Introduction : Men’s Boat Shoes – Casual Shoes

The original inventor of the boat shoe is the legendary Paul Sperry who having noticed the unique balance his dog had on slippery grounds decided to transform that advantage into a shoe made for sailors on the deck. The textured grip of the dog helped him stay steady and in 1935 the boat shoes for men were born into limelight.

The boat shoes these days as a fashion statement are no longer used solely by sailors in a boat. From the young to the old, male or female there is a Boat shoe for everyone. It’s a must have. Not only are boat shoes presentable and comfortable, the sophistication offers a lot of support and comfort to the wearer. It’s mainly characterized by short laces, rubber sole, tight stitching and built with either leather or canvas materials.

Most stores are vastly populated with boat shoes to the extent that you could become confused with this style. Despite its popularity and saturation the shoe has still found appeal as a definitive summer casual shoe for men of all ages. This guide will take you through boat shoe basics, wearing suitability, dress code combinations, rules and guides to wearing these low ankle casual shoes. Wearing these shoes rightly in the summer months are vitally important, hence this guide.

Dexter mens benton shoeDexter mens benton shoe
Dexter mens benton shoeDexter mens benton shoe
Dockers mens castaway boatDockers mens castaway boat
Influence mens caleb fauxInfluence mens caleb faux
Timberland mens Newmarket ShoeTimberland mens Newmarket Shoe

Shop all Boat Shoes for Men | Men’s Shoes

Casual Wear: Boat Shoes with Shorts, T-shirt and Jacket

The casual style of the boat shoes should be left as it is. Keep them away from the board room and black tie events. For a summer look, the most popular combinations are shorts on a nice polo shirt. Enjoy the leisure of this summer style combination with boat shoes that will continue to grace fashionable men this season.

Combine this with a windbreaker jacket or a lightweight rain jacket just in case the weather turns windy, rainy or chilly.

blue canvas boat shoe, white shorts contrasted by an aquamarine long sleeve shirt.aquamarine long sleeve shirt, white shorts, boat shoes
Beige leather boat shoe and an added grey hat accessoryaquamarine short sleeve shirt, white shorts, hat
white shirt and grey shortswhite top, carton brown shorts, boat shoes

Shop Men’s Dress Shirts | Polo Shirts | Men’s shorts | Boat Shoes

Nail this look buy putting on a blue canvas boat shoe, white shorts contrasted by an aquamarine long sleeve shirt(for just $19.99) . You can also alternate the look by putting on a Beige leather boat shoe(approx $50)and an added grey hat accessory to compliment the look. One of my favorite beach wear tho, is a vintage T-shirt from any of the top brands, beige boat shoes and brown colored shorts to match the turquoise background of the environment.

diesel short and a deep grey button down short sleeve dress shirt or denimTwo tone boat shoes. Matching Outfit
beige blazer jacket and a beige boat shoe with a charcoal V-neck T-shirt and denim shortsv-neck inner, beige jacket, denim shorts boat shoes
Boat shoes, JacketBoat shoes, Jacket

To nail the extra layer look, try pairing a regular bar t-shirt with white diesel short and a deep grey button down short sleeve dress shirt or denim. Look at the way the boat shoe choice nicely compliments his lower and upper half wears @pic 1.  For a very casual outing pair a beige blazer jacket and a beige boat shoe with a charcoal V-neck T-shirt and denim shorts.

Casual wear: Boat Shoes with Jeans, Chinos, Dress Shirt and Jackets

The prep connection can be active with boat shoes. It can smarten up your style and effectively make a midpoint blend between appearing too casual and appearing too formal. Moat style guides would advise you to go sockless with the boat shoes just as you would loafers but am not a fan of wearing shoes without socks. To avoid looking out of place I did advise to use a no show socks with your boat shoes.

Pair the shoes with Navy blue jeans or Chinos turned up or tailored to fit and a casual Oxford dress shirt and a neutral khaki blazer to nail the look.

Denim blue jacket, chinos, boat shoesDenim blue jacket, chinos, boat shoes
biege chinos, beige boat shoes, white t-shirts, deep blue jacketbiege chinos, beige boat shoes, white t-shirts, deep blue jacket
burgundy pants, boat shoes, jacketburgundy pants, boat shoes, jacket
boat shoes, burgundy chinos, white topman shirt, black jacketboat shoes, burgundy chinos, white topman shirt, black jacket
navy blue jacket, white inner shirt, boat shoesnavy blue jacket, white inner shirt, boat shoes
brown boat shoe, white pants, brown belt, navy t-shirt and deep blue jacketbrown boat shoe, white pants, brown belt, navy t-shirt and deep blue jacket

Shop Men’s Blazers | Complete suits | Biker Jackets | Hats and Caps

Casual outfits are not so casual in comparison with the shorts combination. This style is intended to send a slightly relaxed laid back style while still upholding a level of seriousness. You can experiment with a wide variety of colors. Depp navy’s, greys and black all do well with dark, tan and brown boat shoes.

Think a blue denim jacket for an extra layer, khaki chinos and a plaid long sleeve shirt. Try a beige chinos with same colored boat shoes and a white Crew-neck T-shirt with an extra layer of Navy Denim jacket and you are good to go. Matching things right would require you to match the color of your jacket with a contrasting color to your boat shoes if possible.

Nail the look with a Nezt blazer jacket paired with a white inner Burton shirt a trendy Topman burgundy jeans and Boat shoes to match.

Semi-Formal: Boat Shoes|Slim fitted denim|Dress shirt|Tie|blazers

For that semi-formal dress code, boat shoes can serve as a focal point where it serves the purpose of bringing your formal look down a notch. Don’t get caught up in the web of looking to make the boat shoe color match the entire dress attire. A complementary but different color will go a long way to pull that semi-formal look.

Pair the boat shoes with a slim fitted chinos and an Oxford dress shirt and tie to match. A blazer on top this dress code will crown the look. If your blazer jacket will be the focal point, invest in a neutral white shirt to keep things relatively calm. These semi-formal dress code are perfect for summer weddings or after function events that are not too demanding.

Beige Chinos and jacket with tieBeige Chinos and jacket with tie
Charcoal shawl cardigan, polka dot tie, grey pants, two tone boat shoesCharcoal shawl cardigan, polka dot tie, grey pants, two tone boat shoes
Boat shoes, grey vets with white dress shirt, tie and jacket. chinosBoat shoes, grey vest with white dress shirt, tie and jacket. chinos

Get the look of this semi-formal outfit with a Charcoal shawl cardigan, a polka dot tie on a white dress shirt background for the upper half. For the lower half think Grey chinos and a white and red designed timberland boat shoes. (Pic 2)

Boat shoe Occasions

I stated earlier that boat shoes are not proper for black tie events and a host of other strictly formal gathers but there are lots of other occasions were boat shoes are the perfect footwear. Traveling out of town? Boat shoes are the perfect slip-on to put on. They will ease the foot, provide the much needed support and comfort needed when carrying bags and luggage from place to place.

You should use boat shoes on the beach. I can’t think of a more suitable alternative to the boat shoes on the beach.  Cool enough not to overheat your feet and sturdy enough to protect the feet from the hot sand. Match your favorite colors with shorts and a light button shirt.

Casual office wear, you can still achieve a casual business look with boat shoes. Although not quite appropriate for formal board meetings, boat shoes can be combined in a stylish way just like we described above for that semi-formal vibe that’s still acceptable in office environments.

Going out on a date? You will do well with boat shoes that compliment your entire outfit for that semi-dressed look. You want to look semi-formal on a date not to appear overdressed or too casual. Impression matters.

Wearing No show socks with Boat Shoes

Most fashion enthusiasts advocate going barefooted with boat shoes and other closely related slip-on loafers but I beg to digress from this norm. I am of the opinion that you should use socks with boat shoes because this will elongate the shelf life.  Go for no-show socks that are designed for shoes with a lower vamp.

You should use no show socks and shoe trees or else you risk slipper like appearance of your shoes in a few weeks.

no show socks 1


no show socks 2

Style Tips for Shopping Boat Shoes (Rules)

  1. Before you buy, think about how you will be using them.  If you want to just wearing them with shorts, chinos and jeans then by all means go for versatile colors like tan or navy blue.
  2. When outfitting with boat shoes make them a little focal point for matching other wears. This is because they tend to command a lot of attention and thus you don’t want to be sending the wrong vibes here.
  3. Take not of the materials used. They are made with either canvas or leather material. Depending on the occasion, canvas boat shoes are more suited for casual attires while leather boat shoes are more suited for semi-formal attires. That said, you can get different colors with the canvas style materials and it still won’t look over blown after all it’s for casual occasions. If you pick leather, make sure it’s off a single tone color for that semi-formal look. The most common variety of the boat shoe is the Sperry top sider and you will do well to check it out.
  4. Keep color combinations relatively simple.  A loud colored boat shoe might not work well with an equally loud colored or patterned shirt.
  5. Boat shoes are not to be worn during the winter season. Only opt for boat shoes during summer and spring months. Just like suede, protect the shoes from snow and rain.
  6. Never use your boat shoes with complete tuxedo or suit. I still see people doing this and I honestly think it’s quite wrong. Opt for a blazer with chinos or jeans for a semi-formal look.

How to lace Boat shoes properly

There are four major ways to tie a boat shoe. Sometimes tying them can be notoriously difficult especially if they have short laces.  You can also opt for different lace colors to compliment your dress codes, the combinations here could be endless. The four most widely used knot styles are Surgeon, Fishtail, barrel and tassel knots.

On a Final Note

Over saturation of this shoe pair will mean a wide variety of choices will become available year in year out. Learning how to pull it off rightly might be worth mastering. Our article on the top 10 boat shoes for men with hit the wires soon. Hopefully you will check that one out ASAP. So here you have it, are you a fan of the boat shoe, do you own some pairs you’d like to display or you have other style ideas for pairing boat shoes. Here is your chance to have a say while comments are still open now.

Further Style Tips : Boat shop Guide. Comprehensive and informative.

Best Top Polo Shirts : Top 10 polo shirts, Top Brands, Top styles, Causal wears


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