Boat shoes guide part 1

Boat shoes guide

Boat shoes guide part 1

History of boat shoes, number 1:

Before the advent of the modern boat shoe, sailors and boatmen alike struggled to maintain a firm foothold on the slippery decks of their boats.  The shoes available to them were just not up to the task and as one can imagine this lead to frequent accidents, not to mention hilarious and embarrassing situations.

History of boat shoes, number 2:

In the early 1930s, Paul Sperry, an ardent sailor, and boaters were struggling with this problem in his everyday life. One winter day in Connecticut he took his dog, a cocker spaniel named Prince, out for a walk and was amazed by Prince’s grip while running across the ice. The traction he managed to generate on the slippery surfaced intrigued him. Paul figured that it had something to do with the pads of Prince’s feet. Upon closer examination, he realized the cracks and grooves on Prince’s feet formed a herringbone-like pattern that gave him grip. Sperry then hit upon the idea of cutting similar patterns on the soles of the shoes he used while boating.

History of boat shoes, number 3:

Sperry’s discovery already had a name, however, as the concept of splitting or siping the sole of a shoe had already been invented and patented in 1923. Paul Sperry used the same process, and his design was successful in increasing the traction of shoes on a boat’s surface. Unfortunately, his black-soled boat shoes left unsightly marks on boats’ deck, a major flaw. However, Paul quickly realized that white shoe soles do not leave any visible marks. In 1935, he introduced the Sperry Top-Sider shoe with mid- to dark-brown leather uppers and a white rubber sole, still cut in a herringbone pattern. After this final modification, his shoes became quite popular among sailors and boaters but remained a niche product, they would not catch on with the general public until much later.