There are two stories of how the Boat Shoe came to pass.
The first account is the idea came from Native American moccasins. The moccasin was made from deerskin, which had a water repellant hide to help shield the foot from water and debris. This deerskin material was ideal for gripping the wooden bottom of the native Indian canoes while transporting, fishing or hunting.
The second account, which is the tale of the actual boat shoe’s inspiration, was based on nautical captain, Paul Sperry’s Cocker Spaniel. Seems while boating, Mr. Sperry’s cocker spaniel had no trouble running on the water and ice without slipping or sliding. Sperry noticed the grooves on his dogs paws, was inspired to try those grooves on his own shoes. So, Sperry grabbed a knife, cut some grooves in his shoes and invented the boat shoe. After linking with the US Navy, the boat shoe became a countrywide, then a worldwide standard.
How Do Boat Shoes Prevent Slipping?
Boat shoes were originally set-aside exclusively for the US Navy or amateur sailors and boat captains. The harsh sea weather required all passengers of a ship, including men, women and children to have a shoe that could tolerate the unsteadiness of the waves. The shoe not only should be functional, but also ensure safety. The boat shoe also needed to withstand the salt spray, sea air and heat and cold. Of course, comfort and a good grip for passenger safety was essential.
What Makes a Dependable Boat Shoe?
Grooves and treads on the bottom of a boat shoe provide safety and confidence in walking on a boat deck, pier or marina. A boat shoe with proper non-marring and non-slip soles will ensure your boat deck doesn’t suffer from marks or scuffs. Scuffmarks are a boat owner’s worst nightmare. Loafers, tennis shoes, and heels and other types of shoes without proper soles can all leave scuffmarks and blemish a boat’s deck. The boat owner then has to clean those scuffmarks on his fresh and white boat deck, a chore that is not only daunting, but one totally preventable with a good pair of boat shoes. Boat shoes are lightweight and have white or black non-marking rubber soles that won’t leave nasty scuffmarks.
Boat shoes styling and design has stood the test of time. A classic pair of boat shoes will endure many years. If your boat shoes are worn frequently and often come in contact with salt water, salty sea air, and the hot sun, the more comfortable and broken in the leather becomes. Many sailors and boaters love that their boat shoes fit better now that they’ve been broken in. Typical loafers or tennis shoes don’t respond favorably to water and harsh sun, but boat shoes flourish in those conditions. Boat shoes can get wet, dry out quickly and they can get wet again all without losing their form.
Deck shoes are a classic piece of footwear that has no reason to transform. They have always been durable, comfortable and fashionable, but boat shoes are also stylish.
Check out NewForestFootwear for some of the best selection and value in men and women’s boat shoes today. There is also a Clearance page to get even better deals!