Boat shoes have been all over the fashion scene this past year, even as platforms seen on the streets at New York fashion week! Check it out here: http://www.harpersbazaar.com/fashion/fashion-articles/street-style-new-york-fashion-week-spring-2011 (slide 42). I for one am glad that this classic pair of footwear is getting some much deserved attention.
My relationship/obsession with boat shoes began in Fall 2010 when I was dropped off at college as a clueless freshman with a very limited sense of campus style (fun fact: I literally thought that all college students wore sweatpants and tee shirts to class). I was pleasantly surprised to see the large variety of students with very different senses of style gathered in one place! It was a refreshing break from the logo sweatshirts and faded flare jeans that dominated the fashion (or lack thereof) scene at my high school.
A little gem found among the Ugg boots, yoga pants, and school logo tees was the boat shoe. I noticed both guys and girls wearing this “grandpa” shoe. My first thought when seeing Sperry’s was “Why are these fashionable young co-eds wasting their youthful years sporting these nasty, beat-up, ‘grandpa’ shoes?” I was not a fan. But then, it all changed.
I’m not quite sure when my disgust with “grandpa” shoes turned into “I need Sperry’s, like yesterday”. I think it was right around springtime when it was warm enough to retire my boots, but not quite warm enough to break out the flip-flops. It was then when I began to think about the benefits of boat shoes.
1. Boat shoes are safe. Think of the yacht-owning yuppies on the East coast who needed non-slip, yet fashionable, shoes to wear on the decks and docks. There is always a ton of ice and packed snow where I go to college, therefore I need non-slip shoes. Sperry’s are non-slip, thus I have to have Sperry’s to ensure my physical well-being.
2. Sperry’s are versatile. I could wear them with cropped jeans. Or with regular jeans. Or with shorts. I could wear them with a dress, or with a skirt. I could wear them year round! Since I am a broke college student, I would only need one pair!
3. Sperry’s are ridiculously comfortable. All of my Sperry wearing friends touted the insane comfort level of Sperry’s. I am also a college student and comfort in clothing in necessary. Therefore Sperry’s are necessary.
Armed with several justifiable reasons to shell out $70, I purchased a pair of the Sperry Bluefish 2-Eye in the very classic Linen Oat finish. Best shoe purchase of my entire life! Wearing a pair of Sperry’s is like walking on a cloud, or a marshmallow sidewalk. Because I firmly believe that everyone deserves to have a ridiculously comfortable, yet stylish shoe, here are a few tips and tricks when purchasing Sperry’s.
1. Go a half size down. Just trust me and everyone else I know who has Sperry’s. You need to go down a half size so that the leather of the shoes can custom form to your foot.
2. You may have blisters the first two days. Don’t get scared and exchange your Sperry’s for a larger size. The rubbing and slightly uncomfortable feeling is caused because the leather is just beginning to stretch.
3. Sperry’s age like fine wine. In my opinion, the more wear and tear you have the better. It reduces the ultra preppy vibe of boat shoes to something a bit more casual and less pretentious.
4. Never, ever, ever, ever, EVER wear socks with your Sperry’s. It’s just plain wrong. Think of it logistically. If you were to go on a boat…why would you wear socks? They would just get soggy anyways!
After reading this, I hope you consider buying a pair of boat shoes. My friend and I love them so much we even decided to wear them with matching outfits when we got coffee together!
(That’s me on the left. Also, I am just kidding about the whole matching thing. Seriously. Our glasses, striped shirts, top knots, cuffed jeans, and Sperry’s were worn purely out of coincidence. I promise…I haven’t called anyone to coordinate outfits since the night of my first junior high dance.)
From the college scene,