Boat shoes are also commonly referred to as deck shoes. They are simple, classy, functional, and remarkably versatile shoes worn during the spring or summer and have maintained their sense of style since 1935. The best boat shoes are super comfortable, with a well-cushioned, grippy sole, and can be easily paired perfectly with essentially anything in your wardrobe.

Despite the fact that the design of these boat shoes has remained the same for many years now, there is a couple of changes in the material and other factors that you have to consider while shopping. Therefore, to make things a little more manageable while purchasing a boat shoe, we have listed the five best boat shoes featuring their various characteristics. Furthermore, this write-up has a detailed buying guide that will help you make a smart purchase regarding the boat shoes.

1. Sperry Top-Sider Men’s Authentic Original Boat Shoe

Sperry is a brand that is well known for making the best boat shoes. The Sperry Men’s Gold Authentic Original Boat Shoes are unquestionably the best boat shoes on the market. This top sider boat shoe is contracted with a superior leather upper that makes the shoe super durable and comfortable.

These Sperry Men’s boat shoes have a traditional boat shoe design because of the moccasin stitches and the slotted collar that gives the shoe a vintage look. The boat shoe features rust-resistant gold plated eyelets that add a classic touch to the shoe.

The authentic original boat shoe is designed with a 360-degree lacing system that gives a proper fit. In addition, the shoe is hand-sewn that indicates the specific attention given while constructing the boat shoe. This pair of boat shoes will give you outstanding comfort and security as you cross the deck and work well as casual shoes.


  • Designed with a durable and long-lasting leather
  • Features Stain and water-resistant leather upper
  • 360° lacing system
  • Hand sewn Tru-Moc silhouette
  • Designed with cushioned EVA footbed
  • Shock-absorbing EVA heel cup
  • Non-marking outsole


  • Has minimal cushioning and arch support

2. Polo Ralph Lauren Men’s Merton Boat Shoe

Polo Ralph Lauren Men's Merton
  • Get on the boat deck and sail in style with these...

Polo Ralph Lauren Men’s Merton is a classic boat shoe designed and constructed with a heavy Cow leather upper that is super durable. The shoe is not made with modern standards, modern features, or any advanced technology.

The Men’s Merton boat shoe is constructed with very durable rawhide laces and a super durable rubber outsole which helps to give enough grip while on deck and wet surfaces. The good thing is that the heavy leather used to construct the shoe will get softer with time.

The shoe has a comfortable and perfect fit and also is available in several colors. The shoe also features rounded toes, slip-on styling, a leather lining, and a well-padded insole made of leather.


  • Treaded rubber sole
  • Rounded toe
  • Strengthened heel
  • It can be worn without or with socks
  • Has a “Polo” logo on the tongue
  • Shaft measures roughly low-top from arch


  • Too thin for wide feet

3. Dockers Men’s Vargas Leather Handsewn, lace Boat Shoe

Dockers Men’s Vargas Leather Handsewn Boat Shoe
  • Soft genuine leather uppers
  • Handsewn construction
  • Cushioned EVA footbed with molded EVA heel cup for...
  • Siped rubber outsoles for maximum traction on wet...
  • Flexible construction for all day wear

Dockers Men’s Vargas Leather Handsewn Boat Shoe is a stylish and functional shoe from the well-known Dockers brand. The Men’s Vargas Leather boat shoe is constructed from 100% leather that makes the shoe durable.

The Vargas is designed with Genuine leather uppers, durable rubber soles, an EVA foam insole, and an EVA cup heel. The cupped heel will provide enhanced shock absorption and enough arch support. In addition, the shoe has a hand-sewn design that tells incredible attentiveness to detail and care that the shoe is made with.

The amazing thing is that these boat shoes for men are flexible and comfortable to be worn daily. Additionally, the shoe is perfectly sized and comes in a wide range of sizes and colors.


  • Two-eyelet design
  • Made with soft and genuine leather upper
  • Excellent stitching
  • Slip-resistant and flexible
  • Comes in a wide range of sizes and colors
  • Long-lasting rubber outsole
  • Offers excellent feet support and balance


  • Lacing may ravel

4. Rockport Men’s Perth Mocassins, Womens 8

Rockport Men's Perth Mocassins, Womens 8
  • Adjustable Lace Closure Allows for Personal...
  • Padded Collar Provides Cushioning, Comfort and...
  • EVA Footbed with EVA Heelcup Provides Flexible...
  • Leather Upper Provides Natural Comfort, Durability...
  • EVA Midsole Provides Flexible Lightweight Impact...

Rockport Men’s Perth Mocassins, Womens 8 is on the list of the best boat shoes because of the relaxed boating flair That it gives you. The shoe is designed with an Unlined full-grain leather upper, one of the most durable and high-quality materials. It also has decorative side leather laces and a classic moc toe design that gives the shoe a classic look.

, The Rockport boat shoes is a lightweight and comfortable shoe that you can have on all day. Typically these boat shoes are designed to be worn barefoot, and their foe has a super breathable lining. The boat shoes also feature a textured outsole that gives you maximum grip and allows easy navigation, even on wet surfaces.

The best part is that you can wear the boat shoes without socks and look classy. In addition, it features a breathable polyurethane cushioned insole that traps moisture and provides a warm and cool, comfortable feel to your feet.


  • Padded collar and tongue giving your feet enough comfort
  • Breathable memory foam cushioning
  • Provides high-quality style
  • Easy to clean
  • Odor resistant
  • Provides a perfect fit


  • Not water-resistant

5. Men’s Gold Cup Boat Shoe

Sperry Men's Gold a/O 2-Eye Boat Shoes
  • High quality full-grain leather upper material in...
  • Cushioning heel and Ortholite insert provide...

Men’s Gold Cup Authentic Original is the fifth on the best boat shoes we will be looking at. The boat shoes are from the reputable Sperry brand in the boat shoe scope. The Sperry shoe is made with hand-polished leather material of high quality, making the shoe super durable.

These Sperry boat shoes feature 18k dealing and rawhide durable 360-degree racing system that keeps your foot secure. In addition, the shoes are made with luxurious lambskin lining that are super soft and smooth to prove your need’s comfortability.

The Sperry deck shoe also features a super supportive rubber sole which provides a firm grip on all surfaces. In addition, it has an Ortholite insert and well-cushioned heel cups that help with the absorption of shock and provides the comfortability you need.


  • 18K gold detailing
  • Full-grain uppers
  • Extravagance lambskin linings
  • Perfect for sailing or fishing
  • Supportive sole
  • Non-marking outsole


  • Firm break-in period

Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best Boat Shoes

1. Size

The very first thing to consider while buying a boat shoe is the size and fit. It would be best to keep in mind that not all shoes will fit the same; some have a flexible fitting and others a big or small fitting. It is therefore advisable to try the shoe before purchasing it. Also, make sure that the shoe is super comfortable and breathable.

Regarding price, it is important to check the material used because some materials may stretch and distort the fitting of the shoe after a few wears. The bottom line is that the shoe size should be comfortable enough.

2. Materials

The second very important feature to look out for is the material of the shoe. Look for a material that is durable with a classic style. Three main materials are commonly used to make the best boat shoes; leather, synthetic, and canvas.

Leather is one of the most used materials by many brands to make boat shoes. Moreso there are different styles that the leather boat shoes are made. Some shoes are leather from nubuck leather, and suede leather, derived from the upper side hide. The other one is genuine, the lowest quality of leather that wears and tears super fast. The full-grain leather and Top grain leather are other high-quality leathers and are made of thick parts full-grain and cowhides.

Canvas is another material used by boat shoe companies that are derived from cotton. The canvas is a durable, breathable, and light material. As a result, most boat shoes are comfortable and have a classic vintage look.

Synthetic is another great material that is used by most brands to make the best boat shoes. Synthetic fibers such as polyester, rubber, and nylon are some of the most used. The advantage of these shoes is that they may be submerged in water, unlike leather shoes.

3. Breathability

While purchasing any shoe, it is important to make sure that the shoe is made of breathable materials; this will apply when buying the best boat shoes. In addition, you will want to get a pair that can be worn for warm and wet seasons, and it is important to keep your feet warm and cool.

You can look for a shoe that is made of anti-microbial technology or is constructed with breathable materials like upper mesh. This way, you are guaranteed that the boat shoe will provide great circulation, which will prevent sweating.

4. Water Resistance

Water-resistance or waterproof features are important features that you should look for in a boat shoe, especially if you use the boat shoes for fishing or sailing. However, very few boat shoe pairs will have waterproof features, but almost all are treated with wax or oil, making them waterproof.

It is important that the pair of shoes you buy is treated properly and can be worn on the beach or while fishing or sailing. Additionally, make sure you can wear the shoes in shallow water depths without water penetrating through the shoe, or you have a pair with quick-drying features.

5. Style

It is very important to check how you intend to wear the best boat shoes to determine the right and most appropriate style. For instance, if you intend to wear the boat shoe for casual purposes, you should look for a super comfortable and stylish shoe. Therefore, you will want a shoe with a cushioned insole, flexible and breathable upper that will be comfortable to have all day long. In addition, you must choose a shoe that can go with different outfits if you intend on buying one pair.

If you are to wear the shoe for fishing or other outdoor activities, it is also essential to ensure that it is comfortable. Therefore, the important factor to note regarding the boat shoe is that it should be made of a non-slip outsole that will provide an extra grip while doing the activities.

6. Price

Lastly, it is equally important to consider the price of the boat shoe. The prices will vary depending on the brand, material, features, and maybe the stores you will purchase the shoe. You must stick to your budget and get a shoe that is comfortable and durable.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Best pair of boat shoes

1. Are boat shoes good for walking?

The boat shoes are not meant for walking, but they can also be used for short distant walking. The shoes will give you a vintage-like look and are best for a casual look. Some brands like Sperry and Rockport have classy boat shoes that you can walk with or errands with and are available for both men and women.

2. Are boat shoes for summer only?

You can wear the best boat shoes for different occasions because they will provide perfect style, comfort, and support. For example, you can wear the shoes for summer as a great alternative to flip-flops. However, the boat shoes will not work great for the winter, especially when you wear the shoes without socks.

3. What is the difference between boat shoes and loafers?

Loafers and boat shoes are similar, but the boat shoes are for casual occasions while the loafers are for more formal occasions. The boat shoes are easily worn with shorts which you cant do with loafers. Loafers are considered to be slip-on, laceless, and with very smooth and soft textured outer soles. The boat shoes, on the other hand, are constructed with leather and have a vintage look.

About the Author Brian

Hello, I'm Cindy. I’m a super duper mega hiking enthusiast, with a love for everything that has to do with outdoors, hiking, gear, footwear and more.

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