Why Boat Shoes Aren’t Just For Boats Anymore

Say what you will about boat shoes, but anyone who has ever traipsed around Manhattan on a steamy summer day knows what a pain it can be to wear high-heels. Literally. Between uneven cobblestone streets and brow-sweating humidity, stepping out in four-inch platforms when the temperature is soaring feels more like an act of defiance than a statement of fashion. And let’s face it ladies, there’s nothing cute about face-planting on the pavement.

As much as we love our flip-flips and strappy sandals, sometimes we want a shoe with a little more bounce. Something that we can wear with both sundresses and shorts—and take us from brunch to bar-hopping without stopping for bandaids. The solution: rubber-soled sneakers, aka “boat shoes.”

Not sure what brand of boat shoes are right for you? Not to fear! Haute Living has rounded up the chicest styles—from nature-inspired canvas to animal-printed leather—so you can spend the summer in style. And should you happen to end up on an actual boat, well, anchor’s away!


Looking to stand our from the sea of solid-colored kicks? Sperry recently joined forces with contemporary photographer Gray Malin to create an exclusive footwear collection that’s both fashionable and innovative. Each shoe is emblazoned with aerial photographs that Malin snapped from a helicopter during his recent trips to Portugal, Sicily, and South Africa.

sebagoUnleash your inner animal even when you’re landlocked with these Sebago leopard print slip-ons. Accented with shiny black patent leather and matching black soles, these are the shoes to wear where you’re not sure just where the day will take you.


Nervous about embarking on the boat shoe trend? You can’t go wrong with these nautical-inspired blue and white babies by Tommy Bahama. Best of all—they’re crazy comfortable. Crafted with soft foam outsoles for support and shock absorption, plus Strobel construction for greater strength and flexibility, you’ll be able to dance the night away whether on land or sea.

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Look casual—while still getting a little lift! These Lands’ End wedge boat shoes are the perfect fusion of new and old design, thanks to their classic brown leather upper and bright pink embellishments. The plaid sides give off just the right amount of girly flare, while the simple white rawhide lacing still screams old-school nautical.