Wardrobe Essentials: Boat Shoes

A shoe we definitely pondered over for our 6 Footwear Essentials article but narrowly missed out due to us keeping it formal with our selections was the boat shoe. Now we are back with more Wardrobe Essentials and this time it’s the humble Boat Shoe that we will be looking at in more depth. Invented in 1935 by Paul Sperry after noticing how his dog could run easily over ice without slipping, Mr Sperry’s inspiration for the sole was born as was his brand Sperry Top-Sider. An American classic that has been repeated, reincarnated and re-imagined by just about every brand out there. The Boat Shoe  is a piece that’s perfect for the surge in nice weather we are experiencing at the moment and one that should definitely be in your suitcase should you be lucky enough to experience some sun overseas this year.

shoes 1

We’ve created three looks for you using the classic Boat Shoe as the basis for every outfit. This trio of ideas should cover every base, and showcase just how versatile this seafarer classic is. From Riviera style with look one, through to poolside comfort with look two, right the way through to an Italian inspired look three, these outfits could be summer staples for you this season.

Look One

What better way to create a killer summertime look than with the original boat shoe from Sperry Top-Sider? We’ve gone with all out tradition with this outfit (although slightly updated) by using a striped t-shirt and some slim fit chinos from Gant. Roll up the chinos to give your ankles a bit of sun and further show off the boat shoes. We kept the nautical theme going with this beautiful bracelet from Miansai and have rounded it off nicely with a woven belt from Andersons.

authentic boat shoesbutter twill chinos

barstriped teerope and silverwoven porter belts

Look Two

With look one we went with tradition, with look two thanks to the ground breaking shoes from Swims, we’ve decided to update the ‘boat shoe look’ by moving it away from the marina and bringing it poolside. Thanks to the mesh lining and side vents, these fantastic boat shoes are going to keep your feet happy all day. We’ve paired them with a pair of swim shorts from our new favourite brand Orlebar Brown, again these are perfect for both poolside and bar stool alike. Finish the look off with a crisp navy shirt, a holdall to carry your towel, reading material, sunglasses and sun cream.

porter rubber swimsspringer shorts

crossfire shirtsbarrell canvas bagsharris brown lens

Look Three

This look is all about classic Italian ‘Sprezzatura’, and what better way to get that look than with (what this author thinks is the greatest shoe ever made) the Gucci Horsebit Loafer. This season Gucci have replaced the usual leather undercarriage with a Boat Shoe style sole, making this the most stylish boat shoe out there. We’ve kept it simple and classic with this look, one for those hot evenings somewhere sunny, with enough stylish nonchalance to make you stand out. Complete the look with these outstanding sunglasses from Shaun’s California.

rafer boat shoesengland riviera

piana blend chinoslansen chronoelgin lens

Best of The Rest

topman boat shoespenguin tone shoeslivonia boat shoes

king boat shoeseye boat shoesjohn varvatos

deck saint shoessorrento kg shoesquoddy boat shoes

Some Final Thoughts

A surprisingly versatile footwear option, its inherent association with boating and the riviera means that this one can work equally well in a nice restaurant on a summer evening or dressed down by the side of the pool. There is a huge array of boat shoes on the market from all manner of designers. This is a classic that you are going to get plenty of use out of so spend wisely.