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Old 23-06-2013, 22:03   #1
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What is a good shoe for sailing ?

After watching me slip a bit around the boat during the sail, the captain suggested I get better boat shoes. I was wearing regular tennis shoes with the soles rather worn.
What would be a good sailing shoe? What kind of sole would it have? The boat has fiberglass hull with wood trim, and we do a lot of hopping around when trimming lines. Also it gets a bit wet sometimes.
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Old 23-06-2013, 23:01   #2
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After watching me slip a bit around the boat during the sail, the captain suggested I get better boat shoes. I was wearing regular tennis shoes with the soles rather worn.
What would be a good sailing shoe? What kind of sole would it have? The boat has fiberglass hull with wood trim, and we do a lot of hopping around when trimming lines. Also it gets a bit wet sometimes.
You can go to any boat store (west marine, fisheries supply, etc) and get sperry topsiders. They are a soft soled non-marking shoe with excellent traction.

Personally, I just rock a pair of vans, such as these. They're $40 instead of nearly $200 and grip just as well based on my experience.
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Old 23-06-2013, 23:23   #3
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Re: What is a good shoe for sailing.

I do crocs or sneakers. If it's raining or spraying I'll do crocs but otherwise I like the stick of good sneakers. "Boat shoes", to me, are ridiculous.
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Old 23-06-2013, 23:34   #4
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Re: What is a good shoe for sailing.

Since I'm sure I made a few people mad about hating on boat shoes, here's another problem:

With sneakers, you can wear them on the boat and around town. With boat shoes, you're not exactly going to walk a few miles through the jungle in them. So you end up with yet another pair of shoes of which they take up a ton of space.

I'm thinking of trying Keens though. They seem good but I'm a little scared.
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Old 23-06-2013, 23:57   #5
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Re: What is a good shoe for sailing.

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With sneakers, you can wear them on the boat and around town. With boat shoes, you're not exactly going to walk a few miles through the jungle in them. So you end up with yet another pair of shoes of which they take up a ton of space.
It's a personal preference, but shoes worn ashore are not worn on board our boat either by us or guests. Two reasons - don't want whatever has been stepped in on the street tracked all over our living quarters (and the deck includes this) and also it is easy for tiny bits of gravel to embed, then cause damage to the deck.

Generally I am barefooted on board (not much to snub toes on and our decks are non slippery), but crocs (new with good tread) are worn if it is cold, or sailing boots for more extreme conditions (the latter haven't been needed in the Med ).
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Old 24-06-2013, 00:06   #6
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Keen's are great. Even though most of them are not boat shoes per say, that's where the designs come from, so they are all pretty good boat shoes. I wear Sperry's when I race, (because they were on sale at West Marine)but prefer barefeet when cruising. Works better on teak than fiberglass for sure. Anything with soft soles that dry quick are good. Keens keep you from stubbing your toes. Crocs get slippery when they start wearing out. Anything made specifically for boating costs too much. That's everything I know about boat shoes.
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Old 24-06-2013, 00:07   #7
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Re: What is a good shoe for sailing.

I'm out of date on this one. Last time out it was worn and old Sperry topsiders for me.
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Old 24-06-2013, 00:12   #8
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Re: What is a good shoe for sailing.

If you don't want to spend a lot of money, Dunlop Volleys are great.
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Old 24-06-2013, 00:19   #9
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Re: What is a good shoe for sailing.

Bare feet.
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Old 24-06-2013, 00:35   #10
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Re: What is a good shoe for sailing.

Bare feet if it is warm enough (not often up here), docksides for the rest except early and late season - then it is sea boots.

But we practice the same as Lassie - one pair of shoes for only boat wear, another for town. I also wear my town boaties even when I go hiking - they're comfortable, so unless it is broken country climbing, I just wear those.
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Old 24-06-2013, 01:41   #11
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Re: What is a good shoe for sailing.

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It's a personal preference, but shoes worn ashore are not worn on board our boat either by us or guests. Two reasons - don't want whatever has been stepped in on the street tracked all over our living quarters (and the deck includes this) and also it is easy for tiny bits of gravel to embed, then cause damage to the deck.

Generally I am barefooted on board (not much to snub toes on and our decks are non slippery), but crocs (new with good tread) are worn if it is cold, or sailing boots for more extreme conditions (the latter haven't been needed in the Med ).
In concept I agree totally on the "don't track your dirty shoes into the cabin" but we just kick our shoes off in the cockpit sole before we go down below.
We're currently in Baja where bare feet will give you some nasty burns if you even graze up against metal. The stuff is just wicked hot.
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Old 24-06-2013, 02:37   #12
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We sail between Florida, the Bahamas and the Eastern Caribbean, for sixteen years only bare feet. They grip great, wash up wonderfully, come in all sizes, and you can almost always find then.

The hard part is after so many years it is uncomfortable to wear shoes; on land it's flips or Crocs. Rich
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Old 24-06-2013, 05:56   #13
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Bare feet are the best.

If you are a bit sensitive, just toughen them up with less shoe wearing.

The cool thing about bare feet is the soles automatically get tougher, stronger and thicker, the more you use them.
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Old 24-06-2013, 06:46   #14
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Re: What is a good shoe for sailing

I use Keens if it is warm enough otherwise some sort of sneaker or boot but really prefer bare feet .

Why keens (or similar type) They are waterproof and dry quickly,rugged,one can walk a good distance in them ,you can swim in them (haven't fallen in yet?) massive protection for toes,you can run in them (sooner or later you will have an emergency that requires attention on the fore deck,certainly no time for a broken toe),fine for jumping off the dingy and wading ashore while hauling dingy up the beach,easy on and off yet secure.
What other footwear does all of the above? Yes, I think they are ugly but not as bad as Crocs.

Regarding the walking,wading aspects of any shoe,the wearer should be alert to any chafe from an errant shell the enters and abrades the foot while walking;I acquired a massive bone infection in my right foot while walking a few miles with a piece of shell between my toes.
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Old 24-06-2013, 07:01   #15
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Re: What is a good shoe for sailing

I tend to go from barefeet (cockpit only and perfect weather) to deckshoes (not necessarily brand names, but some brand names are very, very good stuff) to rubber boots (and dreamin' of gtx ones).

I like deck shoes with plenty of traction - also when using the edges. So rounded edges rather than flat soles to me.

It is good if they dry fast.

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