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boat shoes from Jones Bootmaker

What does it mean?

Boat Shoe


They say a smooth sea never made a good sailor, so let us tell you the tale of how a rough sea created the iconic boat shoe.

In 1935, Sailor Sperry was having trouble maintaining grip on deck in the wet, choppy conditions, meaning even simple tasks became dangerous to attempt. He watched as his dog run across smooth ice whilst still maintaining its grip, on close inspection of the dog’s paw he found that the grooves on the paw were giving the dog traction on smooth surfaces.

Sperry set to work carving similar small grooves into the gummy rubber soles of his shoes to improve traction on the deck. It worked a treat! He updated the shoes to white soles as to not leave marks, added a siped herringbone pattern to the sole and the boat shoe was born.

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