Many people love the comfort of a pair of boat shoes, but some are wondering what are boat shoes? The boat shoes origin began in 1935 when invented by Paul Sperry. He got the idea while walking his dog and noticed that the dog could not walk without slipping. He decided to cut siping, on the rubber soles of his shoes, to give traction while walking on ice. Siping is a simple pattern of cuts on the soles of shoes which aid in traction. He later tried the shoes while boating and realized they were perfect, and this led him to the discovery. In fact the shoes were so popular that Sperry formed his own shoe company. So what are boat shoes then?

Boat shoes are a pair of casual shoes for men. They are also called deck shoes or topsiders and have been a popular choice of footwear for men.  The original design was for sailors which compromised of water-resistant leather, with low profile and side lacing and use it while walking on a wet boat deck. The leather was normally treated with water-repellent oil and the low profile made it easier to slip on or off. The shoe became so popular that men were asking what are boat shoes  and what are boat shoes used for.

Initially the manufactured shoes  were predominantly for sailors, but in the late 1970’s a fashion trend began in the United States and United Kingdom, where men made it into a pair of fashionable shoes. This led many fashion designers asking what are boat shoes and what do you wear them with. Boat shoes are fashionable and considered a more formal footwear than loafers. The norm is to wear the boat shoes without socks, but a few people do choose to wear a pair of socks with it. The idea is not to wear a pair of socks, if you need to take them off on the boat or if you decided to go barefoot on the beach.

Now that you know what are boat shoes, men want to know the proper clothing to wear with it. We know that boat shoes give a casual appearance but men get confused when to wear loafers and when to wear boat shoes. The general rule is to wear loafers with a pair of jeans and a button down shirt, while boat shoes should accessorize with a sportier outfit. Designers know what boat shoes are and how well they work with sporty fashion so now they are always on the look out for the latest styles and trends.

So now we know what are boat shoes, and what to wear them with, the only thing left to ask is how to take care of them. The design of boat shoes is ideal for the conditions aboard a boat, but looking after them makes them more durable. Apply a good quality oil made especially for leather to the top part of the shoe. This will keep the shoe flexible and keep it water-resistant.  Be sure to remove the insoles and spray the shoe with a cleaner to prevent bacterial and fungal growth. If the rubber soles do wear away, replace them to prevent slips aboard the wet deck. Now you know what are boat shoes and how to take care of them.

The next time you venture on a boat you might not wonder what are boat shoes, but wonder exactly how to enjoy your day on the deck.