Boat shoes: the options

wnh

Super Member
Sometime post-Christmas I plan to add a pair of boat shoes (my first) to my wardrobe for the coming summer, and I seek your assistance. Here are the current options, as I see them. For those knowledgeable about such things, I would appreciate additional pros and cons about each pair.

Sperry Top-Sider, $65.00

https://www.sperrytopsider.com/shop...nCat=143&iSubCat=144&iProductID=893&sColor=41



Pros: Arguably the classic boat shoe, and likely to be found on sale if I'm patient. I don't think I've read or heard a negative word about them.
Cons: I don't know about the color. I like the white sole, but the "classic brown" looks, well, not much like brown at all, at least on the website. Is this really the color?



L.L. Bean Casco Bay Boat Mocs, $39.95

https://www.llbean.com/webapp/wcs/s...398&cat4=503382&shop_method=pp&feat=503398-tn

M46112_Briar.jpg


Pros: Can't beat the price, especially considering I'll have $30 of gift cards when I'm ready to buy (unless, of course, Mrs. wnh wants a share). The "briar" color is what I'm looking for, as is the white sole.
Cons: Generally, you get what you pay for. Is this the case with the LLB option?



Lands' End Men's Boat Shoes, $49.50 ($29.99 Overstocks)

(no picture -- )

Pros: A respectable price at retail, good price on Overstocks. Color, etc., is right on.
Cons: Currently only an 11.5 in Overstocks, and I wear a 12. I might be able to pull off the 11.5, but I'd have to act soon, and I still don't know if they'd fit. I don't recall that I've ever read any glowing reviews of LE footwear.



Bass Boat Shoes, price unknown

(no picture, no link)

Pros: There is a Bass outlet in Osage Beach that I will be driving past in January or February, and they often have significant sales (50%+ off). From past visits, I know that their boat shoes look like what I want. To boot, I have a 20% off coupon valid anytime to add to the savings.
Cons: I know nothing about the quality, and don't recall reading anything about Bass' boat shoes.



Sebago Docksides, $80.00

https://www.sebago.com/Product/NSZZZZ/Boat-Shoes/11679/Mens/Brown-Elk/B72757/Docksides.aspx



Pros: Again, the color ("brown elk" or "tan") and sole are exactly what I'm looking for.
Cons: Kind of pricey for a pair of boat shoes. I'm also not a fan of the Sebago tag on the side, but that's removable. Do these ever go on sale?



Timberland Classic 2-Eye Boat Shoe, $90
https://www.timberland.com/product/...791.1761081.1761135.1770276&parentPage=family



Pros
: None that I can see, but I'm willing to be convinced if you've got the data.
Cons: Too pricey. I wouldn't spring for these unless they were on deep discount. I'm also not a fan of the "rootbeer" color with the tan sole. Surely they have other colors available, but I found none on the site.



Quoddy Trail Moccasin Co. Boat Shoes, $121 unlined, $137 lined

https://www.quoddytrail.com/BoatShoes.htm



Pros: Many have sung the praises of Quoddy's offerings, which tempts me greatly. They look beautiful. Does lined/unlined make much of a difference?
Cons: $121 (or $137) is a lot to pay for a pair of boat shoes, at least someone in my financial position. I'm also uncertain about the 3 eyelets; 2 seems more classic.
 

BigDawgBarkin

New Member
I'll definitely be following this thread with interest. I plan on getting a pair of boat shoes post Christmas also. Based on looks alone I like the original Sperry and the LE ones, but like you I have rarely heard good things about LE footwear.

BDB
 

Congresspark

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I've been wearing the Sperry originals off an on since college (which was a while back). They're comfortable, reliable, and I think of the classic brown color as the right one for boat shoes. And you can find them on sale pretty often.

I've had a pair of the LLB Casco Bays since early summer, and, honestly, I think they are about as good, although the briar is lighter than I really wanted. But the price is right, and I've no complaints at all.

Like some other recent posters, I wear these things year round, although mostly inside in the winter. None of the ones I've had has been any good on ice.
 

enecks

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Sometime post-Christmas I plan to add a pair of boat shoes (my first) to my wardrobe for the coming summer, and I seek your assistance. Here are the current options, as I see them. For those knowledgeable about such things, I would appreciate additional pros and cons about each pair.

Sperry Top-Sider, $65.00

https://www.sperrytopsider.com/shop...nCat=143&iSubCat=144&iProductID=893&sColor=41



Pros: Arguably the classic boat shoe, and likely to be found on sale if I'm patient. I don't think I've read or heard a negative word about them.
Cons: I don't know about the color. I like the white sole, but the "classic brown" looks, well, not much like brown at all, at least on the website. Is this really the color?

Mine are a fairly rich brown. I think the picture above may just have odd lighting.
 

jph712

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
If I had my choice I would try a pair of the Quoddys. My wife despises the white soles so when I buy a pair of the Quoddys it'll be with the Camp Sole.
 

kevinbelt

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I've never tried any of the others, but I really like my Sperry Top-siders. They're very comfy and fairly cheap, a great value. I have mine in the Sahara color - no white sole.
 

tripreed

Elite Member
Sperry Top-Sider, $65.00

https://www.sperrytopsider.com/shop...nCat=143&iSubCat=144&iProductID=893&sColor=41



Pros: Arguably the classic boat shoe, and likely to be found on sale if I'm patient. I don't think I've read or heard a negative word about them.
Cons: I don't know about the color. I like the white sole, but the "classic brown" looks, well, not much like brown at all, at least on the website. Is this really the color?



L.L. Bean Casco Bay Boat Mocs, $39.95

https://www.llbean.com/webapp/wcs/s...398&cat4=503382&shop_method=pp&feat=503398-tn

M46112_Briar.jpg


Pros: Can't beat the price, especially considering I'll have $30 of gift cards when I'm ready to buy (unless, of course, Mrs. wnh wants a share). The "briar" color is what I'm looking for, as is the white sole.
Cons: Generally, you get what you pay for. Is this the case with the LLB option?

I own both of these, and to be honest, I really might give the prize to the LL Bean ones. They have held up well and don't have stupid a lining like some have. I have been surprisingly pleased with them; if only they didn't smell so bad I might wear them more...Basically, if you like the Briar color (which is what I have), I don't think you can go wrong here. I believe I purchased mine with some gift cards like you have and I don't think I ended up paying more than $10 or so.
 

tripreed

Elite Member
I've had a pair of the LLB Casco Bays since early summer, and, honestly, I think they are about as good, although the briar is lighter than I really wanted.

I understand about being lighter than wanted. To help out a little bit, buy a can of mink oil and give them an occasional application with this. Has darkened mine up nicely (though, admittedly, they could still be a little darker).
 

bd79cc

Super Member
Just a few thoughts:

Top-Siders in classic brown are the definitive boat shoe. The only other ones that will look the way you want them to are the Docksides in brown elk. Quality isn't nearly what it used to be for the Top-Siders. But I paid $40.00 for my last pair and have worn them most nights and weekends for the past three years.

The Docksides have a somewhat stouter build and fit a bit differently than the the Top-Siders - more like regular shoes than like a pair of moccassins. No longer USA-made but still very good, much higher quality than the Sperrys.

The Quoddys have an idiosyncratic look, to my eye. You either love or hate the 3 eyelets! Forum members who own these really like them and report them to be of extremely high quality. I avoid these because I might not want to return to wearing the perfectly good Top-Siders or Docksides!
 

djl

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I've worn Sperrys my entire life. Last year I picked up a pair of Quoddy's with the boat sole. While they are great shoes, I wore them for about a month before going right back to the Sperrys. Everyone is different, but in my opinion this is an item where you just can't beat the original.

PS - if you're a 10.5, I'll give you a great deal on some lightly loved Quoddys!
 

hillcityjosh

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I recently tried on a pair of Bass boat shoes at an outlet store. I didn't buy them (my wife thinks they are for old fogeys), but I will say with certainty that they were some of the most comfortable shoes I've ever tried on. I can't speak for their quality, but for the price ($40-ish on sale), you can't ask for too much.
 

Mark from Plano

Super Member
Sperry's. I agree with enecks that it is a fairly rich brown. That said, if the color doesn't suit you, they have other colors, including a lighter brown. I've had those as well and they were fine.
 

Congresspark

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I understand about being lighter than wanted. To help out a little bit, buy a can of mink oil and give them an occasional application with this. Has darkened mine up nicely (though, admittedly, they could still be a little darker).

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll give it a try.

I don't think of these as boat shoes, really, since they have a heavier brown sole and more of a camp moc construction, but I picked up a pair of Bass two-eyelet mocs ("The Photographer" model) for fifteen bucks at Marshall's, and they're comfortable and well-made.
 

gar1013

Senior Member
Today, I'm lucky enough to be wearing a pair of Quoddy Trail Blucher mocs (so very close to the boat shoes, but with camp sole).

Get them. You won't regret it.

If you want to save some money, get the blucher as opposed to the boat shoe.
 

videocrew

Senior Member
I've got the Sperry's in the same color as the Beans (they call it Sahara). Comfortable, classic looking, lightweight, very nice on the feet. I wouldn't really wear them for a 20 mile hike (not enough cushioning) but for regular use, they're great. I think the light color looks better with shorts.
 

kevinbelt

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I got mine at JCPenney. They had some big sale, and I think I only paid like $30. Colors and sizes were limited, though.
 
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