The 13 Best Boat Shoes for Summer
Prices start at $31 for comfy picks from Sperry, Columbia, Crocs, and more.
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Travel + Leisure / Tyler Roeland
Don’t be fooled. Boat shoes aren’t just for the aquatically inclined. And no, they weren’t designed solely for the country club crowds either. Sure, their trademark grip made them famous for keeping sailors stable on boat decks and their tailored look has inspired entire dress codes (i.e., never wear them with socks, make sure your shorts or pants are lighter than them, etc.). But, it didn’t take long before people realized stability and style matters more than just on a boat. These preppy shoes have comfort and versatility built into every nautical stitch, and that’s only part of why they’re becoming the most beloved travel shoe of summer.
A well-broken-in pair of boat shoes can stand up to the highs, lows, and in-betweens of travel better than most other models. For instance, their low tongues and minimal lacing eyelets make them easy to slip off in a TSA security line, but their 360-degree lacing systems keep them in place while wandering the side streets of major cities. They even have a classic-yet-subtle look that allows them to be paired with jeans, chinos, shorts, and skirts, which means you can pack one pair of shoes to go with your entire vacation wardrobe. In fact, this travel writer once made it through a week in the South of France with just a single pair of leather Sperry’s, which actually worked better than sandals on the pebbled beaches there. You can call them deck shoes, topsiders, or whatever you will, but these travel-friendly shoes are, without a doubt, a summer staple.
Ready to hop on the trend? Keep scrolling to explore the best boat shoes for men and women. Including top-rated picks from Sperry, Columbia, Crocs, and more, these comfortable shoes are starting at $31 and ready for any adventure.
These slip-ons have moccasin-style toes and mirror the look of traditional loafers, but with the lacing and comfort — thanks to their cushiony OrthoLite high-rebound foam footbeds — that you’d expect from boat shoes. They are available in three colors, but it’s hard to pass up the heritage leather look of the cognac brown versions.
One Zappos customer wrote, "It's very comfortable, easy for everyday walking, traveling, and walking. It's also very stylish and secure on my feet."
Although this grippy pair may be missing the top lacing of traditional boat shoes, the 360-degree elastic and moccasin-style toes have earned them a well-deserved spot in the topsider club. What's more, they come with removable microfiber inserts and arch ventilation so your feet will be comfy and dry all day long.
"They came with me to my vacation and they are the most comfortable shoes out there," one Amazon reviewer shared. "Some waiters in European restaurants were wearing them! And they travel light and take no room in the luggage, which saves on weight charges."
It would take real effort to stain these canvas boat shoes. They are protected with a water- and stain-resistant guard that repels liquids and keeps these stylish slip-ons looking sharp. Also, in pure Columbia fashion, they’re ridiculously comfortable with their shock-absorbent cushioning and grippy traction.
The linen design of these performance boat shoes completes any casual look. You’ll love the air-cooled insoles that will keep your feet comfy in the summer heat. They also offer impressive cushioning and support with their responsive memory foam footbeds, which absorb shock and hug your arches to prevent pain and fatigue on big walking days.
"These shoes can be walked in for miles," according to a Zappos reviewer. "They are lightweight, and you don't need to wear socks. It's a great alternative to sandals. They give you more support and keep your feet comfortable. I wear them all the time."
These French icons look great on a bâteau-mouche (river boat) cruising along the Seine, but they'll also feel great literally anywhere you wear them. Comfort and style are equal with Mephisto, where shock-absorbing technology meets sleek, buttery leather exteriors.
"These are the best-fitting shoes out of the box," one Zappos shopper exclaimed. "They felt like a pair of very comfortable broken-in shoes. Fit, style, and quality get high marks."
These best-selling “loafers” are just boat shoes in disguise. After all, they have all of the makings of a quality part: two eyelets, flexible rubber soles, moccasin toes, and soft liners. Bonus: they fold in half for easy packing. Shoppers have their choice of 15 versatile colors, each providing the perfect match for your favorite jeans, shorts, dresses, skirts, and more.
"I love these shoes," an Amazon customer raved. "They're very comfortable, lightweight, and easy to get on and off. I walked miles to the gates at Denver and Chicago without hurting my feet at all."
It doesn’t get more classic than these O.G. boat shoes. Sperry invented the boat shoe back in 1934 and perfected it with details like handsewn accents, genuine leather construction, rawhide laces, and non-marking rubber soles. Whether you're spending the day on the water, walking around a new city, or running errands, these comfy and reliable shoes are ready for whatever you've got planned.
"I purchased these for my husband for a trip to the Caribbean, and he absolutely loves the fit and the comfort," one Zappos customer shared in their review. "You cannot go wrong with Sperry, or this one in particular. They're a perfect summer color for his linen pants."
Reef took everything shoppers love about boat shoes and then added springy, contoured memory foam cushioning with arch support. The result is a ridiculously comfy shoe that you can wear straight from the box to the jet bridge. The lightweight shoes also feature sturdy anti-slip rubber soles that provide stabilization and ensure a confident stride on any surface.
"To start, the shoes fit as expected and feel great with the insole that comes with the shoes," according to one Amazon reviewer. "Second, they are incredibly lightweight, making them easy to wear all day. Finally, I have gotten plenty of compliments."
The most versatile boat shoes are leather ones, and this brown leather version can be dressed up or dressed down easily. Not much has changed in Rockport’s classic deck shoes over the last 30 years; they still boast the same comfortable slip-on construction that's enhanced sweat-wicking liners, padded collars and tongues, and steel shank arch reinforcements for superior midfoot support.
"I am wearing my third pair of these shoes that I have owned over the last 10 years for six months now, and can tell you with confidence, these are the best boat shoes made," one Zappos shopper declared. "They have the most comfort, the best materials, and are very consistent… These shoes handle what you throw at them and come up smiling."
These Gold Cup Sperrys take the brand's classic shoe design and step it up to even greater heights. This version features luxe lambskin linings and premium grain leather, along with everything you already know and love about Sperry boat shoes — like their deep cushioned heel cups, shock-absorbing foam midsoles, grippy rubber soles, and customizable 360-degree lacing system.
"I Iove these shoes as they are stylish getting through airport security," an Amazon buyer commented. "They fit to size and they are actually comfy with soft foamy insoles."
These Brazilian boat shoes are designed for function. They slip on and off with ease and can handle themselves in any sort of weather thanks to their rubber outsoles and washed leather exteriors. What's more, their lace-up closure provides a supportive fit that's easily customizable, and they come in three sleek colors that will elevate your go-to travel outfits.
For a more casual spin on the trendy travel shoes, the Columbia Bahama Vent Loco Relax Boat Shoes have the soles of running shoes with the durable makeup of a water shoe. They're lightweight and incredibly breathable for all-day wear, and you don't have to worry about changing your footwear from the beach to lunch (and whatever else is on your itinerary).
"I spend a lot of time standing on the deck of my bass boat fishing," one Amazon reviewer explained. "These shoes are great because they have a decent cushioned insole. They also have great water drainage."
Somehow Skechers managed to outdo the boat shoe with this navy and brown topsider. There’s even an anchor on the back to solidify the nautical theme, adding to the weatherproof canvas and leather construction. As their name suggests, the On-The-Go Flex boat shoes boast lightweight, flexible silhouettes that move with your unique foot gait for all-day comfort. Their lace-up design also guarantees an optimal fit.
"I purchased these to use as legitimate boat shoes for sailing," a Zappos customer began their review. "They are comfortable, non-skid, and stylish. The toe box is wide enough to be comfortable and not squish my toes."
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