Slipping Into the Right Boat Shoe – A Tale Of Two Centuries

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Few fashion favorites can weather the storms of constantly changing trends and passing time to survive as a consistent consumer choice. Shelf lives for popularity tend to expire quickly, and most products of any kind seldom experience high demand for more than a year or two. Occasionally an attractive shoe style or fresh jacket design will prevail for part of a decade as a popular pick, but tendencies in fashion sensations are generally short-lived.

Slightly off topic, but here an interesting video on boat shoes. Discover the 3 best ways to dress up with boat shoes:

Boat Shoes – An “Old Sole” Standing Comfortably At the Top:

Even the most clever clothing and footwear creations tend to fade fast and fall victim to the relentless quest and powerful innovation as each new year’s latest lines are introduced. Pushing forward to invent or rediscover the most recent icon which will be celebrated and inducted as a most valuable player by “cliquish” pop culture, critics speak louder than ever through communication technology and leave many shoes unfilled. Nothing seems to impact the staying power of boat shoes, and their overwhelming popularity remains “unscuffed” as they keep stepping forward and improving with every stride.

Buying patterns of the general public have most commonly been driven toward originality and a quest for unique items which were rarely seen before by members of their social circle. Boat shoes stand practically alone in a category by themselves as a leading choice of men and women for over eighty years since their invention in the 1930’s. Cheap boat shoes for men have been accepted as a standard accessory in several countries across the world for more than four consecutive decades.

Why Do Boat Shoes Keep Sailing Along in Popularity?

Boat shoes are just plain awesome. Fashion experts have debated for almost fifty years over when and where boat shoes should be worn. The most widely accepted response to the question of proper protocol for slipping into a comfortable and dynamically designed pair of boat shoes seems to be “wherever and whenever” those wearing them feel best. Boat shoes were only limited to �boating uses” for a short time after they were discovered to be a great option for walking without the associated hassles of most dress/casual options. Possessing the ability to carry their owners with the functionality reserved for most athletic shoes and the feel of a loyal slipper the “deck” shoe has savaged the sandal market and “lapped” all other loafers with ease.

Reversing the “Revolving” Trend:

Most shoe trends revolve around the changes in popular clothing items during passing decades. If the boat shoe were represented by a planet, it would be most closely associated with the traits of the sun. Choices in casual pants, shorts, shirts and even dress and dress/casual wear have been orbiting around the deck shoe family for nearly fifty years. Men have been seen in practically every option of clothing up to and including suits with various styles of deck shoes for longer than most people can remember. Deck shoes were considered just as “cool” when they were worn by grandparents of the generation of men currently wearing them in several locations throughout the world today.

For What Is In a Name:

A question that comes up often concerns the history of the boat shoe. This question usually arises because an individual sees many men and women wearing the shoes in various environments and is curious to know the original intent that inspired the carefully crafted shoe. In other words, a person realizes the boat shoe is popular in the 21st century and wants to know the relationship between the original purpose of the shoe and the goal that is currently achieved by wearing the particular type of shoe. Well, it turns out that boat shoes date all the way back to 1930’s. The historical significance makes the boat shoe an exception in many regards.

“Dog Legs” Providing Solutions Instead of Golfing Challenges:

There is much debate when it comes to the actual beginning of boat shoes because many cannot decide whether Paul Sperry or John F. Sipe should receive the credit for the groundbreaking innovation. In 1923 Sipe invented a process that is currently named after him (“siping”). This process consists of cutting thin slits across a rubber surface to improve grip in wet or icy environments. About a decade later Sperry was partaking in one of his many sailing adventures and received some inspiration from his dog that seemed to possess exceptional traction in the icy environment.

Upon further examination, Sperry noticed that his dog had “pads” on all four paws that consisted of a ““herringbone pattern.” Sperry implemented that same pattern in the sole of a shoe after his exciting discovery. The origin of Sperry’s idea can be debated; however, the results cannot. Sperry’s new technique allowed a shoe to possess never before gripping abilities that made walking on a wooden deck in an adverse condition much easier.

The “Topside” of the Boat Shoe According to Sperry:

Sperry started patenting his idea almost immediately after discovering the revolutionary concept. The black sole was put to the test, but it resulted in unwanted smudges on the ground. After the dirt cleared is when the so-called “core” of the boat shoe was invented. Sperry introduced a white sole into his boat shoe. The problem was solved, and the unwanted smudges to no longer be an issue. Additionally, Sperry’s decision added an unusual aspect to the fashion world because a shoe with a dark body and dark laces also consisted of a white sole. This can be understood by looking at Sperry’s first ever “topside” boat shoe, which he released in 1935. The so-called “norm” when it comes to boat shoes is without a doubt based on Sperry’s original shoe. All-in-all this “norm” can be understood by understanding the following requirements that create a true boat shoe:

*A white sole.
*Ridges in the sole that are either abnormally thin or thick.
*Moccasin Toe construction.
*Hand sewn appearance.
* A 360-degree lacing system.
*Two rows of aglets.
*Laces that match the body of the shoe regarding color.

The Sleek Design of Modern Boat Shoes:

After looking at those traditional requirements, a person will likely say something along the lines of “I have never seen a boat shoe in my life.” Well, it turns out this individual has seen a boat shoe in their life. The only catch is that they have viewed the modern adaptation that occurred over many decades. All of these dramatic changes have indeed made the shoe extremely different from Sperry’s original vision. However, the idea of being comfortable and secure in a pair of fashionable shoes has remained in today’s modern boat shoes. Overall this means the questions are “what has changed in the boat shoes?” and “why have so many changes been made to the original design of the show?”

There are in fact three major changes that have been made to the original style of boat shoe that Sperry released. First, the “core” of the shoe (the white sole) is no longer the “core” because many of the shoes sold consist of colors such as navy blue, green, yellow, purple, “Nantucket red,” and just about every other color known to man. Secondly, the original idea of every show having two rows of aglets has changed because many boat shoes include an additional row of aglets. Lastly, the concept of matching the body of the shoe with the lace color has faded away because the overwhelming majority of boat shoes sold today have a lace color that does not identify with the body of the shoe. The question of why this has happened is relatively easy to answer. So many changes have been made because today’s fashion industry consists of being diverse and this means having customizable options.

When to wear boat shoes?:

The popularity of the shoe, history of the shoe, and the overall understanding of the shoe have been established. The next logical question that a person will likely ask is “When should a person wear boat shoes?” These questions are undoubtedly the most debated aspect of boat shoes because individuals cannot decide if the shoe is supposed to be worn just in the Summer months, Summer & winter months, or both. Sperry intended for the shoe to be worn all year because his original goal when he released the show was to combat the ice that was present in the winter months. In addition to that, Sperry intended for the shoe to be water resistant, which means the person wearing the shoe would be fishing or at least around water.

These guidelines have inspired some to wear the shoes in all seasons when they are around water. On the other hand, there are people that do not like cold feet, which is why they do not wear the shoes in the winter. Additionally, some feel that the shoes should only be worn in casual settings. Others believe the shoes can are acceptable in all contexts. Overall it boils down to personal preference.

“Boats” For All Occasions:

The opinions about the style of the boat shoe are very similar to the views about the timing of boat shoe usage because there are overwhelming amounts of opposition, which make a person confused when it comes to wearing the particular shoe in day-to-day settings. First, there is the debate about wearing the shoes with or without socks. Some believe that everyone should embrace the original style (wearing the shoes barefoot), but that opinion varies because socks help prevent excessive sweating and lock in heat.

The compromise to this dilemma is to purchase a cotton insert, wear socks that are barely noticeable, or just to embrace the barefoot style. Secondly, there is the debate about whether it is appropriate to wear the shoes with formal attire. Once again there are those that state the shoes should only be worn when a person is wearing slim jeans, pants, khakis, chinos, or slacks. On the other hand, many individuals wear the shoes with a suit, blazer, or sports coat. Just about everyone agrees that the best way to wear boat shoes and jeans is to roll up the jeans so that they are right above the ankle. However, It boils down to personal preference.

Keeping Your “Boats” Afloat:

The next piece of information that every aspiring boat shoe owner is curious about concerns proper care for boat shoes and the best methods for breaking in boat shoes. Breaking the shoes in can be done by simply wearing them a few times on short distance walks. However, the easier and less painful strategy is to put the shoes on, tighten them, and soak the shoes in water so the leather can conform to the shape of your feet. Following that, the shoes will need to be dried. Do not dry the shoe using a hair dryer or by setting them in the sun. Other tips for caring for the shoes are below:

*Use emulsion based shoe polish that is neutral or matches the color of the shoe.
*Use a shoe horn when putting the shoes on so the heel stays in shape.
*Use vinegar and water to remove stains.
*Use a toothbrush, water, and saddle soap to clean the shoes.

A Boatload of Value:

One of the last questions that people ask is “what are the best types of boat shoes?” Boat shoes have been around for over half a century, which means hundreds of different kinds of boat shoes range anywhere between $25 and $300. The key is to find the boat shoes that are on the lower end of the price scale and the higher end of the quality and fashion levels. The first shoe that seems to achieve that is the “Land’s end mainstay” boat shoe. These shoes are adored because they are around $50 and consist of quality material that makes them perfect for a beach trip and a formal dinner. The next gem is the “Red tape” boat shoes. These shoes consist of classic butterfly leather, European design, and a modern touch (streamlined laces).

The previously mentioned boat shoes are exceptional; however, they do not match up with the next two pairs of boat shoes. First, there are the “Sperry Authentic Original Cyclone leather 2-eye” boat shoes, which remain as one of the most reasonably priced shoes that still manage to embrace the classic look (Sperry’s style). Lastly, there are the “Sebago Dockside neoprene” boat shoes. The makers of these shoes have been known for producing boat shoes for the so-called “preppy college kids” and for the US sailing team. This why $80 is an unreal price for the shoes. There are hundreds of boat shoes, but the best brands that are reasonably priced are noted as being Sebago, Sperry, and Nautica.

The Best “Hands On Deck” Shoe Shopping Options:

There are several places people can shop for cheap boat shoes for men. As previously mentioned the styles and designs vary by manufacturer and plenty of the major retail chains as well as independently owned stores carry various brands. Since there are multiple choices which are considered reasonably priced the necessity to spend a lot of money to locate a great pair have nothing to do with creating status symbols. The best part about boat shoes, in general, is that they are widely accepted by all economic and social groups with little impact by the “snob” factor. The biggest concern with deck shoes is that they convey a look that the man wearing them is comfortable and is not intimidated by what anyone else thinks.

A Dog and a Blanket “ish” Thing:

Considering that the right feel of a perfect pair of boat shoes is not a “science” thing, but more subjective and closely related to schools for “art” is the first part of narrowing down places to start hunting. People trying to explain what a man is looking for in the proper fit is almost exactly like trying to explain what made him feel complete by clinging onto his “favorite blanket” as a child. Unless employees of a shoe outlet have owned a dog for several years and realize the loyalty which existed between them is similar to the bond felt by a favorite pair of boat shoes there will be no advantage to seeking their assistance.

Finding The Right Penny Without Diving in the Fountain:

With so many options of retail and so-called wholesale stores which carry products, finding what consumers are looking for can present more of a challenge than the necessary time available can afford. For those who have heard the term “free time” and wondered what on earth that means, they can consider themselves welcomed to the “club” of the current blazingly fast pace at which society presently operates. Attempting to locate the perfect item can be exactly like diving into a huge water fountain filled with pennies and sorting through them one by one. Nobody has time for that anymore.

Crawling Around On the Web:

Trusting merchants who are unfamiliar with the internet can be as risky as attempting to pet an unidentified spider crawling through the garage. There is a reason they call it “the web,” all sorts of potential pocket-book harmful creepy-crawly types thrive on it. Instead of diving into a bunch of stores located all over town or surfing through dangerous currents or corruption choices like Amazon seems to be making more sense to a steadily growing family of loyal consumers. With the widest variety and the very best prices backed up with a name and guarantee which can be trusted slipping into the perfect pair of cheap boat shoes for men is a one step process. Clicking through the item descriptions and finding boat shoe styles that fit is much easier than time-consuming and potentially risky options. With Amazon, the only “chances” involved are extra ones gained by saving time to do something enjoyable with the family for a change.

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5 Interesting things that boat shoes reveal about your personality

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Have you ever seen somebody and instantly made assumptions based on what they were wearing? While we don’t like to admit it, most of us do this pretty regularly. First impressions matter, so making the best one possible could be advantageous to you. Sometimes a particular item of clothing can make all the difference! If you’ve ever wondered what boat shoes say about you, you’ll be happy to know that there are at least 5 positive traits that these shoes can reveal about a person.

1. You’re fun: Think about the original purpose of these shoes. They’re designed to give you extra traction on wet surfaces, such as the deck of a boat you’re riding in or driving. Boating isn’t something you do to be boring, but it’s a fun and social activity that a lot of people enjoy doing. Whether you actually enjoy boating doesn’t matter, because when you wear your boat shoes around it will be assumed that you’re a fun person regardless.

2. You care about your appearance: Boat shoes are like sandals, but more practical and more stylish. They can be worn very casually or formally, as shown by some people wearing them even to beach weddings and other events. You’re sure to add a nice touch to any wardrobe by stepping into an attractive set of boat shoes. This is an easy way to say “I care, but not so much that it’s obnoxious.”

3. You’re relaxed: These shoes are not just stylish but also comfortable. Since boat shoes are pretty all-purpose as well, it’s hard to imagine you being an uptight and strict person if you’re walking around in your own pair of them!

4. You’re simple: We’re not talking about simple as in stupid, but simple as in not overly complicated and dramatic. Boats shoes are easy to wear, since all you have to do is step into them most times, and easy to pair with different outfits to get the look you want. Even if you go formal with these shoes, you don’t have to wear socks with them. How much simpler can you get? Obviously, you’re not going to be the one stressing out about how that person across the room is wearing the same shirt as you. Heck, you might not even have noticed unless your friends pointed it out to you.

5. You’re classy: You don’t have to be rich to get a good pair of boat shoes, but something about them tells people you enjoy the finer things just as much as you like everyday fun. They are high quality, stylish shoes made in a simple and timeless design, so whether you’re going to the grocery store or going to a fancy dinner you give off an air of sophistication. You like to have nice, lasting things without showing off too much. Now that’s real class!

So there you have it. If you’ve got a pair of boat shoes you wear around, then it sounds like you’re a pretty cool person. Have fun making friends and enjoying your life to the fullest, although you’re probably already doing both of those things rather well!

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