’ve chosen stylish boat shoes to wear, it’s time to learn how to take care of them. To protect the leather, you’ll want to shine it with a water-based polish. Make sure you avoid any quick-drying or liquid polish that has silicone or alcohol as an ingredient.

Keep your boat shoes free from dust, dirt and salt deposits. Even when your canvas shoes say they can be machine washed, we don’t recommend it. Always wash them by hand with a mild soap for the best results.

It’s also important that your dry your shoes completely at room temperature. They shouldn’t be placed in direct sunlight or heat. Otherwise, they might form cracks. When they aren’t being used, store them on a shoe tree to retain their shape.

question

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you wear socks with boat shoes?


It’s a personal preference whether you wear socks or not. Some people like to go without while others will wear low-cut socks instead.

How long do boat shoes take to break in?


It’s important to break the shoes in properly to avoid blisters. Thankfully, the process isn’t much different than any other pair of shoes made from leather and shouldn’t take long.

Can you wear orthotics with boat shoes?


Yes, you’ll want to be sure that the shoe you choose has the room to accommodate your insert.

What pants should you wear with boat shoes?


You can wear anything with your boat shoes. Style them with jeans, khakis or shorts.


Conclusion


Now that you’ve seen a nice selection of the best men’s boat shoes and the best boat shoes for women, it’s time to pick the style that works best for you.

Whether you choose to wear them while running errands or for a nice dinner by the beach, you’ll look good in your new purchase.

Share On Facebook

Josh M

Josh is a former athlete who always enjoys new and exciting challenges. His love for adventure means risk and reward. Josh believes that the right footwear is essential in most situations and doesn't have to be a risk.