We've had an enjoyably nautical summer, so we can actually speak to the proper uses of deck shoes. (If you hadn't noticed, the preppy resurgence has made the style a persistent streetwear option as well.) Whether on dry land, aboard a 46-foot racing yacht or a rowboat, we've come across several updates to the classic pairs that are suitable for either. The current crop of boat shoes all provide the proper traction to keep you from falling off a slippery deck with an added new stylistic approach.
Rogues Marlin Deck Boot ($460)
While Portland, Maine's Rogues Gallery did release a more conventional low-top version of the deck shoe, we're more interested in the vaguely militant boot incarnation (pictured right). They're constructed entirely in Maine using leather and a non-marking boat shoe sole. Available in both black and green, purchase them from the Rogues store.
Journal Standard Deck Shoes ($95)
These shoes (pictured above left) come from a collaboration between Journal Standard, the Japanese label and shop, and Danassa, an enigmatic Portuguese designer. They take the direction from the iconic Sperry Top-Sider and add a spectrum of new colors and a soft suede upper. Colors include red, blue, gray,burgundy, green and slate.
Billionaire Boys Club Boat Shoe ($360)
BBC recently released their version of a boat shoe (pictured above right), adding only subtle variations to the archetype — notable restraint for a brand marked by ostentatious flourishes. They have a full-grain leather upper with a rubber vulcanized sole, leather laces and reinforced leather heels. Other than a stately BBC laurel design on the heel, they're a clean and simple choice.
Patagonia Tenzing ($90)
Adding a couple high-tech design elements to the mix, Patagonia's Tenzing (pictured at left) is not an average boat shoe (nor is it for the style-conscious). While it looks more well-suited for trail running, this incredibly light sneaker is tailor-made for wet conditions. Both the heel and forefoot feature small ducts that drain water before it can collect. The collapsible synthetic upper is quick-drying and the dual-traction sole grips slippery surfaces well. For serious sailing, the Tenzing is the way to go.
More well-known for their boots, American shoe maker Yuketan produced these handcrafted leather boat shoes (pictured above left) exclusively for Barney's NY in Japan. A more classic and timeless take, the high-quality construction is what sets these apart. Here's to hoping they decide to bring them stateside. via Classic Apparel Journal
SeaVees Vamp Oxford ($165)
Inspired by 1960s California, SeaVees has a whole series of shoes that could be used on the boat, but our favorite is the Vamp Oxford (pictured above right). Applying the Eames philosophy of using the appropriate combination of materials, a perforated leather upper and a calfskin inner makes for a breathable and comfortable shoe. And the gum rubber toe bumper adds extra protection which could come in handy while running around on deck. Only 45 pairs are available but you can find some online at SeaVees.
VisVim Hockney (€134)
A completely fresh take on the boat shoe, the Hockney falls somewhere between shoe and sneaker. It's extremely light but rugged, made of hand-sewn leather. Stretch mesh gore-tex inserts from tongue to sidewall make for a great fit and an EVA pylon outsole provides extra cushioning and comfort. We can say from experience that VisVim products are usually well worth the sticker shock. Purchase at a reduced price at Firmament.
Vael Project Deckard
Vael's Deckard uses aged leather for good-looks while also staying functional. A slightly curved sole and worn in leather provides extreme comfort, while the leather tab on the heel makes it easy to put on and take off. No word on price or availability but check with Vael to get your hands on these.
Timberland Gatcher 2-eye ($70)
A classic from one of the OG's in outdoorswear, the Gatcher is a traditional two-eye boat shoe. A bent upsole ads comfort and feel on the deck but the overall look is clean, neat and simple — just the way we like it. Available directly from Timberland.
Converse Sea Star Ox ($45)
Converse took the silhouette of the traditional deck shoe and morphed it together with elements from their iconic sneakers (pictured at right). Featuring all-canvas construction and their standard rubber sole, the two-hole uppers include wrap-around lacing on the heel for extra security. The Sea Star Ox is available at select Converse stores.