boat shoes

What shoes to wear on a boat?

When packing for a getaway on the water, you may want to think about the type of shoes you will wear. Grabbing your favourite flip flops or sandals just won’t do, it is vital to pack a pair of proper boat shoes. A common question asked is what shoes to wear on a boat?

This will allow you to avoid annoying and sometimes risky slips and falls. You will also find they are actually a lot more comfortable.

If you’ve owned a pair of boat shoes before for their cool look when living in warm weather, you ought to focus your attention on purchasing them for boating. 

Importance of boat shoes

Heard of Sperry shoes or Sperry Top-Sider? These come from Paul Sperry way back in the 1930s. He invented the shoes after getting sick of slipping around on a wet deck.

These shoes are still up to today one of the most preferred boat shoe brands for boaters today that offer incredible traction for moving about a rocking boat. 

Same as your boat requires to be geared up adequately for a day on the water, your wear needs to be appropriate as well. Boat shoes are a vital part of your day because you’ll be all over doing everything from walking on a wet deck to boarding the boat in question. 

Regardless of the nature of your boat trip, always have a solid and reliable pair of boat shoes to safeguard you from injury and allow you to move around as required.  

What makes a good boat shoe?

what shoes to wear on a boat

Boat shoes are primarily designed to keep you safe on the boat but additionally, they offer a stylish choice that you can put on around the boat and when anchoring to go on land.

Ensure to first take into account performance before the look since you can always switch shoes when you dock if you require a different look. 


The most immediate consideration for safety is that the boat shoe you settle on should be water tight/ resistant. Ensure the material is either quick-dry or water-resistant.

Keep away from shoes that are completely waterproof because oddly, you will find that the water will get trapped on the inside. 

Look up something that provides an in-built way to drain water. Leather and Neoprene are the go-to choices for boating shoes, but ensure when it comes to leather that you provide additional care to protect it after use.

Tread pattern 

Another important consideration is the tread pattern. Boat shoes come with anything from a modest tread to an aggressive tread.

If you intend to be in situations where you’ll need to grip on tight, get an aggressive tread.  If your plan is to cruise in a leisurely way, go for a modest tread.


After that, consider what type of fasteners will suit your situation best. If you plan to simply do some deep-sea fishing or casual trips, go for a slip-on alternative.

If your plan is to do anything more, ensure to have fasteners like laces or Velcro. 


Style and color is your final consideration. Select a sole that is light in color to avoid leaving scuff marks behind.

A lot of people will go for classic brown leather boat shoe or a canvas boat shoe so as to have something that works well onboard but also makes sure you to fit in when leaving the boat for land.

Something functional, casual, and stylish should be the target. 


Some of the top brands on the market today include Speedo and Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes. Look out for Sperry’s Authentic Original Leather Boat Shoe and also Astral Brewer 2.0 Water Shoes for some excellent options. 


With the right boat shoe, you will find they are comfortable enough to be worn during travelling, conducting business, or even on a date.

Ensure you consider the correct safety options when buying your boat shoes and search for an option that you will be able to reap the benefits of in multiple areas of your life.  

Remember, it is advisable to have two, or more pairs of boating shoes. “The best boat shoe” is very subjective: What may be right for one person is not necessarily the cup of tea for another.

If you are serious about boating, your feet need multiple options. After all, I am sure you have more than one pair of shoes to wear on land, right?

Last update on 2021-12-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API