Ready to take your boat out to the open seas or across the lake but you’re not sure what to wear? Tired of getting your sneakers or your leather boots wet? We’ve been through those hardships too, and it’s time you started looking at alternatives. Forget about soaked leather and shoes filled with water; instead, you can be stylish and comfortable when wearing a pair of the best boat shoes you’ll ever find.
Having a good pair of boat shoes is guaranteed to keep you comfortable. Also known as deck shoes and top-siders, boat shoes have a long history of being worn on boat decks. However, in recent years, they’ve become ideal footwear for the hot summer months. They’re breathable, easy to slip on and off, and have a great tread that is guaranteed to keep you on your feet, even on slippery surfaces. But finding a great pair that fits you can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t know what you should be looking for. Well, we’re here to help!
In this article, first we are going to introduce you to the most important features that you should consider before buying. And when we’re done with that, we’ll show you a short list of some of the best products in the market that customers rave about time and time again. So stick with us through the entirety of this article, and you can rest assured that you’ll definitely have the tools you need to find boating shoes perfect for you.
|Product Name||Weight||Material||Sizes Available||Price|
|Sperry Top-Sider||28 oz||Leather||6 to 16 (including half and wide sizes)||Check price on Amazon|
|Sebago Docksides||36.8 oz||Leather||7 to 13 (including half sizes)||Check price on Amazon|
|Tommy Hilfiger Bowman||35 oz||Leather||7 to 13 (including half sizes)||Check price on Amazon|
|Dockers Vargas||N/A||Leather||7 to 13 (including half sizes)||Check price on Amazon|
|Sperry Bahama||N/A||Canvas||7 to 10 (including half sizes)||Check price on Amazon|
|Timberland Classic Two-Eye||29 oz||Full-grain nubuck leather||6.5 to 15 (including half and wide sizes)||Check price on Amazon|
|Rugged Shark Classic||N/A||Leather||12||Check price on Amazon|
|Kingshow M1525||N/A||Faux leather||8 to 13 (including half-sizes)||Check price on Amazon|
Things to Consider Before Buying
To start you off on finding boat shoes that are right for you, it’s important that we first take a look at what their features are. This will give you a great idea of what sets them apart from other shoes, and which details you should be paying special attention to. So let’s see what kind of features a pair of boating shoes has to offer.
The majority of boat shoes are made from one of two materials: leather and canvas. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses that make them a great choice.
- Leather: is very water-resistant, so they’re great to wear in wet conditions. However, leather does require some extra care in order to maintain this protection. Leather care products are definitely recommended if you want to maintain the look of your shoes, and are applied with a shoe brush or a soft cloth. The product should be left to dry completely before they’re worn outside, which does add extra time to your preparation if you’re planning a boat trip. Leather boat shoes are also a bit heavier, so your ankles and feet may suffer.
- Canvas: definitely a lighter material, so there’s no strain on your ankles. However, they do not have any kind of water-resistance, so they’ll soak up water like a sponge. This makes them more suitable for dry conditions.
However, there are fabric protector sprays that can be used on canvas that dry a lot faster and make them waterproof. Not only that, these sprays keep off stains and soils that would ruin the canvas altogether, so your shoes can continue to look as new as the day you bought them.
It’s important that you be able to find the right fit of shoe before purchasing. Boat shoes should be tight enough to stay on securely, but not so tight that you can’t move around in them. In order to prevent this, you should make sure that there is space at the top of the shoe when you put it on so that you can move your foot around. If you can’t, then the shoe is definitely too tight.
The length of the shoe is also important. To see if you have the right length, put the shoe and press the space at the end of the shoe. There should be space equal to the length of a thumbnail between the end of your shoe and the top of your big toe. Any larger or smaller, and you should look for a different shoe.
Boat shoes are available in a wide range of colors, and though which choice you go with is a matter of preference, there are some benefits and drawbacks to this. If you’re looking for boat shoes that are more versatile and can be worn anywhere, then you may want to consider neutral colors like brown, beige, and grey. They’re also a lot easier to keep clean.
White and ivory shoes can be highly fashionable, if you’re looking to go to a fancier affair. However, dirt and stains will show up on them more easily and can be hard to keep clean. You could choose to go for boat shoes with prints on them, but these are only suitable for extremely casual affairs.
Breathable and Moisture-Wicking
Because you’re going to be wearing these shoes all day, it’s important that the shoe allows your feet to breathe. No one wants to walk around with smelly feet, increasing their risk of foot fungus and bacteria growing between their toes.
A boat shoe can prevent this in one of two or both ways. They can add mesh paneling along the shoe that lets air in. This is an option a majority of boat shoes have. Secondly, there’s adding a moisture-wicking liner to the inside of the shoe. This removes sweat from your feet and traps it in the liner so that your feet stay dry.
Nothing is more uncomfortable than foot pain, especially when you’re trying to enjoy your day. But this is more than just the fit of the shoe itself. Shoes with poor padding and ergonomics are going to feel like bricks on your feet. Instead, look for boat shoes that have padding and arch support in the soles. That way, all that standing and walking won’t ravage the delicate muscles and nerves in your feet.
Best Products on Today’s Market
Now that you’re aware of what you should be keeping an eye out for, it’s time to take a look at some of the top rated products in the market. These boat shoes have received glowing reviews time and time again, and there’s definitely a reason why. Instead of leaving your search up to chance, you should take a look at what the market has to offer and see the quality of boat shoes people are purchasing.
Without further ado, here’s a list of the greatest boat shoes available out there.
Price: $38 – $177
Weight: 28 ounces
Sizes available: 6 to 16 (including half and wide sizes)
Specific features: Plenty of color choices, 360-degree lacing system, rubber wave-siping soles that are non-marking, hand-sewn tru-moc construction, Perfed dri-lex sock liner, shock-absorbing EVA heel cup.
Best use: Summer walking, boating.
Description: When it comes to one of the original boating shoes out there on the market, then the Sperry Top-Sider A/O Boat Shoes is definitely one pair to look at. They’re designed with comfort in mind, and has embodied the passion of living and being out on the open waters for several decades. You can tell by the hand-sewn leather that makes up the body of this shoe, and the non-marking treads that will keep you from slipping, no matter how wet the ground may be.
These shoes are also incredibly light, so that means no swollen, tired ankles. They’re not designed for taking very long hikes, but they are comfortable to wear while standing for periods of time. This is achieved with the EVA heel cup that cradles your heels and alleviates the pressure from them.
They’re also quite breathable, so no foot sweat or stink by the end of the day. The sock liner was also added to help with this problem, by wicking away any moisture from your feet.
- Prevents skidding
- Does take some time to break in
- Soles wear out easily
Related: If you have maladies of the feet when you want to wear your boat shoes, then you may want to consider the Thirty48 Men No Show Loafer Socks. They’re no-show socks that won’t peek out around the edges of your shoes, and prevent any friction from happening between your feet and the material of your shoes.
Price: $41 – $228
Weight: 36.8 ounces
Sizes available: 7 to 13 (including half sizes)
Specific features: Handsewn Blucher moccasin construction, rawhide laces, corrosive-resistant eyelets, three-quarter leather socklining, slip-resistant, non-marking rubber.
Best use: Summer months, boating.
Description: With the Sebago Docksides Boat Shoes, you won’t have to look much further when looking for a quality shoe. It’s made with a nubuck upper leather in order to provide protection and water-resistant that you’re looking for in a boat shoe. No more soaked feet.
The soles consist of non-marking rubber so you won’t scuff your floors. Their also textured to provide you with excellent traction. That means no more slipping on your boat deck, or other slippery surfaces. A very important feature to have if you want to save your tail bone from any trauma.
With that said, even when these shoes get wet, you won’t have to worry about them wearing down. The rawhide laces can withstand getting wet and won’t break very easily. It laces around the perimeter of the shoes so that they stay on your feet. That means no more lost shoes or blistered ankles from your shoes being too tight.
- Excellent quality
- Looks great
- Can be difficult to break in
Related: Biking can be extremely rewarding: it gets you outside, helps you burn those calories, and you can see some wonderful sights on your ride. However, without the Bell Air Attack Pump, you can’t go anywhere with a flat tire. This pump is extremely affordable and easy to use. It would make a great gift for the cyclist in your life.
Price: $34 – $103
Weight: 35 ounces
Sizes available: 7 to 13 (including half sizes)
Specific features: Leather laces, non-marking rubber outsole, cushioned footbed, moc toe front, 360-degree lacing system.
Best use: Walking, boating.
Description: When it comes to Tommy Hilfiger, you know you’re getting quality, and it’s no different with the Tommy Hilfiger Bowman Boat Shoes. They are made with high quality leather that’s designed to last through many wears and many boat trips. It’s available in a handful of colors, ranging from casual to slightly fancy, especially in the darker colors.
The 360-degree lacing system will keep these on your feet, and if they start to pinch, just loosen the laces up a bit for the perfect fit. That means you can spend more time enjoying yourself, instead of worrying about the pain in your feet.
The cushioned footbed was also added to these shoes to provide you with comfort. Standing around and walking all day can cause a lot of pain to your heels and arches, so it’s important that they get some respite. The cushioning protects them from the pressure that comes with moving around, so you can focus on having fun instead of your foot pain.
- Looks great
- Fits well
- Easy to break in
- Low arch support
- Stitching is prone to coming off
Related: Insulated mugs are great for carrying around hot or cold drinks, and the Contigo SnapSeal Travel Mug is no different. Its attractive design, coupled with its ability to keep drinks hot for 6 hours or cold for 12 hours, makes it a perfect gift for yourself or a friend. It’s also BPA-free, which means your drinks won’t have that awful plastic taste when you finally take a drink.
Price: $60 – $70
Sizes available: 7 to 13 (includes half sizes)
Specific features: Hand-sewn, cushioned EVA footbed, molded EVA heel cup, rubber siped outsoles.
Best use: Boating, walking.
Description: The brand of Dockers Vargas Traditional Boat Shoes is definitely something to admire. It has a very casual feel, while still being stylish. it’s available in a number of colors for both casual affairs and to go along with more sophisticated attire.
The high quality leather will definitely last you a long time, as long as you take care of it properly. However, it is quite resistant to water, so there’s no risk of your feet getting wet while you’re out on your boat.
The outsoles will keep you protected as well. The rubber is siped with a wave pattern in order to provide you with maximum traction. That means no slipping or sliding, regardless of how wet the ground or boat deck is. Being the life of the party shouldn’t amount to taking a spill and looking like a clown.
- Soft footbed
- Easy to break in
- Fit is narrow
Related: Sometimes, you just need to be able to saute a lot of food for friends and family, and you can achieve that with the T-fal B36090 Saute Pan. It holds up to five quarts, is easy to wash, and your food won’t stick to the surface. The glass lid also has a steam hole so there’s no spilling over of any liquids when the pressure gets too high.
Price: $25 – $100
Sizes available: 7 to 10 (including half sizes)
Specific features: Wide range of colors, vulcanized construction, hand-sewn Tru-Moc construction, 360° Lacing System, rust proof eyelets, non-marking rubber outsole.
Best use: Walking in summer, boating.
Description: If you’re looking for light shoes that you won’t mind getting wet, you might want to consider the Sperry Top-Sider Bahama Boat Shoes. They’re made from canvas, which dries fast and won’t warp after getting wet. It’s a much better alternative to leather, which you have to prep beforehand if you don’t mind it getting wet.
The 360-degree lacing system is guaranteed to keep this shoe on your foot. It’s a great choice to have if you do a lot of walking all day, as your feet tend to swell after all that exercise. This way, you can just loosen the laces and still be comfortable.
The vulcanized rubber construction was chosen for the sake of durability and withstanding the elements. The soles won’t separate from the rest of the material, and won’t flake apart after years of wear. This is definitely a pair of boat shoes to consider adding to your list.
- Looks great
- Durable construction
- Can fit a little tight
- Does take some time to break in
Related: Nothing has that classic feel and look other than the U.S. Polo Assn. Classic Polo Shirt. With the trademark polo player over the left breast, you know you’re paying for quality. This shirt features a blend of cotton and polyester to keep you cool and dry, and has rubbed sleeves and a collar that won’t fray. It’s also machine-washable, making it easy to keep clean.
Price: $40 – $200
Weight: 29 ounces
Material: Full-grain nubuck leather
Sizes available: 6.5 to 15 (including half and wide sizes)
Specific features: Handsewn uppers, 360-degree rawhide lacing system, 3/4-length leather-lined EVA footbeds, Poron foam, slip-resistant rubber outsoles.
Best use: Boating.
Description: The Timberland Classic Two-Eye Boat Shoes will provide you with that classical, nautical feel every time you put them on. The leather has been richly stained in a wonderful array of colors, and even comes in a “smooth” look that looks like suede. That’s definitely a lot of variety to choose from in one brand of boat shoes.
The lacing system is perfect for those whose feet change shape day in and day out, as it allows you to make the shoe as tight or as loose as you need it to be. The leather laces run all the way around the perimeter of the shoe, too, so it’s not just control over the top. You won’t find comfort like this anywhere else.
Another thing that makes this shoe great is the EVA footbed and Poron foam that has been added, as they provide your feet with a lot of cushioning. You can go about, actually enjoying your day instead of complaining about foot pain.
- Wear out quickly
- Can cause blisters and hotspots
Related: Before winter starts, you want to be able to get your workout in before it gets too cold. You can achieve that with the Champion Powerblend Fleece Jogger Pants, which are designed to keep you warm and protected against those chilly winds. They’re easy to keep clean, have spacious pockets, and have tapered feet to keep the legs of these pants in place.
Price: $45 – $80
Sizes available: 12
Specific features: Odor control, slip-resistant rubber soles, non-marking soles, nice range of colors.
Best use: Walking in summer, boating.
Description: Interested in the classic look of a boating shoe? Then the Rugged Shark Classic Boat Shoes could be exactly the pair you’re looking for. The suede-leather laces are great for tying and stay in place. They won’t fray very easily either, so you won’t need to replace them in the near future.
Are smelly feet a problem for you? Not with these shoes. The odor control technology that’s been added to the shoes are guaranteed to leave your feet smelling fresh, no matter how long you’ve been wearing these shoes for.
The quality of the leather used in the making this shoe will also hug and wrap your feet in comfort. It’s soft and won’t chafe your feet, allowing you to remain comfortable throughout the day. The slip-resistant bottom will stop you from falling too, and the non-marking rubber won’t leave behind any scuff marks on your floors.
- Don’t break in easily
- Narrower than expected
Related: With every great pair of boating shoes, one should have an excellent pair of quality shorts, and you can find that in the Pau1Hami1ton Twill Chino Shorts. Available in some very attractive colors, these shorts and breathable and versatile enough to wear just about anywhere. The slant pockets on the shorts are large enough to hold your wallets, keys, and other small electronic devices to keep on your person.
Price: $21 – $28
Material: Faux leather
Sizes available: 8 to 13 (including half-sizes)
Specific features: Lace up, breathable, non-skid rubber outsole
Best use: Walking, boating.
Description: If you’re looking for affordable boating shoes, then the KINGSHOW M1525 Boat Shoes could be exactly what you’re looking for. They’re easy to wear, with a lace-up system that makes it simple for you to tighten or loosen the shoe as much as you need.
The sides of the front of the shoe have breathing panels to prevent your feet from becoming too sweaty. This can save you from having to pull off smelly shoes after a great day of being outside, and can also spare you from the risk of contracting Athlete’s foot.
The cushioned footbed provides excellent support for your feet. No more fallen arches, sore heels, or general foot pain from standing or walking around all day. That means you can wear these shoes for a lot longer, and get more out of your day than you would with an uncomfortable pair of boating shoes.
- Feel great
- Good traction
- Soles tend to split and crack quickly
- Inside stitching can hurt feet without socks
Related: Biking during the summer can be one of the most rewarding experiences, but it’s not much fun if you’re not visible to other vehicles on the road. Don’t leave your safety up to chance and invest in the HeroBeam Bike Lights Double Set. It comes with a pair of headlights, a pair of tail lights, and a pair of wheel lights, making you visible to everyone you pass by.
This is where our review ends. We have provided you with the very important features to keep an eye out for, and showed you which products customers have been raving about.
With that said, we’re sure that with all of this information at your disposal, you’re well on your way to finding a pair of boat shoes that are perfect for you or a loved one. That way, you can be ready for your next boat party or just lounging around on the docks.
Is there a pair of boat shoes you’d like to see us review? Feel that there’s a particular product we’ve left off this list? Please be sure to let us know in the comments section below.