30 Best Boat Shoes [Men & Women] (2019): Buyer’s Guide and Unbiased Reviews

Are you on a quest to find the best boat shoes?

Then you’re in the right place. Because I have done the hard work for you and have reviewed dozens of products to bring you the best boat shoes.

In addition, I will introduce the following related topics.

  • Product Details (Including advantages and disadvantages) 
  • Buyer’s Guide
  • Different Types of Materials

I will also answer some common questions.

  • When Should You Wear Boat Shoes?
  • How to Wear Boat Shoes?
  • How to Clean and Maintain Boat Shoes?
  • How to Reduce Odor from Boat Shoes?
  • Socks or Sockless?
  • Boat Shoes for Work or Not?
  • Are Boat Shoes and Water Shoes One the Same Thing?
  • How to Break in Boat Shoes?

Without further ado, let’s begin!

Chief Editor

Brian

Hi! I’m Brian, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science at University of Houston. I used to be an editor of a sports magazine. Currently, I work as a part-time editor at OutsideHow.com. I like to read sports and recreation magazines, such as Outdoor Life, Sports Illustrated, ESPN and Runner’s World. I hope that this article can be helpful to you.
Brian

27
Hours Researching

90+
Products Evaluated

1800+
Reviews Considered

17
Researched Sources

Top 6 Picks ( In a Hurry? Here are the winners )

For Men

Product
Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
Sperry Men's Authentic Original 2-Eye Boat Shoe
Professional's Choice
Sperry Men's Billfish 3-Eye Boat Shoe, Dark Tan, 11 M US
Best Value
Tommy Hilfiger Men's Bowman Boat shoe,Coffe Bean,11 M US
Image
Sperry Men's Authentic Original 2-Eye Boat Shoe
Sperry Men's Billfish 3-Eye Boat Shoe, Dark Tan, 11 M US
Tommy Hilfiger Men's Bowman Boat shoe,Coffe Bean,11 M US
Price
from $37.00
from $59.90
$48.50
Prime
Our Rating
Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
Product
Sperry Men's Authentic Original 2-Eye Boat Shoe
Image
Sperry Men's Authentic Original 2-Eye Boat Shoe
Price
from $37.00
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Professional's Choice
Product
Sperry Men's Billfish 3-Eye Boat Shoe, Dark Tan, 11 M US
Image
Sperry Men's Billfish 3-Eye Boat Shoe, Dark Tan, 11 M US
Price
from $59.90
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Best Value
Product
Tommy Hilfiger Men's Bowman Boat shoe,Coffe Bean,11 M US
Image
Tommy Hilfiger Men's Bowman Boat shoe,Coffe Bean,11 M US
Price
$48.50
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon

For Women

Product
Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
Sperry Top-Sider Women's Angelfish,Black,6 M US
Professional's Choice
Skechers Performance Women's Go Step-Seashore Boating Shoe, Natural/Beige, 5 M US
Best Value
Grasshoppers Women's Windham Slip-On Flat
Image
Sperry Top-Sider Women's Angelfish,Black,6 M US
Skechers Performance Women's Go Step-Seashore Boating Shoe, Natural/Beige, 5 M US
Grasshoppers Women's Windham Slip-On Flat
Price
from $42.97
from $41.78
from $17.80
Prime
Our Rating
Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
Product
Sperry Top-Sider Women's Angelfish,Black,6 M US
Image
Sperry Top-Sider Women's Angelfish,Black,6 M US
Price
from $42.97
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Professional's Choice
Product
Skechers Performance Women's Go Step-Seashore Boating Shoe, Natural/Beige, 5 M US
Image
Skechers Performance Women's Go Step-Seashore Boating Shoe, Natural/Beige, 5 M US
Price
from $41.78
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Best Value
Product
Grasshoppers Women's Windham Slip-On Flat
Image
Grasshoppers Women's Windham Slip-On Flat
Price
from $17.80
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon

Best Boat Shoes

In the beginning, boat shoes were made specifically for sailors and in a way that made them easy to air out. They were made with a breathable mesh and waterproof leather and were made to be non-slip. It wasn’t long before these became fashionable and they are now worn by a wide variety of different people for various occasions. They can be worn in many different situations. They are comfortable for taking long walks and they come in different styles and colors. They are now a fashionable shoe that goes way beyond the sailors working shoe they were once made to be.

For Men

1. Sperry Men’s Authentic Original 2-Eye Boat Shoe | Best Boat Shoes for WalkingEditor’s Choice & Best Seller

Sale
Sperry Men's Authentic Original 2-Eye Boat Shoe
  • Leather boat shoe featuring moccasin-stitched toe, rust-resistant...
  • Shock-absorbing EVA heel cup. Genuine hand-sewn Tru-Moc construction...
  • Non-marking outsole with wet/dry traction
  • SPERRY
  • Black Amaretto

This was the original maker of boat shoes. This authentic original is based on the first design. There are some modifications that have been made. This brand is well known for making boat shoes.

The maker has chosen to stick with the original design because it works great. Anyone wanting something that is authentic and that functions well will enjoy this choice. It comes with genuine leather, rubber outsoles that don’t make marks, and they provide excellent traction on dry and wet surfaces.

The heel is highly shock-absorbent which adds to the shoes overall comfort. The heel is also very stable which allows its wearer to remain balanced even on uneven surfaces. It comes with a moccasin stitched toe that adds a lot to the designs overall flare.

This version of the boat shoe has rawhide laces and rustproof eyelets. They are made to go with a variety of different outfits. They can be worn with very casual clothes as well as somewhat dressy clothes.

Pros
  • Its excellent traction even when walking on wet surfaces.
  • It’s extremely comfortable.
  • It has the look and feel of an original boat shoe.
Cons
  • Some wearers say that the newer versions are a bit narrower than earlier ones.

2. Sperry Men’s Billfish 3-Eye Boat Shoe | Best Boat Shoes for FishingProfessional’s Choice

Sale
Sperry Men's Billfish 3-Eye Boat Shoe, Dark Tan, 11 M US
  • Features air-mesh upper panels for cool, breathable comfort around the...
  • Stain and water resistant leather
  • SPERRY
  • 11
  • Dark Tan

This model has a more athletic style. You can get it in a size 8 wide up to 9.5 extra wide. It has some features that resemble a penny loafer while the rest of it is designed to be durable and rugged. It is made of genuine leather but also has some mesh areas to allow it to breathe. This keeps your feet from becoming too sweaty during the summer.

It is resistant to stains from liquids and water and they will not change its appearance. All these factors allow this pair of shoes to continue looking like new for many years. Like other boat shoes by this maker, it has cushioning under the feet to give you more comfort. The shoelaces are made of rawhide and the eyelets are metal.

These shoes have grooved soles. Many feel it is an improvement over the version that is more traditional. It comes with a selection of three colors that are different shades of brown. If someone wants white or black they won’t be able to get those colors in this choice of shoes. The stitching that holds the sole and the shoe together is not as good a quality as some of the other shoes by this maker. For that reason, these shoes might get a hole in them sooner than the other choices would.

Pros
  • Very comfortable.
  • The soles will not slip and it’s made of real leather.
  • It has a mesh area that allows it to breathe and reduces sweating.
Cons
  • It’s more cheaply constructed than some of the other choices by this maker.

3. Sebago Men’s Docksides Boat Shoes

Sebago Men's Docksides Boat Shoes, Grey Leather, 9 M
  • cushioning
  • slip-resistant
  • non-marking
  • Sebago
  • 9 M US

Anyone wanting boat shoes with style and want them to fit super comfortable then Docksides might be just the right shoes for you. Its construction is terrific and includes fantastic stitching on the collar. It also has molded foam for the insole that helps reduce shock to your foot which makes it very comfortable when walking. It comes with real leather uppers and its rubber outsole gives better traction.

It comes in different sizes and colors. These choices allow the shoes to match different clothing. They are very fashionable. These popular trainers come with a variety of features in a range of designs and colors.

Pros
  • They don’t mark up the floor.
  • They’re very slip-resistant and extremely comfortable to wear.
Cons
  • They can squeak when walking.

4. Timberland Men’s Classic 2-Eye Boat Shoe

Timberland Men's Classic 2-Eye Boat Shoe, Navy Smooth, 7 M
  • BOATING IS NOT AN ACTIVITY, it's an attitude. Match your style to your...
  • ON LAND OR SEA, our boat shoes for men add nautical style and cushiony...
  • TIMBERLAND BOOTS are synonymous with quality workmanship. Whether...
  • WHAT YOU NEED IN THE OUTDOORS: Timberland isn't just for high-quality...
  • THE BEST IN OUTDOORS: See how Timberland's line of outdoor wear stacks...

Hiking boots are what most people think of when Timberland comes to mind. They are known for making very high-quality boots for hiking. For this reason, it should come as no surprise that they also make some great boat shoes.

Similar to other types of shoes made by this maker, the boat shoes are made to be durable but laid-back. They’re great for strenuous or leisurely settings. They’re perfectly suitable for wearing when racing a yacht or on rough waters.

These shoes have leather uppers and are durable and comfortable and some consider them unmatched by other manufacturers. The lacing system is made to be 360° which allows the shoes to have a custom fit that’s very comfortable. The rubber outsoles reduce slipping and increase the shoe’s traction. The rest of the design on this model shoe is very sporty looking.

Pros
  • It’s very slip-resistant and has a sporty look.
  • These shoes are very comfortable and extremely durable.
Cons
  • Some wearers say the sizing runs a bit small.

5. Sperry Men’s Mako 2-Eye Boat Shoe

Sale
Sperry Men's Mako 2-Eye Boat Shoe, Tan, 13 W US US
  • Hand-sewn leather upper with padded tongue ensure comfort and lasting...
  • 360 degree lacing system with rustproof eyelets for a secure,...
  • Non-marking rubber outsole with molded Wave-Siping for superior...
  • Shock absorbing EVA heel cup with heel pillow provide all day...
  • Genuine rawhide laces

These shoes are made of leather and other high-quality material. They are terrific walking shoes and they also have a lot of comforts when standing. Their terrific design will give you lots of confidence when wearing them and the 360-degree lacing gives a custom fit. The eyelets are resistant to rust and other design features are really great on these shoes.

The highly cushioned midsole adds additional comfort and the heals are shock-absorbing which further promotes the shoe’s comfort. These shoes provide terrific traction with their rubber outsoles and they come in a choice of colors. Their design and choice of colors allow them to go with almost any outfit.

Pros
  • Their support makes them very comfortable.
  • Their added cushion further improves the level of comfort these shoes have when they are worn.
Cons
  • They feel a bit stiff when they’re brand new.

6. Dockers Men’s Castaway Boat Shoe

Sale
Dockers Men's Castaway Boat Shoe,Tan,11.5 M US
  • Mocc-toe loafer featuring two-eyelet lacing and slotted collar
  • Dockers
  • 11.5
  • Tan

This brand of shoe is well known for being stylish, authentic, and casual. There are many men who have worn this manufacturer’s pants and their footwear is of equal quality. They make a great leather pair of boat shoes.

As you would expect, these are casual and comfortable and they will go terrifically with casual clothing. They have a leather upper and flexible construction. The rubber outsole gives great traction and support and their cushioning makes them very comfortable.

Pros
  • Rubber outsoles
  • Comfortable when being worn.
  • They are stylish and very authentic.
Cons
  • They are somewhat less durable than other choices.

7. Sebago Men’s Clovehitch II Boat Shoe

Sebago Men's Clovehitch II Boat Shoe,Medium Brown,11.5 W US
  • At home on the dock or on the patio, this highly ventilated boat shoe...
  • Sebago
  • 11.5 Wide
  • Medium Brown

These boat shoes are very functional and they come in sizes from 7 wide up to 15 wide. They look very athletic on top and bottom. They have quite a few color choices that include nine different choices. These colors include walnut, brown, navy, and tan. You can choose burnished leather or grain leather.

It includes a mesh on the side that’s breathable so that your feet don’t sweat too much on a hot day. They are made to be lightweight which means you can easily move in them and yet they are constructed in a way that is very durable. In other choices, you get one or the other but this gives you both.

The EVA is removable and makes the shoes very comfortable. There’s added cushion to the midsole to further reduce shock. This makes walking in these shoes very comfortable.

Our personal opinion is that the inserts are not as comfortable as they could be, however. These shoes are made with soles that are similar to sneakers or basketball shoes. The tread is pronounced allowing them to be safe and to provide a person with good balance.

Pros
  • They are breathable which reduces sweating and their soles don’t slip.
  • The shoes are made with real leather and they have a range of color choices.
Cons
  • They’re not as comfortable as they could be.

8. SPERRY Men’s Billfish Ultralite Boat Shoe

Sale
SPERRY Men's Billfish Ultralite Boat Shoe, Grey, 10 Medium US
  • Premium nubuck and full grain uppers feature hand-sewn construction...
  • Full-length foot bed features an EVA heel cup for enhanced comfort
  • 360 Degree lacing system delivers comfortable, secure fit with...
  • Lightweight EBA midsole provides cushioning and shock absorption for...
  • Adaptive Wave-Sipping disperses water underfoot to reduce slippage on...

These shoes are lightweight and breathable and they come with leather uppers. This maker makes exceptionally sturdy and comfortable shoes. These have soft material lining and a cushioned footbed that provide terrific comfort when standing or walking.

These shoes look great on your feet and have a terrific design and wonderful features. It comes with moccasin stitching and a slotted collar. It won’t leave marks on the floor and is a great choice for warm weather.

Pros
  • It fits perfectly.
  • These shoes will not leave marks on the floor.
  • They’re very lightweight while being very sturdy and they are breathable.
Cons
  • They are not particularly warm.

9. Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Bowman Boat shoe – Best Value

Sale

As would be expected by this maker, these boat shoes are very fashionable. They’re also very lightweight. They come with a cushioned insole that makes these shoes terrific for standing and walking. They are slip-resistant with their rubber outsoles and the stitch detailing on the leather looks amazing.

These shoes come with a choice of colors and sizes. They’re made to go on and off easily. They look great and feel great.

Pros
  • They go on and off easily and without having to tie them.
  • Their rubberized outsoles make them slip-resistant and the cushioned insole is super comfortable.
Cons
  • These are not waterproof.

10. Rockport Men’s, Perth Lace up Boat Shoe

Sale
Rockport Men?s, Perth Lace up Boat Shoe Dark Brown 10 M
  • Men?s Rockport, Perth Lace up Boat Shoe
  • A classic nautical style
  • Leather uppers
  • 2 Eyelet lace up closure
  • Contrast stitch and grommet detailing for added appeal

This company states that there isn’t a perfect shoe but it is their mission to come as close to making one as possible. This effort has made them one of the most popular shoemakers since the early 1970s. They were one of the earliest companies to utilize technology for making athletic shoes that could be worn casually and even as dress shoes.

This maker’s shoes are all very comfortable and that includes this one and it is also lightweight. It can be worn on different terrains and for different occasions. They have decorative lacing and a leather upper.

The rubber soles have great traction and they have dark brown leather on the upper part of the shoes that gives a nice contrast. Almost any type of casual clothes will go with these shoes including shorts, jeans, and even chinos.

Pros
  • They go great with almost any type of casual clothes.
  • They have great traction and comfort.
Cons
  • Some wearers say that the sizes are bit wide.

More Products (Our Rating: 4 Stars)

11. Sebago Men's Spinnaker Boat Shoe
Sale
Sebago Men's Spinnaker Shoe,Blue/Brown,10.5 W US
  • Classic boat shoe featuring slotted collar and moccasin stitching at...
  • Non-marking outsole
  • Sebago
  • 10.5 Wide
  • Blue/Brown
12. Sebago Men's Schooner Boat Shoe
Sale
Sebago Men's Schooner Shoe,Brown Oiled Waxy,15 WW US/3E
  • Two-eyelet boat shoe featuring moc-toe stitching, and 360 degree...
  • Sebago
  • 15 WW US/3E
  • Brown Oiled Waxy
13. Dunham Men's Captain Boat Shoe
Dunham Men's Captain Boat Shoe,Brown,13 EEEE US
  • Built to be around water, waterproof leather and ventilating mesh...
  • Dunham
  • 13 X-Wide
  • Brown
14. SPERRY Men's, Lanyard Boat Shoe
Sale
SPERRY Men's, Lanyard 2 Eye Lace up Boat Shoe TAN Navy 11 M
  • 360 degree lacing system for a secure fit
  • Rust proof metal eyelets
  • Cushioned insoles with additional padding at the heel
  • Non marking rubber outsole with wave siping for excellent traction
  • Sperry Top-Sider
15. Dockers Men’s Vargas Leather Handsewn Boat Shoe
Sale
Dockers Men's Vargas Leather Handsewn Boat Shoe,Rust, 12 W US
  • Soft, genuine leather upper
  • Classic 2-eyelet handsewn boat shoe
  • Cushioned EVA footbed with molded EVA heel cup for exceptional comfort
  • Durable rubber outsole for maximum traction on wet surfaces
  • Flexible construction for all day wear
16. GLOBALWIN Mens Casual Loafers Lace Up Classic Driving Boat Shoes
Sale
GW M1665-3 Loafers Shoes 10.5 M
  • man made material
  • Cement construction offers long-lasting wear and flexibility.
  • Traditional lace-up design for a secure fit.
  • Textile lining for a comfortable fit
  • FITTING TIPS: TRUE TO SIZE!!!
17. Sperry Men's Sea Kite Sport Moc Boat Shoe
Sperry Men's Sea Kite Sport Moc Boat Shoe,Sudan Tan,12 M US
  • The Sea Kite Sport Moc by Sperry Top-Sider has the perfect combination...
  • Water-resistant leather and mesh upper.
  • 360° lacing system delivers a comfortable and secure fit with...
  • Quick-drying textile lining offers excellent breathability.
  • Full length compression molded EVA footbed is removable and cushioned...
18. Margaritaville Men's Anchor Lace Boat Shoe
Margaritaville Men's Anchor Lace Boat Shoe, Light Tan, 10
  • Breathable leather mesh upper
  • Contrast stitching
  • Comfortable foam insole for perfect feel
  • Colorful printed anchor on rubber outsole
  • Soft padded collar and tongue for comfort
19. Sperry Top-Sider Men's Gamefish 3-Eye Boat Shoe
Sale
Sperry Top-Sider Men's Gamefish 3-Eye Boat Shoe, Dark Tan, 9.5 M US
  • Premium nubuck and full grain uppers feature hand-sewn construction...
  • Removable compression molded EVA and lightweight EVA midsole and...
  • Patented SON-R Technology features a unique outsole design and...
  • 360 degree lacing system delivers comfortable, secure fit with...
  • Adaptive Wave-Sipping disperses water underfoot to reduce slippage on...
20. Timberland Men's Piper Cove Fg Boat Shoe
Sale
Timberland Men's Piper Cove Fg Boat Shoe, Chocolate Chamois, 10 M US
  • Premium full-grain leather from an LWG Silver-rated tannery provides...
  • Traditional handsewn construction and 360-degree rawhide lacing system...
  • Anti-fatigue removable footbed provides all-day comfort and support
  • Durable outsole is made with 15% recycled rubber
  • Unique L7 lug design features multi-directional leading edges with...

For Women

21. Sperry Top-Sider Women’s Angelfish – Editor’s Choice & Best Seller

Sale
Sperry Top-Sider Women's Angelfish,Black,6 M US
  • Mocc-toe boat shoe featuring textured woven underlay, glossy overlays...
  • SPERRY
  • 6
  • Black

The Angelfish 2-Eye comes in four colors: Black, brown, golden and tan. You will be happy with the look of any of the color schemes but the black is different because it is burnished. All of the rest are natural, rugged leather.

You are sure to get a secure fit with the 360-degree lacing system. The eyelets are made to last and you will not have a problem with the rawhide laces coming undone.

If you are walking through water, the soles are designed to move the water away each time you take a step. Rather than stepping on top of the water, the water travels inside of the treads. It will give you more control when you are walking in a wet location.

Since the shoes are hand-sewn, they are made with a high degree of skill and care. Even the backing is made is such a way that they will stay on your feet and secure when you are walking. Even if you were to kick your foot, they would stay in place.

These shoes are made professionally but they are not for me. They are designed for a woman’s foot so men will want to choose a different shoe. If you know a woman that enjoys being out on a boat, you could always pick up a pair as a gift.

Pros
  • Real leather is used to make these shoes
  • The soles are designed to be slip-proof
  • They are made with a breathable area
Cons
  • These shoes are only made for women

22. Grasshoppers Women’s Windham Slip-On Flat – Best Value

Sale
Grasshoppers Women's Windham Slip-On Flat
  • Boat shoe-inspired flat featuring around-the-collar lacing and elastic...
  • Removable footbed
  • Grasshoppers
  • / US

The lightweight and breathable fabric used in making these shoes make them comfortable to wear. They are made with a synthetic sole, so it is not damaged by water easily. Since it also includes a sock liner as part of the dampness management system, it helps to control odor and keeps moisture from the feet to keep you comfortable.

A memory foam collar is used in the design of the inside of the shoe, along with a cushioned arch to improve your comfort level. A number of colors are available so you are sure to find one that you like. One other feature you are sure to appreciate is the removable insole that provides just the right arch support.

Pros
  • Comfortable to wear all day long
  • Your feet will stay dry
  • Removable insoles so you can replace them if desired
Cons
  • Some may have a problem with fitting them properly

23. Skechers Performance Women’s On-The-Go Tide Walking Shoe

Sale
Skechers Performance Women's On-The-Go Tide Walking Shoe,Brown,8.5 M US
  • Lightweight fabric shoe featuring moccasin-stitched toe, lace-up...
  • Skechers
  • 8.5
  • Brown

The Flagship tends to be lighter than other boat shoes for men because it is made from a lightweight fabric. Even though it is lightweight, it still is stitched together nicely with a foot bed created to give you a higher energy return. You will find the cushioned midsole to be comfortable and to provide a high level of performance for a boat shoe. This shoe was designed by Sketchers with performance and fashion in mind.

These shoes are designed for work and play all-day activities. It can be seen in the rubber outsole and extra cushioning built into the inside of the shoe. It allows or both comfort and grip.

Air circulation will not be a problem, thanks to the fabric upper that allows for breathability and temperature regulation. The lightweight mesh built into the shoe dries quickly so you don’t need to be concerned about your feet staying wet.

As far as cost is concerned, the Flagship is middle-of-the-road. The value of the shoe is in the diversity, lightweight nature and the ability to keep your feet dry and comfortable.

Pros
  • Fabric upper that breathes well
  • Natural foot angle thanks to low heel
  • Lightweight design
  • Resalyte cusioned sole
  • High energy return footbed
Cons
  • Little arch support

24. Sperry Women’s Bluefish

Sale
Sperry Women's Bluefish,Linen/Oat,9 S US
  • Mocc-toe boat shoe featuring stain and water-resistant upper with...
  • Padded tongue
  • Moulded EVA Cushion Midsole
  • SPERRY
  • 9 X-Narrow

Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes are always going to be a great choice. Not only are they comfortable to wear, but they are also stylish as well. Other benefits include softness, flexible, high level of quality and a stylish choice.

Once you wear these shoes you might not ever want to change to another again. They are the right shoe to wear on a boat thanks to the rubber outsole, and flexible leather.

Pros
  • Comfortable fit
  • Flexibility
  • High-Quality
  • Durable
  • Works with any outfit
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Easy wash
Cons
  • A tendency to stretch after they are worn for a while
  • Very few colors to choose from

25. Skechers Performance Women’s Go Step-Seashore Boating Shoe – Professional’s Choice

Sale
Skechers Performance Women's Go Step-Seashore Boating Shoe, Natural/Beige, 5 M US
  • Radically lightweight and flexible
  • Goga max return energy insole
  • Two piece midsole constructed of resalyte and go pillars energizes...
  • Soft fabric lining
  • Skechers

The combination of comfort and fashion come together nicely in this shoe and you will love wearing them. The Goga Max return energy insole is great for your feet and the Go Pillars two-piece midsole works well with it. The soft fabric lining makes it feel like you are barefoot on the deck. You can also enjoy lounging in these shoes, even when you aren’t on the boat.

The insole and midsole share the same injection molded technology that works with just the right compression and enough cushion. With the design and the weight, it will make you feel like you are walking on little springs.

One other reason you will love these shoes is that they aren’t heavy on your pocketbook. Allow your feet to be comfortable all day long with a quality shoe at an affordable price. It really is a win-win situation.

Pros
  • Resalyte midsole
  • High energy return insole
  • Soft lining
  • Breathable upper
  • Resistant to slips
Cons
  • Limited wide sizes

More Products (Our Rating: 4 Stars)

26. Sperry Women's A/O 2-Eye Shoe
Sale
27. Twisted Women's Bonnie Casual Fashion Boat Shoe
Sale
Twisted Women's Bonnie Canvas Boat Shoe with Printed Inside Lining - Black, Size 7
  • Vegan Friendly
  • Padded Tongue
  • Metal Eyelets
  • Nautical Lace Details
  • Soft & Cushiony
28. Clarks Women's Jocolin Vista Boat Shoe
Sale
Clarks Women's Jocolin Vista Boat Shoe
  • Heel Height 1.18 inches
  • Cloudsteppers
  • Ortholite footbed
  • Cushion Soft technology
  • CLARKS
29. Eastland Women's Solstice Boat Shoe
Sale
Eastland Women's Solstice Boat Shoe
  • Heel height: 1 5/8 inch
  • Eastland
  • M US Women
30. Skechers Women's Go Walk Lite-15430 Boat Shoe
Sale
Skechers Women's Go Walk Lite-15430 Boat Shoe
  • Lightweight, responsive 5Gen cushioning
  • Skechers Goga Max high-rebound insole for maximum comfort
  • Soft fabric lining
  • Skechers
  • _DELETE_

When Should You Wear Boat Shoes?

At the Beach or On A Boat

The design of boat shoes makes them perfect for anything you might be doing around the water. You can take them with you for a day at the lake or wear them when you are out on a cruise. The possibilities are limitless.

On a Date

If your boat shoes match your outfit, there is no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy wearing them while you are out on the town. Be comfortable and be happy while you are doing your best to impress. Not only that, these shoes are great as a conversation piece so they are sure to help fill one of those awkward voids we all experience on a date.

Traveling

Since boat shoes are comfortalbe after you break them in, take them when you are on a trip. You tend to be on your feet when you travel so make sure you keep your feet happy. They offer comfortable support and the ability to easily slip them off when you are ready to kick back. Just make sure the cruise ship you choose allows you to go without shoes. Once you get the all-clear, enjoy yourself to the max.

Buyer’s Guide: Things to Consider when Purchasing Boat Shoes

Because boat shoes often have a similar look it can sometimes be difficult to notice major differences between brands apart from their style and color. That is why it is important to consider the following important factors when it comes to choosing a pair of boat shoes:

Different Types of Materials

Leather

Leather is one of the most popular choices for boat shoes but it can have drawbacks. Leather is soft, breathable, and comfortable to wear. Combined with an application of oil it is designed to repel water which makes leather uppers water-resistant if treated correctly. It also has a tendency to draw excess perspiration away from the feet in a process called wicking which prevents the build-up of odor-causing sweat and bacteria. One of the drawbacks of leather is that, without proper pre-treatment, it can incur salt damage if used in seawater conditions.

Gore-Tex

Because of its excellent ability to keep the feet dry, Gore-Tex is a waterproof material often used to make boat shoes. Although this lightweight, synthetic fabric is comfortable to wear, it does not have the wicking capabilities of leather.

Rubber

Rubber is the best material for boating shoes as it is 100% waterproof and quite comfortable to wear.

Canvas

Although canvas is not a water-resistant material, which can be a drawback for sailing, it is highly popular for its lightweight structure and breathability that helps keep the feet cool.

Fit

No matter how expensive or cheap a pair of shoes is, if it doesn’t fit, it is not worth the money – and boat shoes are no exception. For many reasons, the fit of boat shoes is different from regular shoes. For one, they are usually worn without socks which would, of course, affect the fit.

For another, especially if they are made of leather, they will tend to stretch and the fit will become looser the longer they are worn. With this in mind, you may want to choose a size that fits a bit snug but not too tight. This will eventually provide a perfect fit once they have stretched out. If you will be wearing your boat shoes without socks you will have to choose a size accordingly.

Bear in mind that the fit should not be too loose as a) they will stretch out a little anyway, and b) a loose fit around the heel could cause blisters.

The best way to choose the right size is to consult a knowledgeable shoe salesperson to size your feet correctly. Most people have different sized feet with one being longer or shorter than the other. Take your time when fitting and walk around in the shoes for a few minutes to make sure that there are no loose areas or spots that pinch your feet excessively.

Construction

A quality pair of shoes should have a seamless construction. Because wet shoes can start to chafe after a while, there should be as little as possible in the construction of a boat shoe that could cause irritation to the feet. The perfect boat shoes for summer are flat seamed with a padded collar and tongue.

Boat shoes should not only be stylish and comfortable, but they should also have a supportive midsole. Because boat shoes are popularly used as casual shoes, slip-on loafer styles suitable for both casual as well as boat wear are best.

Durability

Quality footwear should be durable enough to last for many years and provide the same level of comfort and support as they did when you first purchased it. When looking at shoes, we assess their durability in a few key ways by analyzing the materials, construction methods, details, and particular brands in order to provide an opinion. The question to answer is: “will this pair of shoes do the job they are intended for again and again for a very long time? Here are the areas we evaluated:

Materials

Some of the critical questions we addressed when evaluating the materials used in a product include:

  • What type of materials were used in the construction of the shoes – synthetic or natural?
  • What do they smell like when taken out of the box?

Details

Interesting details like extra buckles reinforced fabrics, and complimentary cases are all good indications that the manufacturer is concerned with providing you with a product that will have long-term satisfaction. Attention to detail is what sets high-quality brands apart from cheaper ones.

Brand Name

A reputable brand name is a sure sign of quality that you can trust. High performers tend to out-perform the competition and endure much longer. While there are sometimes exceptions to the rule, manufacturers with solid reputations were given high marks.

Construction

There are certain things that can help tell a lot about a pair of shoes or boots. For instance, how zippers behave – do they pull swiftly and easily like cutting through butter or do they jam and even snap off when pulled? Another example is the stitching. If there is visible threading after being worn just a few times, we take it as a warning sign of lack of durability and proper construction.

Features

Certain features in a pair of boat shoes can really make or break them. The following are some features you should look for when choosing this style of footwear:

  • The lining in a shoe is important as it is the part of the shoe that makes constant contact with your skin. The right lining should be comfortable and should keep your feet as dry as possible to prevent the build-up of sweat and odor-causing bacteria.
  • Leather is a popular material used for boating shoes as it wicks away moisture from the skin while allowing adequate air to flow inside and around the foot.
  • Drying time is important and the material used for boating shoes should dry quickly to prevent your feet from being wet and uncomfortable for too long.
  • Traction is extremely important if you will be wearing your boat shoes while out on the water. It is imperative to choose a shoe with a tractioned outsole. Wave-siping is a traditional way of giving sole more traction with a wave-shaped tread that will hold better in wet or soft surfaces.

The Outer Sole

When the first boat shoes manufactured by Paul Sperry in 1935 hit the deck, the outer sole was of utmost importance as the intended use in those days was for wearers to maneuver better while on the slippery deck of a boat. Rubber was the best choice for navigating wet surfaces and to this day it remains the material of choice for boat shoes. The key feature to look for in the sole of a boat shoe is the wave-like grooves called ‘siping’ that provides the best traction while pushing water away from the sole on slippery surfaces. Some brands offer a variation on this classic design such as ‘molded siping’ consisting of raised mounds and grooves in the rubber sole that are capable of draining water.

The Insole

Although a soft leather insole will be more comfortable than those made from other materials, a mesh insole, for example, will allow better drainage and some boat shoes are designed with built-in drainage holes. Removable insoles are a good feature as they allow the shoes to dry faster after being taken out.

Grip and Traction

As boating shoes are ultimately made for nautical use, they should have adequate grip along the bottom of the outsole. This ensures a fair amount of traction to prevent your feet from slipping out of the shoe and landing on the deck.

Water Resistance

Most boat shoes are water-resistant up to a point which is what allows them to last a lot longer than normal shoes, especially if they are to be used for casual wear only.

Design

Boat shoes are a fashion statement and not an ultra-innovative way to wear a pair of shoes. Because the design element is usually half the battle, be sure that it will work for you and your image before you consider buying boat shoes for casual or boat wear.

Color

The dye potency includes the likelihood of color bleeding into your socks if you choose to wear them or coloring your skin if you don’t. Less potent dyes are preferable as they will be odor-free and the shoes can be used straight out of the box.

Intended Use

How and where you plan to wear your boat shoes should be carefully considered. An obvious and more common reason is to wear them primarily for walking around on the deck of a boat, however, they should not be allowed to get too wet if they are made of leather as consistent submersion will destroy the uppers. This is one of the reasons why boating shoes are not suitable for other activities like hiking, rafting or tubing.

You will love how boat shoes feel on your feet when strolling around casually through the streets or on a pier, but don’t let the comfort fool you into thinking they would make great walking shoes. While they have good traction, it is not the kind of support you will need to navigate uneven or rocky terrain.

How to Wear Boat Shoes?

On the scale of formality, boat shoes fall somewhere between smart and casual wear. However, it will all depend on the one will wear them and how it is paired with other clothes. Well, below are a few points on how to wear your boat shoes, and what may complete your overall look.

Avoid Wearing Visible Socks

Boat shoes go well with men’s jeans. However, they can be worn with light wash denim to achieve that casual, breezy summer look. They can also be worn together with a darker jean to achieve a slightly posh approach.

Chinos Are Also Acceptable Pants that go together with boat shoes

Wearing Chinos pants together with boat shoes is actually a smarter alternative. In facts, this combination is excellent for occasions like a summer wedding or rooftop bar party. For a more daring look, you can try pairing the shoes with a pair of colored pastel Chinos or pants.

Boat Shoes with Knee-length Shorts

Boat shoes can be worn together with knee-length shorts. Doing this will elongate your legs, making you appear taller. These shoes can also be worn at the beach together with your trusted swimming trunks. That is because the shoes have a summertime beachy look.

Oxford Shirt for Golf-course look

You can pair your boat shoes with an Oxford shirt to achieve the posh golf-course look. You can use any of the most popular shades that include the Pastel colors, which is an excellent option for warm weather.

Belt

Nylon belts can also be used to accessorize the shoes (like the ones listed on the compilation of belts for men). Edgy X or Y pair of suspenders can also accessorize the shoes as well, for that vintage 1930’s look.

How to Clean and Maintain Boat Shoes?

Because boat shoes are traditionally worn with socks, they tend to get a bit funky. Even though few brands have included a machine-washable insole, not all styles are easy to clean. However, the truth is that the method you use to clean and maintain your shoe will generally depend on how your shoe has been designed.

Leather Boat Shoes

NOTE: You should pre-treat any leather shoe you purchase to make them water-resistant. The aim of waxing leather shoes is guaranteeing its durability.

Nevertheless, if you have already purchased a pair of shoes that have not been waxed, you can still treat them yourself. All you need to do is purchase and apply a product like dubbing wax, which is a solution used to protect all kinds of wallets made from leather.

Leather Shoe Cleaning Steps:

  • Step 1: Removing Loose dirt should be the first step. You should use a soft brush and a clean, dry cloth.
  • Step 2: Prepare the shoe for cleaning processes, like removing the laces. This technique makes the cleaning process easy.
  • Step 3: Wipe the shoe’s surface with a damp cloth and soap. Work the soap gently on the shoes.
  • Step 4: Wipe the soap with clean water while massaging out stains.

After following these steps, let the shoes dry overnight or longer, when necessary. Alternatively, if you do not want to wash them with soap and water, you can use something like a baby wipe or damp clean cloth to wipe the spot clean.

Canvas Boat Shoes

The best thing about canvas is that it can take more abuse compared to leather. As a matter of fact, some canvas shoes can be washed using a machine. However, before using a washing, it is wise to read its cleaning and maintenance label.

Canvas Hand Washing Steps:

  • Step 1: Preparation should be the first step. Remove its laces and prepare a solution of warm water and detergent.
  • Step 2: Using a soft-bristled brush, scrub the shoe while submerging the brush. Pay more attention to stained areas.
  • Step 3: Rinse in clean, warm water. You should try as much as possible to minimize saturation at the bottom of the shoe.

NOTE: It is always important to let your shoes air dry, which means that you should never use any drying machine.

Remember, you can always clean them by gently wiping the shoes. To clean the rubber soles, you should consider using a mixture of water and vinegar. Scrub with a brush or cloth.

How to Reduce Odor from Boat Shoes?

Remember, boat shoes are traditionally worn without socks, and for this reason, they often tend to get smelly fast. Socks offer a layer of protection against sweat or moisture. Well, to remove the odor and to prevent it from accumulating over the summer, take advantage of natural properties of baking soda.

To do this, fill the shoe with baking powder and then place it in a bag and shake it vigorously. This method helps remove the odor even from hard to reach areas, which simply means that it will remove odor everywhere.

The goal is to coat the interior part of the shoe with baking soda. After this, allow the shoe to sit overnight and let the baking soda to do its job. Later, you can clean them.

Another way to eliminate odor involves freezing the shoe and then warming it up quickly. This technique simply kelps kill of bacteria. It is wise, however, to use a ziplock or a sealant before putting it in a freezer. Let it sit in the freezer for about 48 hours. Later place it in the sun or using the best hair dryers for men; dry the shoe.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Question: Socks or Sockless?

Answer: it depends.

Wearing a boat shoe with or without socks is a worthy debate. However, it is well known that the general rule of wearing the shoe is; Do Not Wear Socks. That is because wearing socks often makes a person look ridiculous. Furthermore, socks are not good when on a wet boat deck.

However, this does not mean you should not wear socks with your boat shoe. Well, if you must wear socks, ensure that they are dark and you are wearing long pants and not shorts. In other words, the socks should not show. Also, you should consider short (ankle length) socks. The goal is to ensure that your socks are not showing.

Question: Boat Shoes for Work or Not?

Answer: Not.

Boat shoes do not give off the right vibe in most official settings, no matter how casually smart you have dressed. It gives out a relaxing vibe, and therefore when you wear them to work, it will look like you are not ready to work and have one leg out of the door. You are better of wearing loafers or stylish sneakers.

Question: Are Boat Shoes Non-Slip?

Answer: They Should be.

For the sake of safety, we hope so! Both the inner and outer soles should not only be well cushioned to support your foot very well but should also be non-slip. However, the sad truth is that these shoes are slowly moving away from its functionality and stepping towards the fashion piece. As such, some styles offer less grip or no-grip at all.

Question: Are Boat Shoes and Water Shoes One the Same Thing?

Answer: No.

There is a huge difference between water shoe and boat shoes. Boat shoes are designed to work around the wet environment like on a boat. Water shoes, on the other hand, are designed to protect your feet when working while submerged in water like in a lake, ocean, dam, or drainage. That is because water shoes are generally water-resistant. 

Question: How to Break in Boat Shoes?

Answer: It Is A Process.

The truth is that it is a process that may take weeks and in some cases, take a month. In other words, it generally depends on your wearing frequency. At first, you may feel some pain, but after a while, they will eventually adapt your foot and become comfortable to you.

For this reason, start by wearing them in a slow rocking motion. Walk around your home first with them before going out with them. Then use the shoe to go for short errands. The aim is to let the shoe break-in. Some people recommend soaking the shoes completely in water to speed up the process.

Even if you decide to do this, ensure that you have worn then until they dry. This usually takes about a day. In the long run, they will conform to your foot. Remember, this method is not proven, and so it might not work for you. Therefore, you should take caution while following this step. Take your time, and surely it will break into your foot size.

Conclusion

Boat shoes have been accepted as fashionable and assume a timeless classic feel. They are functional and fun as well. People of all ages can wear them. Just like a bottle of fine wine, these shoes mold into your foot and can be worn into style. This makes them a great summertime collection. Truly, you will never go wrong with boat shoes, especially when worn casually.

References

Best Boat Shoes [Men & Women] ( Top 6 Picks )

For Men

Product
Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
Sperry Men's Authentic Original 2-Eye Boat Shoe
Professional's Choice
Sperry Men's Billfish 3-Eye Boat Shoe, Dark Tan, 11 M US
Best Value
Tommy Hilfiger Men's Bowman Boat shoe,Coffe Bean,11 M US
Image
Sperry Men's Authentic Original 2-Eye Boat Shoe
Sperry Men's Billfish 3-Eye Boat Shoe, Dark Tan, 11 M US
Tommy Hilfiger Men's Bowman Boat shoe,Coffe Bean,11 M US
Price
from $37.00
from $59.90
$48.50
Prime
Our Rating
Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
Product
Sperry Men's Authentic Original 2-Eye Boat Shoe
Image
Sperry Men's Authentic Original 2-Eye Boat Shoe
Price
from $37.00
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Professional's Choice
Product
Sperry Men's Billfish 3-Eye Boat Shoe, Dark Tan, 11 M US
Image
Sperry Men's Billfish 3-Eye Boat Shoe, Dark Tan, 11 M US
Price
from $59.90
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Best Value
Product
Tommy Hilfiger Men's Bowman Boat shoe,Coffe Bean,11 M US
Image
Tommy Hilfiger Men's Bowman Boat shoe,Coffe Bean,11 M US
Price
$48.50
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon

For Women

Product
Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
Sperry Top-Sider Women's Angelfish,Black,6 M US
Professional's Choice
Skechers Performance Women's Go Step-Seashore Boating Shoe, Natural/Beige, 5 M US
Best Value
Grasshoppers Women's Windham Slip-On Flat
Image
Sperry Top-Sider Women's Angelfish,Black,6 M US
Skechers Performance Women's Go Step-Seashore Boating Shoe, Natural/Beige, 5 M US
Grasshoppers Women's Windham Slip-On Flat
Price
from $42.97
from $41.78
from $17.80
Prime
Our Rating
Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
Product
Sperry Top-Sider Women's Angelfish,Black,6 M US
Image
Sperry Top-Sider Women's Angelfish,Black,6 M US
Price
from $42.97
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Professional's Choice
Product
Skechers Performance Women's Go Step-Seashore Boating Shoe, Natural/Beige, 5 M US
Image
Skechers Performance Women's Go Step-Seashore Boating Shoe, Natural/Beige, 5 M US
Price
from $41.78
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Best Value
Product
Grasshoppers Women's Windham Slip-On Flat
Image
Grasshoppers Women's Windham Slip-On Flat
Price
from $17.80
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon

Last update on 2019-08-15 / Rating by Author / Affiliate links, Images, Descriptions & Price from Amazon Product Advertising API

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