Ship Ahoy! Find out the Best Boat Shoes: Boat Shoe Reviews


A Sailing necessity or fashion statement, either way, the boat shoe is rising in popularity with both sailors and yachting fashion enthusiasts. But what is the best boating shoe out there, and what is the best way to wear them; Socks or no Socks?

To answer these questions, we have put this guide together, showcasing the best boat shoes, alongside the relevant boat shoe reviews – helping you to find the best pair for you and your needs.

What is a Boat Shoe?

Boat shoes are an American invention. They were inspired by the split pads of a dog's paws, and how they allow then to run on slippery surfaces without falling into mischief.

Whilst boat shoes were originally designed for sailors, in many coastal areas they have become fashionable to wear as casual footwear.

Boat shoes are generally made of either leather or canvas with rubber soles. The rubber sole is the trademark of the Boat shoe; the non-slip element of them makes them into the perfect shoe for sailing.

The design of the shoe also allows your feet to be protected from severe damage if poles or ropes were to fall on your feet.

Whilst these shoes were originally designed to be working shoes, in more recent times they have taken a more fashionable route.

Whilst the canvas designs of these shoes give them a slightly more laid back look when the shoes are bought in leather they can be worn with more formal attire.

How to Wear Boat Shoes

There is a big debate in between wearers of boating shoes, do you wear them with socks or without socks.

Wearing socks with them has both positive and negative aspects. Wearing socks with the shoes, particularly when designed in leather can add to the comfort of the shoe.

Socks will stop uncomfortable sticking when the foot sweats as well as aiding against rubbing and blistering.

However, the original function of the shoe was for sailing, and where there are boats, there is water.

Wearing socks when wet can be incredibly uncomfortable and can cause some of the problems that you are trying to combat by wearing socks. Boat shoes are also cut further towards the toe, so wearing incorrect socks could also look a bit unusual.

Not wearing socks with Deck Shoes is the most common way to wear them. Particularly wearing them when sailing, not having socks will help to keep your feet comfortable.

However, not wearing socks with any shoes can have consequences. Foot odour is incredibly common when not wearing socks, but there are ways to combat this.

Keeping your feet clean and airing your shoes regularly can quickly combat a smelly foot, and you can always use a foot powder to aid bad smells.

However, rubbing and blisters are something that cannot be combated without a little bit of thought. Buying good fitting shoes can help, but spending time breaking them in will also make them more comfortable to wear.

There is no way to end this debate, and there are so many ways that you can combat all the problems presented with either option.

How to Choose a Boat Shoe

Depending on what you want your Boat shoe for, there are a few different things to look for in a good Deck shoe.

If looking for a shoe to wear whilst out sailing, drainage is something you will really need to consider. If the shoe you are wearing doesn't drain well, then you will spend days sailing with very wet feet.

It's also important to think about how they dry out when completely soaked. If they don't dry well and you want to wear them sailing, then it's really important to think about this.

With Fiberglass being one of the most common boat materials you will want to think about whether your shoe will scuff the fibreglass or not. Every boat owner takes pride in their vassal, and the last thing they want is it scuffed by a substandard shoe sole.

Thinking about the sole of your shoe may be the thing at the back of your mind, but it is important. If a shoe scuffs easily then it will wear out quickly, so it’s always worth thinking about the design of your shoe and what the sole is made of.

You may also want to think about the design of your shoe. Some boat shoes are laced whilst others are more like loafers and slip-on rather than lacing.

Whilst this may be a smaller thing to think about, it will change the look of your boat shoe as well as how you will wear them and how easy it will be to take them on and off of your feet.

Boat shoes are made of either leather or canvas, and choosing a material will also be important when you are thinking about what function you want them for.

The leather is a more formal option whilst canvas is more practical, so if you want a good-looking shoe it would be logical to buy a pair of leather Boat Shoes to go with your suit.

Now all that’s left is to choose the perfect pair of boat shoes for you. Take a look at our boat shoe reviews below.

Best Boat Shoes Review - Comparison Table 

Best Boat Shoes - Summary Reviews

 Timberland Men’s Classic 2 Eye Boat Shoes 

Editors Pick

Timberland is one of the best and most impressive brands when it comes to footwear, so make sure you pay close attention to these impressive boat shoes.

Take a look at the reviews and see if these interest you.

The Good

These shoes are made from leather, with a gum rubber sole. Making them a smart and durable option for any sailing enthusiast.

The shoes are beautifully hand stitched, and have a classic design, with laces at the front of the shoe that give them a lovely finish.

Whilst the lacing system looks good, it also allows the shoe to be easily adjusted to any foot width and allows for extra comfort.

The sole has been designed for sailing, so it will keep you upright in any slippery situation.

This means that the shoe can be used for sailing but also for more casual occasions. Timberland offers a good range of sizes and comes in two smart colours.

These shoes are a great all-rounder for a deck shoe, giving you comfort, safety and sophistication.

The Not So Good

They don’t do too well with water, and are too smart to soak.

Our View

These boat shoes may be on the slightly higher end of the price spectrum, but they are worth every penny.

Made by a trusted brand, you know you are getting quality and reliability with a pair of these. Comfortable, and with a sophisticated look, these are the perfect shoes for any occasion.


Q: Are these authentic Timberland shoes?

A: I can confirm the shoes sold by The Idle Man are authentic Timberland shoes.

 SNUGRUGS Mens Smart Boat Shoes

Budget Pick

Good deck shoes can be hard to come by, especially with so many different types on the market.

These are definitely some of the best, and if you check out the reviews below, you might just find yourself in agreement.

The Good

These lace up boat shoes are brilliant for both formal and casual occasions. They have both leather and canvas elements, giving them a smart finish.

The sole of the shoe has a good tread, making them perfect for situations where the shoe would need to support the wearer.

Whilst the design of the shoe may be a little bit more casual than some traditional deck shoes, they could still be used for a day of sailing.

The shoes are fastened with laces, giving them a secure fit and making them a fantastic option for sailing.

These shoes also have laces around the side of the shoe, giving it the adjustable element that many people praise in this type of shoe.

These shoes come in three different colour canvas. However, the leather is always brown, but it still looks fantastic in all three canvas colours.

The Not So Good

There have been no complaints about this product so far.

Our View

These affordable deck shoes are perfect for taking with you on holiday. They offer a comfortable fit and stylish look, promising to deliver superb performance while you are sailing, or simply strolling through town.

They make a great pair of shoes, and they are available at an excellent price.

Best Deck Shoes – Tacardi

Another great pair of deck shoes, these are certainly ones that aim to impress. Take a look at the reviews and see if these are the right shoes for you.

The Good

These shoes are a casual slip-on leather shoe, with a gum rubber sole, which is ideal for sailing.

This shoe is a simple slip on shoe, it also has small holes in the design that allow for air flow throughout the shoe, as well as aiding drainage.

The rubber sole adds grip to this simple shoe, making it good for sailing and other slippery situations.

This makes them the ideal shoe for almost any situation. The design of the shoe is incredibly durable.

The leather allows the shoe to break into the shape of your foot and allow comfort, but it also allows the shoe to keep its shape and style.

The Not So Good

These shoes have a lovely design, but they are not adjustable in any way, so it may be difficult to fit a pair to wider feet.

Our View

These budget deck shoes are great for those that need something affordable, but that still looks good for their next holiday.

Made to be durable, you can feel that these shoes are going to last you a while. Comfortable and lightweight, once you have them on, they won’t be coming off anytime soon.

Seafarer Premium Nubuck Boat Deck Sailing Shoes

A good pair of boat shoes will fit you comfortably and keep you steady on every surface.

So when you are spending time on a boat, you don’t have to worry so much about falling into the water. Take a look and see if these boat shoes match your needs.

The Good

This smart slip-on shoe is perfect for casual and smarter occasions, with a gum rubber sole, which also makes it brilliant for sailing conditions. 

Whilst the shoe is has a slip-on design, the shoe is fully adjustable, with a lace around the outside, allowing you to fit it to your foot and adding to comfort.

The shoe also has padding around the collar, and under the foot, this adds to the comfort of the shoe. This padding makes it the ideal shoe to wear for long periods of time.

This shoe is designed for sport, making it the perfect shoe for sailing, but it's casual and comfortable design also makes it ideal for non-sporting occasions.

The Not So Good

They are a little tight when first worn, but break in easily.

Our View

These reasonably priced boat shoes are a great addition to any wardrobe. With a smart look, you can wear them just about anywhere without issue.

Comfortable and easy to slide onto your feet, you can wear these for hours without feeling sore and uncomfortable.

Chatham Bowker II Slip-On Men's Boat Shoes

A reliable and trusted brand, Chatham deliver excellent quality footwear for all occasions.

These boat shoes will certainly not disappoint, so if you are looking for something sturdy and practical, take a look at these.

The Good

This casually designed leather shoe is one of the more laid back options for a Deck shoe. The leather design is softer, allowing for the leather to mould to your feet.

These shoes have a non-marking and no slip sole, making them absolutely perfect for sailing.

The casual shoes have a very classic design, based on early designs of Deck shoes, making them one of the most classic shoes on the market. 

However, whilst these are the most classically designed shoes there is very little drainage, so if you do wear them sailing they may not be the easiest shoes to get dry quickly.

Whilst the shoes do have some give to them they have very little adjustability to them, meaning that they may take some time to break in, but when they do they will be incredibly comfortable.

The Not So Good

The sizing can be a little off, and some feel as though they lack style.

Our View

These boat shoes are on the slightly higher end when it comes to price, but the level of quality and comfort makes them worth the extra cost.

While they can take a little time to break in, and they don’t always dry quickly, these shoes have received the highest praise and are worth giving a chance.

In Conclusion

Hopefully, you were able to find the best boat shoes for you here. Whilst all these shoes have fantastic qualities, my personal recommendation would be the Seafarer Premium shoes.

These shoes have been designed for sailing, and have the sporting background to keep you safe and comfortable whilst out on the water.

However, if you want a smart shoe then I would recommend the Timberland Classic shoe, this shoe is a lovely smart alternative, but defiantly too smart to soak.

What did you think of our boat shoe selection? Are there any that you would have added to the list? We love hearing from you, so feel free to leave a message in the comments below.