10gallonhat

Senior Member
I recently got home from my trip to NYC, first let me say it was great and if anyone here lives there I envy you :) am considering going again around Christmastime (look for a thread where I ask for advice on winter-wear soon!:tongue2:)

I took 1 pair of boat shoes and 1 pair of drivers. After 1 day of walking 5+ miles in boat shoes (sockless) I had 3 blisters on my feet and couldn't wait to get out of them. I ended up wearing the drivers for the majority of the remainder of the trip - even though they're also not made for walking and don't offer any support, I found them much more comfortable, probably due to the fact that they're so soft. In fact I actually enjoyed walking around in the drivers (I'm talking about the suede ones with the rubber studs on the bottom) and as long as you aren't trying to speedwalk they seem to do the job well.

I'm a bit surprised that the boat shoes (Sperry Billfish) didn't fare too well. I know it may have been smarter to just wear sneakers and socks, but who wants to dress like that? You're on vacation, it's time to bring out some of the interesting pieces that you can't wear to the office!

I'm thinking about picking up something like this: https://store.tods.com/Tods/US/cate...hoes/Suede-Lace-up-Shoes/p/XXM0OX00C22RE0C407
(not in Tod's, but a similar style in a less expensive brand, I like that it has a rubber sole which seems like it will make it better for walking)
I don't currently own anything close to this so please let me know your thoughts.

Any feedback on the various questions/points here would be appreciated! Summary of points:
- Any way to make boat shoes more comfortable for walking?
- Walking in drivers - bad for your feet or perfectly fine?
- Feedback on which suede laceup w/ rubber sole would be good to buy, or if another style would be preferred.
 

Dmontez

Elite Member
I might be wrong but I don't think the billfish is made to be worn sock less, I think fit might have played an issue for you. I wear boat shoes a lot never with socks and have had zero blisters.

I say go back and find a boat shoe that has a natural lining, that's made for being worn sock less you will be fine.
 

DG123

Senior Member
Best for long distance walking is a Goodyear welt with steel shank construction. The Alden Weather Walker or Alden 405 Indy Boot are excellent, top of the line choices.. If you are unable to get a good fit with Alden's steel shank shoes, the try a sturdy double sole Allen Edmonds shoe, such as the Macneil.
 

Fred G. Unn

Super Member
On the off chance you're a US 7, 8 or 12, Barney's still has a great deal on this C&J dirty buck:
https://www.barneyswarehouse.com/crockett-&-jones-sedgemoor-2-blucher-503044920.html

It's a bit different than a boat shoe (though still a similar look), but I've done 5+ miles sockless in these OSB trail mocs plenty of times, and find them very comfortable. I like 'em so much I have them in two colors, navy and peanut suede. You may hate the Vibram sole, but I find it really comfortable for walking around the city sockless:
https://oakstreetbootmakers.com/footwear/navy-vibram-sole-trail-oxford

A few other boat shoe brands to consider if the issue was fit, or the artificial lining rubbing you, and you want to replace your Sperrys:
https://oakstreetbootmakers.com/footwear/navy-boat-shoe
https://www.rancourtandcompany.com/ready-made/men-s/2-eye-boat-shoe-carolina-brown-chromexcel.html
https://www.quoddy.com/classic-boat-shoe/
 

momsdoc

Connoisseur
When on vacation and doing a lot of walking, I've always chosen my Sperry topsiders. Walking city streets, climbing the Acropolis, they have been unbeatable for comfort and grip. I wear them sockless, as any vacation Where I'll be touring is done in the warmer Spring or warmer Fall. Unless they are brand new, and have a little milage on them, they have felt like comfortable slippers, and have certainly never caused abrasions, or blisters.
 

herfitup

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I wear Sperry Billfish all winter and I've never had a problem. They have more support than most of my loafers and make great walking shoes.
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
My Quoddy Trail boat shoes with a contoured insole have proven to be a very comfortable walking shoe. On the other hand, Topsiders and a few other boat shoe designs have not served me as well. Rancourt also offers a very comfortable boat shoe design...fitted with a more substantial sole, they call it a Ranger Moc! ;)
 

blue suede shoes

Super Member
Best for long distance walking is a Goodyear welt with steel shank construction. The Alden Weather Walker or Alden 405 Indy Boot are excellent, top of the line choices.. If you are unable to get a good fit with Alden's steel shank shoes, the try a sturdy double sole Allen Edmonds shoe, such as the Macneil.


I'm in total agreement. Those are my two top choices for all day walking on city streets.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
I have to put in a Dr. Scholls Arch Support to walk in boat or driving mocs, but blisters normally aren't a problem after I've worn a new pair a few times or after my first few wears of any of those after the winter (so that my feat can adjust to being sock less after a winter of wearing socks).

To your second question, I have found, living in NYC, that while, yes, driving mocs are very comfortable to walk in (with, for me, the aforementioned arch support), I will kill the bottoms (wear them out) if I wear them for heavy walking (I mainly wear them for light walking, say to go out to dinner at a casual restaurant near my apartment).

Three: I love bucks and walk all over the city in them all the time - they are very comfortable. You can find - as others have mentioned above - much more reasonably priced ones (I own a pair of BB and a pair of J.Crew's both bought on sale for much less than the Tods and enjoy both very much). That said, I have been wearing my Chukkas more often of late - you might want to check a suede pair of those out - I like J.Crew's very much, but might try a Clark's next time as they seem to be the originator of them.
 

WouldaShoulda

Suspended
The Billfish should have been kind to your feet.

But for city walking I would have worn socks and not have worn new ones.

I walk in Sperry Makos myself and they are fine.

I never recommend walking any distance in AOs, or even wearing them on a boat!!
 

MaxBuck

Elite Member
Best for long distance walking is a Goodyear welt with steel shank construction. The Alden Weather Walker or Alden 405 Indy Boot are excellent, top of the line choices.. If you are unable to get a good fit with Alden's steel shank shoes, the try a sturdy double sole Allen Edmonds shoe, such as the Macneil.
I disagree. For me, the best shoe for walking, bar none, is the Saucony Grid Stabil, followed closely by other Saucony and Nike branded running shoes. (Their last shapes suit my foot shape better than other labels of running shoes.)

The notion of walking long distances in GYW shoes (which I swear by for business wear) makes my skin crawl.
 

DG123

Senior Member
I disagree. For me, the best shoe for walking, bar none, is the Saucony Grid Stabil, followed closely by other Saucony and Nike branded running shoes. (Their last shapes suit my foot shape better than other labels of running shoes.)

The notion of walking long distances in GYW shoes (which I swear by for business wear) makes my skin crawl.
The cement construction athletic shoes are o.k. I have several pair of various New Balance models. The downside to the athletic shoes is that the support and stability functionality rapidly declines as the shoe ages. Brand new is best, but after a few wearings the synthetic materials begin to compress and deteriorate.
 

32rollandrock

Connoisseur
Forget about boat shoes for walking any kind of distance anywhere. Just not designed or made for it. You would have been way better off in any given pair of Nikes. If you don't like sneakers, then get a pair of walking shoes, Rockports, if necessary, or lightweight hiking boots. There are a ton of walking shoes made by a ton of different companies. Look for the polar opposite of boat shoes or drivers, which is to say, footwear with arch support and substantial soles.
 

Duvel

Connoisseur
About the only shoes I wore recently on vacation in Maine were my AO brown Sperry Topsiders. We walked a lot. They were extremely comfortable.

On the other hand, I wouldn't have been able to take off at a sprint to save the day like James Bond. You can't run in them. But they are good for strolling.
 

Travel57

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I have a pair of Ecco loafers (7-8 years old now) that I wear when on cases like this, especially NYC. Great walking shoe.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

cdavant

Elite Member
I travel in my grey "dress" New Balance 990 series. I rotate up to half a dozen other pairs (27 marathons, 4 Bostons) but this one pair is just for travel. I have a pair of Wilberts and the AWWs, but nothing beats a width sized pair of NB for comfort and traction.
 
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