Which is the most rugged/durable boat shoe?

mfs

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I have been living here at the beach for 40 years and the boat shoe of choice by the overwhelming majority is Sperry. I would suggest your shoes are just now getting broken-in. If you insist on new one's, try Sperry Topsider AO's and wear them in good health.
 

godan

Elite Member
Is it possible that the regular treatment of the Gokeys was with something that could have weakened the thread? What did you use?
 

David J. Cooper

Super Member
Hardline: Can you explain in more detail? I have always thought that the essential characteristic of a boat shoe was a sole that would not mark the deck, typically a white, un-lugged sole. By 360* lacing, do you mean a single lace that extends back around the heel? I searched on AA for a definition without success. Wikpedia (hardly a Trad authority) mentions the non-marking sole. What is the Absolute Truth? Thanks.

To be honest, if you showed up with those Timberland jobs to charter one of the boats in our fleet I would send you to the store around the corner to buy some proper "deck shoes".

I also find that our guests from Europe to be the most prepared with proper footwear and soft sided luggage.
 

CSG

Inactive user
I've been buying Sperry AO's since the early 80's. Don't know where they were made then but the new ones from various countries seem to last just as long. As they're a casual shoe for me and I own many pairs, they don't wear out very often. For $80-90 a pair, they are still my casual shoe of choice. And yes, I first started wearing them when I learned how to sail although our instructor (an Aussie) was barefoot all the time.
 

boltonguy

Starting Member
I have had very, very good luck with Sebago Schooner boat shoes. They have been my go to for the past 10 years which is 3 pairs. They have held up very well at $120 US. Good luck!

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Just checked my current pair (in the basement) and it turns out I had been buying the Cape Horn which is lined and was super comfortable and is now, unfortunately, discontinued :(
 
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Giblets

Starting Member
Out of interest I have a pair of the timberlands, (my second pair), what's the best way to care for the leather? I used a bit of dubbin on my last pair, but sure that's not optimum, would renovateur and shoe polish do better?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

PalmettoMan

New Member
Is it possible that the regular treatment of the Gokeys was with something that could have weakened the thread? What did you use?

I was thinking the same thing, except in reverse. Over treatment, as I've experienced it leads to leather that won't hold stitches under stress. They rip right through it.

I've been wearing Sperry A/O's for 15+ years. I wipe them down with a wet cloth when dirty although I only wear the dark brown ones. Saddle soap if I get soaked in salt water or mud. The soles will wear through well before there is any problem with the leather.
 

CSG

Inactive user
Out of interest I have a pair of the timberlands, (my second pair), what's the best way to care for the leather? I used a bit of dubbin on my last pair, but sure that's not optimum, would renovateur and shoe polish do better?

I've been using Obenauf's for about 20 years. Great product for my Timberland and Sperry boat shoes as well as some outdoor leather boots.
 

godan

Elite Member
Out of interest I have a pair of the timberlands, (my second pair), what's the best way to care for the leather? I used a bit of dubbin on my last pair, but sure that's not optimum, would renovateur and shoe polish do better?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Langlitz Leather Dressing or Sno Seal - or any other wax. At least, wax is what works best in arid Colorado. You might ask locally for what experienced people prefer in your climate.
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
Out of interest I have a pair of the timberlands, (my second pair), what's the best way to care for the leather? I used a bit of dubbin on my last pair, but sure that's not optimum, would renovateur and shoe polish do better?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I used Kiwi polish on mine and that worked remarkably well in my opinion. Enjoying 7+ years of wear from a heavy duty pair of Timberland camp mocs is about the best one can expect and I believe the Kiwi polish was a part of it! ;)
 

orange fury

Connoisseur
I've worn Sperry A/O's since high school, and my dad has worn them since at least the late 70's or early 80's. They're comfortable, durable, and inexpensive- I've found no reason to go elsewhere for boat shoes.
 

Stuart Midgley

New Member
I've just been this morning to try and buy my first pair of Sperry AO Topsiders. When racing in the past I used to wear more 'technical' deck shoes but I'm shortly heading off on a month-long beach/sailing/diving holiday to the Great Barrier Reef so thought something more classic would be in order.

My local boating store had them two pairs in stock in my size (different colours). One had a mis-shaped inner, where the rubber lining had bent away from the side-wall and was pushing into the foot (in fact the whole instep area was mis-shapen), and the other pair had glue leaked out and set on the outside all around the toe stitching in about three places. It looked awful. Both pairs were made in Indonesia.

Has anyone had recent purchasing experience with them? I'm not sure if the last two in the store just happened to be bad ones that other people had passed over or if this is Sperry quality now? I know it's only a casual boat shoe but surely they shouldn't have things like mis-shapen insoles or glue all over the outer?

EDIT - Also, the sole had almost no siping on it that I could see, and I see now that Amazon is full of reviews from the last 12 months dissing the gripping ability and complaining that the current AO's aren't anything like the previous ones. Thoughts?
 

tda003

Senior Member
I have been wearing Sperry Billfish boat shoes for over 16 years. I have walked through the soles on two pair in that time and still have two or three in the batting order. I walk in them and there are many who have never seen me in an "island casual" outfit in anything else. They seem impervious to everything thrown at them but oil stains and, until my feet finally gave up the ghost, have been very comfortable, providing some arch support. (I now use prosthetics.)

On, incidentally, you can wear them on boats, too!
 
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