You have undoubtedly heard of boat shoes before, but do you really know what they are and where they come from? Many shoe companies often call them deck shoes or topsiders. The design of boat shoes probably originated with Native Americans. They used to wear moccasins that were made of a water-resistant form of leather, low profile, and lacing on the sides to keep them snug to the foot. In modern times, they originated as a shoe for use when boating. These shoes were made to keep you from slipping on the wet boat deck. The leather top part of the shoe was treated with oils to keep the water out and the soles were made of a non-skidding rubber. The low profile of the shoe was so that you could take it on and off easily like a slipper or loafer. This made it easier to get on and off the boat quickly.
Eventually, boat shoes became popular and fashionable to wear off the yacht deck. They found their way into fashion as a shoe to wear somewhere between formal and casual shoes. The word boat gave them a very sporty connotation and the look made them a stylish addition to any wardrobe. You will see that many people wear boat shoes without socks, and some even come with sock pads inside to make them more comfortable for bare feet. They can be worn with socks, but it is just more popular and stylish to wear them without.
So when do you wear boat shoes? Often times men find it hard to decide when it is okay to wear boat shoes and when it is okay to wear loafers. Most stylists will tell you that loafers are to be worn with the business casual outfits in your closet. You can wear them with jeans and a button down shirt for a proper look. Boat shoes, on the other hand, are more for sports looks. They should be worn with things like golf shoes, shorts, and even polo shirts. In essence, they should be worn with dressier sports wear. The only time of year it is really not okay to wear boat shoes is in the winter.
Because of their roots of originally being made for use on wet ship decks, they are very tough shoes. Even the toughest of shoes, though, need some maintenance. To keep your shoes looking good and lasting, you should regularly put oil for leather on them. The oil will help them maintain their ability to withstand the moisture that they were originally made to withstand. You should regularly remove the insoles and spray them with a shoe cleaner so that they do not grow fungus. If the sole begins to wear, make sure you have it repaired as soon as possible. This will help you prevent slips on the wet deck of the ship.
When you get ready to buy boat shoes, there are some things you should be looking for. For instance, they should have a solid sole that feels durable and that will help prevent slipping. The issue of slipping is not just for working on the deck of the ship, but also just in day to day life. They should also fit your foot well and be comfortable, but just make sure you try them on before you buy them. It is impossible to know how good a shoe will feel or fit without putting it on your foot.
Keep in mind as you shop for boat shoes that quality ones are not going to come cheaply. If you are willing to spend the money, though, they will last you for a number of seasons and even years without any significant deterioration in quality. Keep an eye out for name brand shoes to get the best quality. Keep in mind that not every company calls them boat shoes. Watch for boat shoes, topsiders, or even deck shoes.
Boat shoes are great not just for the deck of your boat. They are also a great way to get that sporty casual look. If you are going to get a new set of boat shoes, just make sure you try them on so that you find a good shoe that will take care of you and your feet.