Founded in 1935, Sperry has evolved into one of the great authentic lifestyle brands spanning fashion and function without compromise. These days, it’s a household name, but the journey to the original boat shoe started almost tragically—when founder and sailing enthusiast Paul Sperry nearly lost his life due to rough seas and a slippery deck. Intent on finding a solution, Sperry was inspired to create the world’s first (non-slip!) boat shoe.
After noticing his dog's ability to dart across ice without slipping, Sperry cut siping into his shoes' soles to mimic the carved grooves of a dog’s paw.
Boat shoes were an instant hit with sailors across America—and during World War II, Sperry Top-Sider was even named one of the official shoes for the U.S. Navy.
It wasn’t until the 1960s and ’70s that boat shoes became iconic outside of the boating world and in homes across the country. And now, they’re everywhere! If you don’t have at least one pair of Sperry boat shoes, we think it’s time you got on board.