Boat shoes are never, ever stylish
Good thing, then, the season is finally coming to a close.
Not that fall or winter will stop the rampant normalization of boat shoes from continuing to be spotted in the wild. For boat shoe enthusiasts, the very item has become synonymous with who they are as individuals: a brash, bold and brazen band of brothers who navigate the world as if it's their very own Budweiser carpet-stained Nantucket frat house.
In recent years, boat shoes have become an unfortunate staple in the everyday man's wardrobe. Neither a penny loafer meant to offset the starkness of a summer suit, nor a canvas slip-on for a laid-back in approach, boat shoes have become that ugly in-between. It's that awkward cousin who isn't self-aware enough to pull off sartorial flair ironically, nor cool enough to not give a damn.
He's completely unaware that his basic sense of style is so overtly basic that it's completely offensive.
Boat shoes, of course, would be fine if the thousands of misinformed men who owned them were actually off to the very location in which they were meant to be used. They make for fine footwear when walking along a wet deck without slipping.
"Men should only wear boat shoes when boating and, even then, they make you take them off when you board a yacht, so that's got to tell you something," echoes Logan Horne, stylist to stars like Lindsay Lohan, Leighton Meester, Minka Kelly, among others.
Its leather construction, designed to repel water during the high seas, is actually very functional. Invented by Paul A. Sperry, the eventual forefather of Sperry Top-Siders in New Haven, Connecticut, the shoes were born in 1935 specifically for men to utilize inside a water vessel
"They have a certain summertime appeal, probably because people like to try and go to the beach," says Max Berlinger, senior online editor at Details. It's why men see them as an easy "go-to" staple for the everyday. But Berlinger doesn't easily dismiss these repeat offenders: "A pair of nice loafers is just as easy but are a bit more elevated. Slip-on sneakers — which range from Vans to Common Projects — are casual and easy to wear, too."
Mashable fashion reporter Noelle Sciacca, who worked at Lucky for five years, took it even further, commenting that men who wear them are "clueless" and "lazy."
"A man is attractive in boat shoes only when the view of his feet is obstructed," she says. "They tend to carry themselves with an air of cockiness. Boat shoe offenders slap each other on the back and high five while they throw down beers. They support each other's poor taste in shoes and only have themselves to blame."
With so much disapproval from the fashion community, it's safe to say that these shoes should sink faster than the Titanic. But unlike the historic ship, these should never be talked about ever again.