Boat shoes are one of those fashion items that will forever be around, because they are actually useful. The sturdy leather slip-ons are enjoying a major comeback with the cool kids right now as the go-to shoe for summer.
The first boat shoe (as we know it) was invented by a certain Paul Sperry in 1935. A keen boatie, Sperry noticed his dog’s ability to run on ice and snow without skidding. He cut grooves into his shoe’s soles, and in doing so he discovered the perfect shoe for boating. Sperry is still a renowned maker of the shoes today.
Why you need them
Boat shoes are one of the few styles of summer shoes that are not only acceptable at the beach, but at barbecues, parties, on the street and on the boat. The loose-fitting leather makes them breezy to wear, and the multitude of different colors they come in makes them a great summer fashion accessory. The clean, prep school image that boat shoes evoke is a hot trend – think holidays in the Hamptons and days out boating.
How to wear them
If you’re going to go the full hog, pairing your boat shoes with chinos is a must. And if you wear chinos, you must also roll your trousers up one or two cuffs to expose your ankle. And if you expose your ankles, then you musn’t wear socks – it’s cooler this way, anyway. In fact, as a general rule, boat shoes should never be worn with socks. They look great with summer shorts and denim. Just don’t wear them with your speedo’s.