When it comes to footwear, there are three things sought after while finding the perfect fit: comfort, convenience, and style. Boat shoes check off all three boxes. They’re easy to slip on, typically made from comfortable leather or suede, and designed to look good for any occasion.
As the name implies, boat shoes are casual, yet sophisticated footwear constructed to be worn on the high seas. Most boat shoes are hit with an oil that repels water and equipped with soles specifically designed to grip a wet deck.
Finding the right boat shoe depends on personal preference, but from this list of 10 of the best out there, chances are you’ll be able to pinpoint a pair that appeals to your sense of style.
If you’re in need of a boat shoe that can deliver on comfort and style, the Sebago Dockside Leather shoe is one of your better options. The Sebago brand is known for its opulent style and it doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to this versatile footwear.
Handsewn to promise perfection in every stitch, there is a great attention to detail that’s evident in the waxy brown leather upper. The single piece of leather used to craft this impeccable shoe sits upon a sole of slip-resistant rubber and sports non-corrosive brass eyelets that will stand up to the elements.
Though they’re slip on, the craftsmanship that went into manufacturing each Sebago Docksides makes it a great wear for those less casual affairs.
Leather on top, rubber on the bottom – that’s where the expected elements of Sperry Top-Sider’s boat shoe ends. The moccasin-stitched toe adds a certain attractive flair while the rust-resistant eyelets promise a lasting shine surrounding the decorative laces.
The insole is soft and snugs against your foot, amplifying the overall comfort of this boat shoe. Made from a high-quality leather that’s been processed for a soft and smooth look and feel, Sperry’s boat shoe is a stylish look for many outfits. Or, as they’re intended to be worn, while you’re out enjoying the ocean air.
Giving the Sperry Shoe Company a leg up over the competition is that its original founder was the inventor of the boat shoe. So it’s only fitting that they have one of the most reliable brands on the market.
This canvas option implements the practicality and silhouette of a boat shoe while delivering on the style of a sneaker designed for summer. As a boat shoe should be, the canvas upper ensures lasting durability. On the inside of this stylish shoe is a compression-molded wax texture cushion insole for the utmost in comfort. Wear it for two minutes or two hours, your foot will be comfortable the entire time The rubber sole adds a layer of cushion while ensuring you don’t slip on the wet deck.
The real attraction is that their durability allows them to be washed in a machine. No more scrubbing the salt water from the surface of your shoes after a long day on the boat.
Just like Hilfiger’s clothing line, the Bowman Boat Shoe is a sophisticated piece of footwear that promises practicality and versatility. As can be expected, the Bowman pairs perfectly with Hilfiger’s clothing line and really rounds out an outfit of a clean polo and chinos.
If you’re not too worried about a coordinated outfit, then you will appreciate the suede upper, which has been treated to keep your feet warm and dry when the elements try to say otherwise. The two-tone upper and matching sole creates a style that will go with many outfits – whether you’re trying to pair it with a nicer look or have decided to go completely casual for the day.
If there’s one thing that can be expected from Tommy Hilfiger, it’s a classic and timeless style that goes with just about anything.
As you can expect with anything branded under Polo Ralph Lauren, the Barnard Calfskin is a stylish boat shoe that finds a way to meld a classic look, utmost comfort, and long-lasting durability. Ralph Lauren’s choice of color may be a bit different than most boat shoes, but the teak-on-teak design works perfectly with the shoes main purpose – to be worn in the midday sun while the waves crash around you. The color choice also pairs nicely with lighter clothing, so it may be time to break out the linen pants.
The shoe features contrast stitching and rawhide laces for an elegant look while the insole is soft for a comfortable, easy slip-on construction. Built to last, chances are these calfskins will follow you from summer to summer without showing much wear.
This is the boat shoe you should be wearing – made from a soft fabric lining that’s malleable around your foot and lends to easy slip-on design. The more casual style may not work for dressier occasions, but who wants to go all formal when there’s the deep blue to enjoy?
Sporting a cupsole made from a slip-resent rubber, Tommy Bahama’s Calderon Boat Shoe is the perfect footwear for a day out on the boat. Within the shoe sits a cushioned insole that maximizes comfort. An upper canvas will repel splashes of water while the moccasin toe stitch calls to the typical boat shoe design.
Overall, Tommy Bahama’s boat shoe is as casual as they come and encourages you to kick back, relax, and leave your worries long behind you.
It’s right there in the name, this shoes ability to withstand time at sea. The real leather upper is all that’s needed for a comfortable piece of footwear that will also keep your foot dry, but Dockers amplifies the coziness with a rubber, shock-absorbing sole.
Dockers went with the moccasin stitching at the toe for a boat shoe that can pass for something more fashionable without looking too dressy. Three-hundred and sixty degree lacing and contrast stitching lines create a stylish look while the rubber outside promises a reliable grip for those soggier occasions.
Just because you’re out on the water doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the benefits of a comfortable shoe without sacrificing style. Dockers proves that with this traditional boat shoe.
With the name “Timberland” behind this classic leather boat shoe, there’s no doubt that it’s not only going to be a relaxing wear, it’s also going to pair well for a dressier occasion. The upper leather is rich and soft, made with the wearer’s comfort in mind.
The synthetic sole is everything a boat shoe would need – slip-resistant and flexible. Though it’s not made from rubber, like many shoe soles are, it delivers on the same expectations that it will provide a cushioned step each time.
Moccasin toe stitching and collar raw-hide lacing give it that traditional look while the molded EVA Poron foam insole takes care of the wearer’s foot with extra cushioning. An added benefit to Timberland’s take on the boat shoe is the high-profile heel, which adds a little height to the wearer.
Rockport delivers on an incredibly classic boat shoe with its simplistic yet sophisticated slip-on. The dark brown upper and matching sole makes this a versatile footwear that can match with a multitude of different outfits. Going classier? The darker color of the shoe will go well with many outfits. The brass eyelets contrast the rest of the shoe, giving it a pop of flair that will stand out.
As the name implies, the Ports of Call Perth Slip-on is easy to get on and off, which amplifies its use as casual footwear while out enjoying the rocking of waves. The insole and sole both provide a comfortable wear, one cushioning the foot with each step while the other keeps it snug and in place.
The treated leather will last you a while, even if you spend most of your days lounging in the summer sun.
Possibly the most unique looking boat shoe out there, the Bahama Vent offers bit more of a modern style without sacrificing the comforts and functions of the common boat shoe. Columbia Men’s take on the boat shoe is as smooth and soft as it looks and provides a breathable, comfortable wear no matter the occasion.
At first glance, it may be easy to mistake it for a water shoe, and you wouldn’t be too far off. The “Vent” portion of its name refers to the air flow and water drainage it provides, meaning you can wear it in the water without the discomfort of a soggy foot all day.
Its thinner material and smart design makes it easy to slip on and off while the Techlite technology of the midsole provides a comfortable, cushioned wear while still being lightweight.