Summer is a great time to get away from the busy London life (where familiarity with strangers is only adopted after sharing same disappointment of a public service), relax and enjoy your hard work. I thought what better place to go than Stratford upon Avon. Whilst the location I visited wasn’t for sailors or fishermen who spends weeks/months on deck; as I sailed in the tourists boat on the river Avon, I wondered where the boat shoe inherited its name.
Boat shoes origination dates back to 1935; it was designed by Paul Sperry as a safety footwear for boatmen/fishermen who were usually in wet conditions and suffered frequent slipping , which often resulted to serious injuries. Paul Sperry’s creation was inspired by his dog (Cocker spaniel), who ran effortlessly and maintained grip on the slippery surface of the ice. He mimicked his dog’s soles to create the now boat sole nicknamed “sipping pattern”. (Nicknamed, as a result of its ability to provide grip thus resisting slip.
The main materials used for making the shoes are leather and non-marking rubber sole which are usually white. The white coloured-soles were adopted because it meant that there were clean and didn’t leave any marks on deck. The benefits are visible, not only are the materials water repellant, its low profile moccasin style makes it easy to wear and take it off quickly.
Today, boat shoes are made stylishly for both men and women and come in variety of colours and designs. There can be worn in wet or dry conditions usually without socks, what more, a lot of people have made this shoe, a fashion trend (for non- formal occasions) experimenting with different colour schemes and design combination (even the soles are not necessarily white anymore and can be made to different colours, according to preference of course).
Even though boat shoes can withstand hard conditions, it is still important to care for them by using a good quality oil for cleaning the leather. This maintain its water resistance and suppleness. The insoles can be taken out, cleaned to prevent fungal or bacterial growth and the rubber soles can be repaired if worn out to prevent a possible event of slip.
To give you options of different styles that go with boat, we’ve compiled different footages. For more options and designs, visit our 3d shoe platform and get sailing.
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