It's like Sex and the Suburbs and 30 Rock all rolled into one…
Let’s be honest here: sometimes you need to wear sneakers outside of the gym. My own dilemma came from my job working in a fashion retailer in the mall. True, we are allowed to wear sneakers so long as they’re not the ones used in running 5K’s. However, I just feel that sneakers should be worn for athletic nonsense and should never be worn to work, unless the store is closed and we’re doing merchandising moves that require ladders. I had been wearing various ballet flats, but during the busy weekends, I was slipping and sliding on the marble floor. Furthermore, they just weren’t comfortable for ten to twelve hours standing. (I refuse to wear Coach sneakers. So tacky.)
My situation is a lot different than that of Paul Sperry. He was an avid boater, who risked injury while walking on the slippery deck of a boat. So like those enterprising men and women during the first half of the century, he did something about it by designing a new sole with herringbone groves. The white rubber left no marks on the deck of the boat and the new treads kept sailors on their feet. Soon the US Navy picked up the shoes for their sailors and the rest is history for a wikipedia page.
I’m not ashamed to admit it: I get tons of fashion inspiration from Gossip Girl. Serena has helped me embrace the short skirt and the statement necklace. While I often suggest elements of Chuck Bass or Nate Archibald for my male friends, I never thought I’d be outright stealing from them. Oh but, behold! Remember the trip to the Hamptons? (If not, this photo should refresh your memory.)
My father used to live in boat shoes; we had a boat and practically lived on it all summer long. He liked how he constantly had good footing, and should a wave splash up on deck, it didn’t matter if his feet got wet. Good boat shoes are breathable, water might get in, but it drys out fast and never makes your foot feel like it’s living in its own personal swamp. (Unlike, Asics.) I had always assumed that boat shoes were unfashionable.
With a little trepidation, I picked up these. I’ve been pairing them with skinny jeans, Bermuda shorts, and knit pencil skirts. Because they are a little preppy, I have been making sure my outfits are not too edgy. Jeans, shirt and tie and linen suit vest. Even when I pair them with leggings, I have kept my tunic flowery and lady-like. The next pair I would like to get are navy. I tend to dislike boat shoes for women because they lose much of their appeal to me. I want boat shoes; not hot pink loafers or lime green pumps with the eyelets often seen on boat shoes. Iconic fashion staples should be just that – iconic and true to their roots!
So the verdict: Boat shoes are what I call the not-sneaker. They give you all the comfort and support of a sneaker but they’re not actually, you know – sneakers.