From the American Ivy League kids of the 60’s through to any gent who happens to have been fortunate enough to spend time along the French Riviera, the boat shoe – or deck shoe as it’s more formally known – is something of a style staple.
As its name may suggest, this famous shoe was originally designed for those taking to the high seas and while it has always been held in high regard amongst the style aristocracy, the past few years has seen the boat shoe become something of a high street phenomenon.
The boat shoe is the go-to choice for merging that smart / casual divide; from rolled-up chinos and polo shirts to shorts and t-shirt, boat shoes are a perfect choice for the summer months. In no particular order, here’s a look at ten of our favourites.
Sperry Top-Sider Boat Shoe
Paul Sperry designed the boat shoe in 1935 and they continue to design shoes of the highest quality. The fact this pair come in a beautiful azure blue just adds a touch of class and brings to mind thoughts of clear blue skies, sun-kissed beaches and pina-coladas.
River Island Classic
One for the traditionalists out there, this classic brown leather deck shoe with contrast white sole and laces will have everyone thinking you actually own a boat. Perfect with khaki chinos and a dark green polo-shirt, this is the style staple.
Denim is all the rage at present so why not grab yourself a pair of washed black denim boat shoes from Timberland. Worn with ripped denim shorts – for that Robinson Crusoe look – or a pair of skinny black jeans for the next festival you attend, these shoes bring the boat shoe into the 21st century.
Bombastic Woven Boat Shoe
A modern take on the classic boat shoe, this cheeky little number from shoe behemoths Office are a great update for the modern man. The woven leather fabric may not be good for keeping out the salt water but it sure looks good with some tapered jeans, Hawaiian shirt and a pair of Ray Bans.
There is something awfully quintessential about the two-tone boat shoe and in blue and red it only accentuates the nautical feel. A hybrid of the trainer and the boat shoe, these Lacoste shoes are great for all occasions.
Anything with the words Gold-Cup in the title have to be from the nautical world and these Sperry Top-Siders, with their subtle grey colouring and perforated exterior are sure winners. Teamed with a pair of white linen trousers and an effortless navy blue t-shirt you could almost partake in the Gold-Cup itself.
Sebago Crest Docksides
The word Sebago is synonymous with boat shoes so it would have been sacrilege not to include a pair in our Top 10 list. White is not always the best choice of footwear colour but if ever there were a time to wear white it’s when it comes to boat shoe. Stick these Sebago’s with some tailored shorts and a loose fitting cotton shirt for that laid back, casual approach to your day.
Quoddy Downeast Leather Boat Shoes
Thick, brown leather laces, white stitching around the toe, a deep burgundy colour, it would appear these classic Quoddy’s tick all the right boat shoe boxes. These truly are a beautiful pair of soft leather shoes and will look perfect with your dark denim jeans, light blue t-shirt and royal blue artists jacket.
Ralph Lauren Boat Shoes
No one quite epitomises the preppy look quite as much as Ralph Lauren so it’s no wonder the boat shoe is a staple of the Lauren collection. We can just picture the yellow jumper over the shoulders of your red polo shirt that in turn is neatly tucked into your green chinos, comfortably offset by these classic boat shoes.
Sperry Chambray Camo
It’s always good to end with something a little left field and what better way than these on-trend camo boat shoes. They may not be to the traditionalist’s tastes and we’re not sure what the local yacht club would think but for anyone attending a fashion show or looking to stand out from the crowd while honouring a style staple, these shoes are perfect.
How To Wear Boat Shoes
So there we have it, 10 of the best boat shoes for men right now. What’s your favourite and how do you wear yours? Let us know in the comments below or on social media.