It seems like the better the weather gets the worse men dress.
I don’t know what it is about the spring and summer season, but everywhere I look I see men walking around in baggy shorts, flip flop sandals, and over-sized polos. If there is a season where a well built man can blow away his competition in the style game, the spring and summer months have to be it.
That’s why in this article I want give you guys a great casual footwear option that will have you looking a million times better than your clueless, flip flop wearing brethren during the warm spring and summer months.
Boat shoes are typically made of a canvas or leather upper with a specially designed rubber sole that is meant to provide extra traction on a wet boat deck.
The modern boat shoe was first invented back in the 1930s by Paul Sperry. Legend has it that Sperry had noticed his dog’s ability to run over ice without any difficulty, and inspired by this, decided to cut thin slits across his shoe’s rubber sole in order to provide greater traction. This siping pattern has now become a common feature of all boat shoes, including the popular Sperry Top-Siders.
If it isn’t already obvious, boat shoes have a distinct nautical quality to them. I understand that not all guys like this. If you are one of them, I recommend you look into a pair of driving moccasins instead (we’ll talk more about these shoes in another article).
Boat shoes can come in a wide variety of colours. In my opinion, you are better off choosing something in a basic navy, grey, or brown, as these colours will easily work with most of your wardrobe. However, if you already have a closet full of shoes in these shades, then it probably wouldn’t hurt to branch out a little. Remember that you will be wearing these shoes during the warmer months (spring & summer), so brighter colours can certainly be an option. My only advice would be to select a colour that you feel you can wear with confidence. Red would be my personal choice.
How to Wear
In my opinion, boat shoes are great substitution for flip flops or sandals. They look great with a pair of chinos or shorts, especially when you are relaxing at the beach. Personally, I don’t think they work well with denim although I have seen plenty of guys attempt to pull it off with varying degrees of success. My recommendation would be to wear them with a pair of casual chinos or shorts (no socks) anytime you find yourself near a large body of water (i.e. a beach, a lake, pool party etc.).
Can I wear boat shoes into the city?
Good question. In my opinion, I think you can. However, there are other people out there that will advise against this. These will be some of the same people who think that men shouldn’t be wearing shorts into the city either. Suffice it to say that we don’t belong in this camp.
There are many different companies making boat shoes these days (Tommy Hilfiger, Cole Haan, Sperry Top-Sider, Timberland, Ralph Lauren etc.). Our advice would be to do your research and figure out what price point and level of quality works best for you. For example, if you are only going to be wearing these shoes sporadically during the warmer season, then perhaps buying a budget pair will be the best option. However, if you plan to make these your go to shoes for the summer season, then don’t be afraid to spend a little more money on a quality product.
Boat shoes are stylish and classy shoe that have a bit of a nautical theme that can work well for those of us who like to live at the beach during the summer months. They are also an excellent upgrade to your typical set of flip flops or sandals. I highly recommend guys look into a pair of quality boat shoes this summer. They just might be exactly what you are looking for.
Here’s to looking sharp!