10 Best Shoes For Boating 2018 – A Run-Down Unbiased Review

Whether you know them for their moccasin-like design or grip-enhanced rubber soles, boat shoes present you with unlimited flexibility. However, as with any other fishing gear, no two boat boots are made exactly the same. Some are trendy and stylish; others aren't exactly trendy but still retain the rich historical value that’s typical of this niche.

Generally, because boat shoes are specifically made for sea-bound trips, manufacturers are naturally compelled to design them in such a way that they offer extra grip. This is particularly important for anyone planning to walk on a slippery boat deck. Besides that, the best shoes for boating are ones designed taking into account the likelihood of water splashing as you navigate through rough terrain. Therefore, as far as making a choice is concerned, it might be a good idea to focus on models that air out easily.

The fact that you have to compare quite a number of features in order to make an informed decision might make the whole undertaking sound a little intimidating. Well, that’s where our expertise comes in handy. Having reviewed multiple boat shoes, this review details out:

*Different kinds of options at your disposal

*Pros and cons of different boots

*What to look for in your next pair of boating shoes

*Verdict on the best choice available

The Best Boating Shoes – Quick Comparison Chart

They may look as catchy and stylish as any other pair of shoes, but the reality is that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to boating shoes. Here’s a run-down of some options at your disposal for quick and efficient decision making.

The 10 Best Boat Shoes for Men & Women

1. Sebago Clovehitch II Oxford

If you are a serious boater, having a decent pair of men’s boating shoes is important. The good news is that this particular footwear from Sebago is equipped with everything you would want in a quality boat shoe. Its upper features full-grain leather along with mesh panels to allow for much better breathability and drainage. Further, the shoe boasts strobe construction for enhanced durability and flexibility.

In addition to this, it comes with a removable and cushioned footbed made of EVA material and covered with mesh to ensure all-day comfort. Its midsole, on the other hand, features PU cushioning that is designed to absorb shock and protect your feet from impact. 

On top of that, the footwear is equipped with a non-marking rubber outsole with razor-sipped patterns to provide you with great grip, especially on wet surfaces. The sole’s unique construction is also slip-resistant and offers exceptional stability. What’s more? The shoe utilizes lacing system for a customized fit alongside non-corrosive and nickel-free eyelets. 

Pros

  • check
    Includes padded linings for added comfort
  • check
    Available in many color options
  • check
    Ultra lightweight and flexible
  • check
    Great arch support

Cons

  • check
    Runs on the narrow side

2. NRS Paddle Wetshoes

Are you in the market for men’s premium quality shoes for boating shoe? Well, you should definitely try these NRS Paddle Wetshoes and you won’t regret. Featuring Terraprene neoprene construction, the footwear is not only breathable and flexible but also lightweight and dries very fast. To top it all, it comes with a 3mm outsole that wraps up around the toe and heel for optimal protection and grip.

Moving on, the shoe boasts extra padding around the ankle area to protect all the critical pressure points inside your boat. For all-day comfort, support and stability, it is equipped with stretchy rubber-bands and a roomy toe box that frees your toes. 

Additionally, it is equipped with a 5mm insole made of neoprene material to protect your feet from impact by absorbing shock. On top of that, the boot has a soft VaporLoft lining designed to repel water and ensure it dries quickly. This feature, together with its high-top design will ensure your feet stay warm throughout the day. 

Pros

  • check
    Dries quickly for extra comfort
  • check
    Perfect for everyday outdoor sports
  • check
    Easy to put on and off thanks to its side-entry zipper that opens very wide
  • check
    Keeps your feet warm in extremely chilly waters

Cons

  • check
    You might need to order one size larger

3. Sperry Top-Sider Boat Shoe

Sperry is one of the brands in the world that produces quality, authentic and stylish boat shoes. Its products are highly durable to ensure consumers are completely satisfied. Apparently, one of their best footwear is the Top-Sider Boat shoe that features a rubber outsole to ensure stability and incredible grip especially on wet decks and other shoreline terrains. The moccasin also boasts authentic and high-quality leather construction for optimal durability and long-lasting performance.

What’s more? The shoe is equipped with rustproof eyelets alongside 360-degree two-eyelet lace-up system to secure your feet. In addition, the lacing system adds a casual vibe to the moccasin’s style. Further, it features a slotted collar that delivers superior comfort.

As if that’s not enough, it includes an EVA heel cup with shock absorbing properties for extra comfort and protection from all elements. Best of all, it is available in multiple color options to choose from. 

Pros

  • check
    Easy to put and take off
  • check
    Quality stitching
  • check
    Comfortable for extended periods
  • check
    Provides incredible grip

Cons

  • check
    Fits tight on the width
  • check
    The leather gets scratched easily

4. Sebago Docksides Boat Shoe

Sebago is on it again! And this time the company is proud to bring you the Docksides Men’s Boat Shoe. The shoe is intelligently crafted from high-quality leather although the outsole is rubber. Therefore, you can be sure it will last for many boating seasons while at the same time providing you with excellent grip.
You know what else? The sole boasts non-marking and non-slip design to help you stay on your feet in extremely slippery conditions. In addition to this, it features rawhide laces around the collar and toe stitching to provide you with a secure fit and durable performance. 

Additionally, you will find this moccasin is numerous colors making it easy to find the one that matches your style. For unmatched comfort, it includes a molded insole made of soft EVA material with the ability to flex effortlessly. Above all, the shoe can be slipped on and off with minimal effort.

Pros

  • check
    Perfect for Kayaking and casual use
  • check
    Solid construction
  • check
    Solid construction
  • check
    Conforms to your foot for all-day comfort

Cons

  • check
    A little bit stiff but flexes with time

5. Adidas Outdoor Climacool Boat Shoe (Men’s)

Besides producing quality athletic footwear, the Adidas brand has expanded its portfolio to cover outdoor conditions through the Outdoor Climacool boot for men. It features a synthetic upper that dries fast to help keep your feet warm and dry. In addition to this, the shoe boasts Climacool open-mesh construction that provides exceptional breathability and comfort.

Further, it is equipped with a stretchable-heel insert and lace-up closure which helps provide a secure fit and enhanced performance in and out of the water. On top of that, the footwear comes with EVA tongue top designed to absorb impact for unmatched comfort. 

Additionally, the shoe features a non-marking outsole made of durable rubber for enhanced grip, friction, and traction. This ensures you stay up on your feet no matter which surface you step on. But the best part is the fact the shoe can also be used for casual wear thanks to its stylish and fashionable design.

Pros

  • check
    Drains water fast and has a quick drying time
  • check
    Sole has a really great grip
  • check
    Lightweight and extremely breathable
  • check
    High-quality and super comfortable

Cons

  • check
    Sand and small rocks usually get trapped inside the sole

You may love to read another article of ours on: Best GoPro for Fishing – A Guide To Choosing The Right Action Camera

6. KEEN Newport H2 Men’s Sandal

There are plenty of good things to say about this pair of men’s shoes. To start with, you can use the sandal for nearly any water sports you can think of thanks to its water-resistant construction and lightweight design. Further, it features a secure fit strap design that you can easily adjust to achieve a comfortable fit.

What’s more? The sandal boasts a non-marking outsole made of durable rubber with multi-directional lug pattern to provide you with the perfect traction on wet and dry grounds. Its upper, on the other hand, features polyester washable webbing for enhanced breathability. But what really makes it stand out is it’s the unique Cleansport NXT technology it uses in order to reduce odors. 

In terms of comfort, this is an area that this boating sandal does not disappoint. It includes a metatomical footbed constructed from EVA material and designed to conform to the shape of your foot thereby offering customized comfort. In addition, it is equipped with a mesh lining for enhanced breathability and all-day comfort. Also, it includes a patented toe-protection design to protect your feet from sharp rocks on rivers or trails. 

Pros

  • check
    Sole boasts a TPU shank for optimal stability
  • check
    Lace system offers a secure fit
  • check
    Built to last
  • check
    Offers great foot support especially even for those with narrow feet

Cons

  • check
    Poor seam quality
  • check
    Runs a half size small

7. ALEADER Aqua Quick-Drying Men’s Water Shoes

From blue to white, light blue, dark grey, and navy, these slip-on shoes come in a wide range of color options and sizes to suit all wearers. It boasts a breathable air-mesh upper designed to ensure quick drying and breathability. The upper is also made of durable and lightweight fabric for long-lasting performance in and out of the water.

You know what else? The shoe features a water-grip outsole made of rubber material to provide you with excellent traction, especially on slippery or wet surfaces. In addition to this, the sole has holes at the bottom to allow water to freely drain from the shoe faster. This way you won’t feel weighed down with water just because it also dries quickly. 

On top of that, its midsole boast solyte construction for superior durability and bounce-back performance. This ensures your foot is well protected from impact. Also, it comes with a ComforDry sockliner to provide your feet with enhanced cushioning performance and make sure they stay cool and dry.

Pros

  • check
    Slips on and off easily thanks to lacing system
  • check
    Provides incredible grip and drainage on the soles
  • check
    Relatively cheap
  • check
    Disturbingly comfortable

Cons

  • check
    The insole is a little bit slippery when wet
  • check
    Holes at the bottom of the shoe attract small rocks and are not easy to remove

8. Helly Hansen Aquapace 2 Women’s Water Shoe

Our ladies top pick for the best boating shoes is from the Helly Hansen brand. The company prides itself on providing high-quality sports gear and this pair of water shoe is no different. Its upper features a combination of mesh and synthetic material for a perfect blend of breathability, durability, and protection. In addition, the shoe can be used for any kinds of water sports including walking around the beach.

Featuring a HellyGrip rubber outsole, you will be able to enjoy various water activities without worrying that you could slip and fall. This is because the rubber offers plenty of traction and enhanced stability on the ground. 

Moving on, the shoe is easy and comfortable to wear thanks to its low-profile as well as speed-lace slip-on unique design. On top of that, it comes with a flexible and soft EVA midsole so you can enjoy a great level of comfort and protection. 

Pros

  • check
    Has incredible breathability properties and dries quickly
  • check
    Can be worn in and out of the water
  • check
    Offer great value for money
  • check
    Fits perfectly and have a secure fit

Cons

  • check
    Can be a little too narrow
  • check
    Lacks adequate arch support

You may love to read another article of ours on: Best Fishing Vests – A Run-Down of Top Rated 10 Options

9. Sperry Top-Sider Sea Kite Men’s Boat Shoe

Designed with durability in mind, this affordable boat shoe features an infusion of leather and mesh on the upper. As a result, it is not only water resistant and solid but also ultra-breathable for ultimate comfort. And since leather is known to be quite rough against the skin, the shoe comes with a quick-drying lining made of soft textile material.

You know what else? Well, this footwear boasts a rubber outsole that uses unique Adaptive wave-sipping technology to get rid of water from under the foot. This ensures the shoe is light in weight when you step right out of the water. The sole also prevents slipping when walking on wet and dry grounds by providing decent grip. 

Additionally, it features a 360-degree lacing design along with rustproof eyelets so you can enjoy a secure and comfortable fit. And the best part is the fact that the shoes are stylish enough to be used for casual wear. 

Pros

  • check
    Includes a removable padded insole
  • check
    Water-resistant and dries very quickly
  • check
    True to size
  • check
    Slip-resistant

Cons 

  • check
    A little bit wide

10. Polo Ralph Lauren Rylander Shoe

This is an all in one boat shoe that can be used for various water sports as well as with any casual outfit thanks to its stylish and iconic look. Its upper boasts a combination of leather and textile material that gives it loads of visual character. Like with most moccasins, it features a 360-degree lacing system to provide you with a secure fit. Also, the shoe has metal eyelets built to last.

Further, this footwear is equipped with a rubber outsole that boasts a unique sure-grip tread for optimal traction. Therefore, you will be able to stay steady on both wet and slippery decks. When it comes to comfort, the moccasin includes a textile insole and lining. 

On top of that, it features rolled stitching to ensure long-lasting performance even when exposed to harsh conditions. It also comes with a slotted collar made of leather and an embroidered logo on the tongue for that authentic look. 

Pros

  • check
    Does not leave scuffs on the deck
  • check
    Inexpensive
  • check
    Made with durability in mind
  • check
    Classy and comfortable

Cons

  • check
    Runs very big in size
  • check
    Insole does not have adequate cushioning

11. Adidas Outdoor Terrex Women’s Boat Shoe 

When it comes to quality footwear, this is an area that the Adidas brand does not disappoint. One of their best footwear is the Adidas Outdoor Terrex which is exclusively made for women. It features a TRAXION outsole made of synthetic material to deliver great grip and stability.

Like the Adidas Outdoor for men, its upper too boasts Climacool open-mesh and synthetic construction to allow for much better breathability and drainage. This allows the shoe to dry out quickly thereby keeping your feet cool. In addition to this, the upper has a heel insert that provides the best possible comfort and secure fit. 

On top of that, the shoe comes with a soft lining and a soft tongue for extra comfort. This, together with its breathable midsole allows you to wear the footwear for many hours and your feet won’t hurt. 

Pros

  • check
    Suitable for everyday outdoor sports
  • check
    Great drainage system
  • check
    Well thought out lace closure system for a secure fit
  • check
    Stylish and sleek design

Cons

  • check
    Runs really large in size

12. Helly Hansen Hydropower 4 Men’s Shoe

This shoe resembles a trendy athletic shoe and its one of the best boat shoes for men available on the market. Featuring quick-dry open-mesh and synthetic construction, the footwear boasts great breathability properties to ensure your feet stay dry and fresh. The synthetic material used also provides great support and durability.

In addition to this, the shoe comes with a rubber outsole featuring multi-directional grip design to allow for superior traction and stability on the deck, wet rocks, rough outdoor trails or in stormy water. Further, it boasts a low-top design and lacing system so you can easily slip the shoe on and off with little fuss. 

To top it all up, it uses the brand's unique HellyWear protection technology to ensure water does not get inside the shoe to keep your feet dry. Also, the footwear includes a removable sockliner made from molded EVA material for added comfort and support. Besides, the insole has great antibacterial properties to protect your feet from odor-causing bacteria. 

Pros

  • check
    Includes elastic bungee lacing system for a perfect fit
  • check
    Protects your feet from rocks and deck hardware
  • check
    Outsole has great grip
  • check
    Lightweight design

Cons

  • check
    Shoe runs a bit small
  • check
    Little arch support

Buying Guide- Which is Best for You?

Finding the best shoes to wear on a boat can help you enjoy your adventure and save you the hassle of dealing with accidental splashes and slips. However, with so many brands and shoe designs available, it can be daunting to arrive at the winning pair. But don’t fret. This ultimate guide discusses some of the features to look out for so you can have an easy time finding the best pair of shoes for boating. 

Sole

Since you will be using your shoes on wet surfaces and slippery decks most of the time, it is important to go for a pair with a great sole. A good sole should have an incredible grip to prevent you from sliding on slippery grounds. Generally, rubber outsoles are considered to be the best for their ability to offer maximum resistance against slips. Different patterns in the sole can also offer a better grip. In addition to this, consider a non-marking sole to prevent scuffing the deck. 

Type of Material Used for the Uppers

Most boat shoes upper are made of either leather or synthetic material. Leather has the ability to resist water but if water gets inside the shoe, it does not dry fast. In addition, it is less flexible and breathable compared to synthetic. Synthetic materials, on the other hand, like neoprene allow water to get into the shoes but come out quickly. On top of that, they are breathable, dries very quickly, stretchy and super lightweight. Therefore, depending on your individual needs, uppers made of synthetic or leather are the best bet. 

Drainage

Walking with shoes full of water can be very uncomfortable. They will drag your feet down and you’re even likely to slip and fall. Therefore, you need to invest in shoes that have excellent drainage. Such shoes usually have mesh fabric on the upper with holes to allow water to flow out. Others have holes placed strategically placed on the side or bottom of the outsole. But for sandals, they have openings on the sides and at the back to help drain water out fast. 

Sizing

Generally, most boat shoes are not sized the same as street shoes. For this reason, you will need to use the provided size chart of the boots you are thinking of buying. The chart should help you find the perfect fit. However, to get the right sizing, you also need to pay attention to reviews from other customers about details like the shoe running too small or large. 

Final Word

So, what are the best shoes for boating? You might ask. Well, it is hard to make a one-off judgment but we believe the tips and tidbits given in this guide will help you make an informed choice. That said, based on our in-depth research, we'd like to recommend the Clovehitch II Oxford by Sebago or the Adidas Outdoor Climacool Boat Shoe. Both offer an excellent blend of features and we think they might be just the right choice for you in terms of traction, cushioning and breathability.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: