Lifestyle

15 Boat Shoes Built for the Streets, Not the Seas

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The preppiest, daddest shoe around is getting a much-needed reboot.

A collage of different boat shoes over a picture of boats docked at lake ontario

Photograph: Getty Images; Collage: Gabe Conte

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There are a whole lot of dad vibes in fashion these days. In the last few years, dad hats, dad jeans, and, of course, dad sneakers have all made the leap from fusty to fashionable. But somehow, boat shoes—the daddest footwear of all; the ones your pops still wears to all manner of cookouts, camping trips, and baseball games—were left behind to rot, too normcore even for normcore.

Or that was the case, anyhow, until 2022 rolled around. Thanks to designers of every stripe, a whole new breed of boat shoe is emerging: slicker and brasher and altogether cooler, more reflective of the adventurous spirit one would expect of footwear designed for the decks of yachts. The timeless moccasin shape and sturdy non-slip soles mostly remain the same, only updated in new colors and materials that fit your weirder, wider-ranging wardrobe. Here are 15 forward-thinking pairs to slip into all summer. Your old man’ll be proud.

The OG Boat Shoe

Sperry x J.Crew tri-tone boat shoes

We may have spent the intro to this story clowning on regular-ass boat shoes, but that’s not to imply that Sperry—who invented the damn things way back in 1935—don’t still make some next-level versions of their signature product. Scroll past the stuffy brown ones that every orthodontist in America wears on vacation, and you’ll find these color-blocked bangers made exclusively for J.Crew. They’re preppy as ever, but not in a stale way. Authentic and original, just like the name says.

The New-School Boat Shoe

Yuketen angler moc boat shoes

The most 2022 of all boat shoes—the kind that feel less “JFK in Hyannis Port” and more “aspiring micro-influencer in baggy jeans and a fitted”—plop handsome, high-quality leather on top of chunky, slush-conquering soles. Yuketen’s sandy suede riff on the silhouette is one of the best we’ve seen yet, and the Japanese craftsmanship means they’ll last just as long as your Goodyear-welted brogues—and look way sicker broken in.  

The Fancified Boat Shoe

Sid Mashburn camp moccasin

$195

Sid Mashburn

The neo-prep revival isn’t going anywhere. And as Ivy Style enters its dirtbag era, brands like Sid Mashburn—the Atlanta-based operation steered by the cheery menswear expert of the same name—are primed to lead the charge. Mashburn’s entire MO centers around gently remixing the foundational elements of the classic American wardrobe by making them feel fun again: a splash of color here, a tweaked silhouette there. A prime example? His yacht-ready camp mocs, handsewn in Portugal out of a fetching bottle green leather. Already own white pants and a faded ringer tee? Congrats: now you’ve got a perfect summer fit too. 

The All-Weather Boat Shoe

Engineered Garments x Sebago “Rossaland” boat shoes

$375

End Clothing

The best way to ruggedize a pair of boat shoes? Swap out the deck-ready soles for ones you’d normally find on your favorite pair of winter stompers. And thanks to the new-era Americana whizzes at Engineered Garments (and their signature multi-color paneling) there’s no shortage of ways to wear them. If ever there were boat shoes to pair with your go-to vintage military fatigues (or better yet, newfangled cargos), these would be them. 

Plus 11 More Boat Shoes We Love

Easymoc 4-eye “Maine” boat shoes

Like the classics but with two additional sets of eyelets.

Brunello Cucinelli off-white boat shoes

Think of these in the same way you would one of Brunello’s unstructured summer blazers: slimmer, lighter, and a hair cooler than the American icons they’re based on.

Timberland 3-eye classic boat shoes

Regular ol’ boat shoes a touch too dainty for you? Meet their beefier, brawnier cousin.

Todd Snyder x L.L.Bean blucher shoes

Don’t let the “blucher” descriptor fool you: a boat by any other name is still a boat shoe—and a very good one, at that.
Todd Snyder

Thursday Boot Co. handsewn loafers

Hov might be more of a Puma guy these days, but if you ever caught him chilling yachtside during his all black everything phase you know what he’d be wearing.
$145

Thursday Boot Co.

Quoddy “Maliseet” Oxford shoes

Land ahoy, matey: those Vibram soles are plenty shore-ready.

CamperLab leather boat shoes

Wow, bro: your Sperrys are looking swole.

G.H. Bass & Co. suede boat shoes

It’s not a huge shock that the brand behind one of our all-time favorite loafers makes a bang-up boat shoe, but it’s a pleasant surprise regardless.

Paraboot “Domingue” shoes

A boat shoe so sleek—so downright refined—it could only come from France.

Fear of God suede boat shoes

Turns out, Jerry Lorenzo’s expansive selection of louche slip-ons looks killer on on the high seas too.

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