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Sperry Top-Sider Men's Shoes

Authentic top-siders from Sperry are designed to be safe boat shoes or casual weekend wear. These classic leather shoes were originally used by sailors due to their comfort and slip-proof soles. Top-siders are classier than sneakers without being overly formal.

Why are top-sider shoes called "boat shoes"?

  • These shoes were created in 1939 by a professional sailor who was looking for a non-slip alternative to sneakers and traditional leather boating shoes.
  • The herringbone pattern on the soles is modeled after the pattern on the pads of dog paws, which is designed to give these shoes the ability to be used on icy surfaces without slipping or sliding.
  • The success of the design led to a commissioned version of the original type of boat shoes made by this brand, and it became the official shoe for the U.S. Navy in 1939.

What are the unique features of this brand's shoes?

  • Uppers: Shoes made by this brand traditionally have tan or brown leather uppers that are treated to make them water- and stain-resistant.
  • Stitching: Each pair of shoes is hand-sewn with a distinctive top stitch. The stitching matches the color of the shoe.
  • Soles: In addition to the herringbone pattern on the soles, the soles of these shoes are crafted of white or tan rubber. This creates an advantage over traditional black rubber soles because it eliminates the problem of dark skid marks on boat decks and restaurant flooring.
  • Design: Aside from the recognition factor of the uppers and light-colored soles, the design created by this brand includes two eyelets and 360-degree lacing. This detail allows top-siders made by this brand to remain snug and laced even if the wearer is active, but they are also easy to slip on and off like loafers.
  • Toe: The moc-toe design derives from the prominent top seam construction of moccasins. This feature protects the wearer's toes and allows wiggle room without affecting the overall fit of the shoe.
  • Heel: Like some designs for sneakers and work boots, the deck shoe from this brand has a shock-absorbent cup built into the heel. This helps provide support and reduce jarring for those who spend a lot of time on their feet.

Are top-siders boat shoes only good for sailing?

Since the early 1980s, deck shoes made by this brand have been used widely in applications other than sailing. These slip-on loafers are a step up from sneakers and are designed with everyday use in mind. In addition to traditional leather uppers and laces, they're also available in canvas with regular shoelaces and a variety of colors. These shoes are still used by sport and professional sailors and are also worn by restaurant and warehouse workers.

Content provided for informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sperry.
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