Originally designed for wear on the deck of a yacht – as the name quite clearly suggests – the boat shoe has transcended its original use to become a modern menswear staple.
It’s easy to see why – sitting in the smart-casual sweet spot, they can be dressed up or down with ease and will bring a summer-ready, nautical feel to any warm-weather ensemble.
Here, we highlight some of our favourite designs on the current market, from traditional topsiders to contemporary statement versions.
1. ASOS Boat Shoes in Suede
Online retailer ASOS has taken the humble boat shoe in a premium direction this season, updating the age-old silhouette in premium suede.
They may not be the most practical for wet weather (or the deck of a boat), but they will look super-suave teamed with white or navy chinos on a sun-soaked day.
Available at ASOS, priced £40.
2. Quoddy Downeast Two-Tone Leather Boat Shoes
Maine-based Quoddy’s latest release combines a red and blue palette with a classic white rubber sole to create an authentic nautical-inspired design.
With a full leather upper and tan laces, they are sophisticated and comfortable in equal measure.
Available at Mr Porter, priced £150.
3. Sperry Top-Sider Authentic Original 2 Eye Print Boat Shoe
Hailed as the creator of the original boat shoe, American specialist label Sperry continues to turn out new and exciting takes on its iconic invention.
Combining premium construction with a breathable canvas upper, this camouflage print pair makes a great choice if you’re looking to make a subtle statement this season.
Available at sperrytopsider.co.uk, priced £65.
4. John Lobb Livonia Leather Boat Shoes
Boat shoes do not get much more luxurious than this.
Crafted here in England, storied British shoemaker John Lobb has reworked the classic boat shoe in smooth blue leather for a high-end finish, with soft white accents adding to the elegant and refined feel.
Pair with slim-cut trousers and a linen blazer for a sophisticated fair-weather look.
Available at Mr Porter, priced £735.
5. Charles Tyrwhitt Brown Stamford Boat Shoes
British menswear label Charles Tyrwhitt is best known for its smart yet affordable range of formalwear, but this season we’ve got our eyes on its boat shoes.
We’re particularly taken by the brand’s Brown Stamford model, which combines a high quality full leather upper with a modern cleated sole to create a bold yet refined shoe.
Available at Charles Tyrwhitt, priced £89.
6. Lacoste Keellson Leather Boat Shoes
For a fun boat shoe with a splash of colour, look no further than this vibrant pair by Lacoste.
Colour-blocked panels of cream, green and teal give them a real retro feel, while the flat white tennis shoe-like sole nods to Lacoste’s sporting heritage.
Pair with an open collar polo shirt and slim chinos to play up the vintage sportswear theme.
Available at ASOS, priced £100.
7. Sebago Docksides Leather
These clean white boat shoes by Sebago are a crisp and minimal option for the summer.
The handsewn one-piece leather upper and rubber slip-resistant soles guarantee comfort and a superior fit, while rawhide laces and non-corrosive brass eyelets show true attention to detail.
Available at Sebago, priced £109.99.
8. Dune Barracuda Square Toed Leather Boat Shoe
No man can go wrong with a simple pair of brown leather boat shoes in their wardrobe, and this pair by Dune are a versatile, match-with-everything option.
The flat rubber sole pushes this shoe slightly into trainer territory, while the stitched moc-toe and interwoven laced detailing brings things back to the original design.
Swap out your sneakers for these this summer and you’ll barely notice the difference.
Available at Dune, priced £69.
9. Timberland Icon Classic 2-Eye Denim Boat Shoe
Grunge meets nautical in this unconventional pair by Timberland, which feature an on-trend denim upper, leather laces and a white rubber sole.
Despite their alternative look, quality has not been compromised, with a leather lined anti-fatigue foot bed, hand-stitched detailing and siped anti-slip sole ensuring comfort and durability.
Available at Timberland, priced £80.
10. Loake Summer Boat Shoe
If you’re searching for an authentic boat shoe that remains true to the original design, look no further than this pair by British footwear label Loake.
Crafted from timeless navy water-resistant leather – perfect if you actually find yourself aboard a boat, or just caught in a summer rain shower – they come complete with a non-slip, non-marking sole.
Available at Peter Christian, priced £95.