Over the last few years, the demand for men’s wide shoes has increased and so has the range of styles available. One style that is becoming increasingly popular in a wider fit is the boat shoe. But where did this timeless classic originate?

Also known as the deck shoe or top-side, the boat shoe was invented in 1925 by Paul Sperry from Connecticut. Inspiration came when he noticed his dog’s ability to run easily over ice without slipping. Using a knife, he cut siping (slits) into the sole of his shoe to improve traction and provide grip on a wet deck.

Boat shoes are used by sailors, as the name suggests. However, in 1980, with the publication of The Official Preppy Handbook, the boat shoe began to be identified as an essential part of the Preppy style. Since then, it’s become popular as casual footwear in many parts of the world.

Boat shoes are typically made from canvas or leather and usually have a moccasin-type construction. Due to their design and construction they’re not just great for boat decks but the perfect footwear for summer months.

‘Woody’ - the extra roomy boat shoe from Cosyfeet