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Old 17-03-2016, 10:15   #31
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

I'm a barefoot kinda gal, but have to admit that isn't always safe or smart.

I have spent serious money on "real" sailing shoes and boots, but was never really happy with any of them.

Last year, I picked up some fake Crocs sandals for about $10, and guess what? Best boat shoes I've ever had, haha!

They look something like this:


I also love the cheap water shoes, and they're only about $5


Nothing that'll win me any fashion awards, but neither do shoes and boots that'll cost me $150 or more so I don't care

(I do own a pair of very expensive, "real" sailing boots. I wear those when invited to sail on a boat where people care about brands etc )
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Old 17-03-2016, 10:15   #32
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

I have two pairs of Sperry shoes. One (I think the model is "Gold Cup") has fairly soft, siped soles and works fine on a boat. The other (I think the model is "Topsider") has a harder composition sole and I would never consider taking them on a boat. I bought them for use as "boat-style" street shoes.
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Old 17-03-2016, 10:50   #33
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

I mostly go barefoot but also sail in warm Florida weather. In heavy weather on the foredeck I tend to like Vibrams. They protect my toes and I have never had an issue slipping. Also like them for diving when wearing fins, when on my SUP, or kayaking. Not the cheapest and I never wear them on land. Agree about boots when things turn to sheet.
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Old 17-03-2016, 10:53   #34
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

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Originally Posted by slowpoker View Post
When the soles get slippery and hard from little use, walk over to a concrete sidewalk or patio and scuff the soles a little on all gripping surfaces while on your feet. Must re-do this every few weeks after this sole slippage begins.
Most shoes are made in China or with their components and there is not much 'quality control' for things there.
The wife here. I had two pairs of Sperry flip-flops I purchased from West Marine. Both turned to 'skates' in about a year.'s time. Walking on concrete or sand or anything rough did not help in any way. The last pair (the pair I currently have) are slick as sh*t on the boat so I only wear them on land now. A year's worth of wear is not worth the cost, in my opinion.

Non-marking Keens are my new warm-weather boat shoes. Not very sexy, but they protect my feet - which is the whole point of wearing shoes on a boat.
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Old 17-03-2016, 11:16   #35
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

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The wife here. I had two pairs of Sperry flip-flops I purchased from West Marine. Both turned to 'skates' in about a year.'s time. Walking on concrete or sand or anything rough did not help in any way. The last pair (the pair I currently have) are slick as sh*t on the boat so I only wear them on land now. A year's worth of wear is not worth the cost, in my opinion.

Non-marking Keens are my new warm-weather boat shoes. Not very sexy, but they protect my feet - which is the whole point of wearing shoes on a boat.
Keens might not be "sexy" but they are expensive. How's the traction on fiberglass decks? Would you be comfortable working the foredeck in 4' swells with water breaking over the bow? For me that is the question that needs to be answered for any potential deck shoe and if Sperry is out of the equation I'm starting at square one (although I did have a pair of Slams a couple of seasons ago - more expensive and did the job but really didn't fit my narrow foot very well).
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Old 17-03-2016, 11:20   #36
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

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Keens might not be "sexy" but they are expensive. How's the traction on fiberglass decks? Would you be comfortable working the foredeck in 4' swells with water breaking over the bow? For me that is the question that needs to be answered for any potential deck shoe and if Sperry is out of the equation I'm starting at square one (although I did have a pair of Slams a couple of seasons ago - more expensive and did the job but didn't really fit my narrow foot very well).
Also had a pair of Slams. The red inner sole turned my white socks red! Slams are Italian made and use an Italian last which is slightly different than an American last. Mine didn't fit well either and didn't seem to have much support or cushioning.

Keens are great. Yes I would work a foredeck in 4 ft seas with them if I was a bit younger. I try not to visit the pointy end in those conditions now.
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Old 17-03-2016, 11:26   #37
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

I have 3 different styles of Keens, I love them all. If you don't mind the odd colors, Amazon has "last year" colors deeply discounted.
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Old 17-03-2016, 11:28   #38
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

Most people don't know what a foot last is, I haven't heard the term used in a long time
I have a wide foot, and used to always wear New Balance as they were US made at the time and us Americans have wider feet I guess than Asians, so a lot of the Asian made shoes are just too narrow.
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Old 17-03-2016, 11:54   #39
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

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...and us Americans have wider feet I guess than Asians, so a lot of the Asian made shoes are just too narrow.
Which might explain why Sperry's fit me well. Their "M" might be more like an "M-"
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Old 17-03-2016, 11:54   #40
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

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Keens might not be "sexy" but they are expensive. How's the traction on fiberglass decks? Would you be comfortable working the foredeck in 4' swells with water breaking over the bow?
Ha! We dreamed about 4' swells as we were coming down the west coast.
If we were in conditions that had water breaking over the bow, and I was going forward, I'd likely have on my Durbarry boots. ($350-400 range. Worth it.) Of course, being from the Pacific Northwest, I equate rough seas with cold water. I'm still a newbee and have yet to sail through a tropical storm. lol

The Keens were $95 at the shoe store in Astoria, Oregon. Again, worth it - foot protection = safety. (They were a lot cheaper than my Redwing Steel-toed work boots, and a lot easier to wear on the boat. ) The Keens haven't shown any wear since purchased 8 months ago. They work great on deck. Easy to slip on and off, stay secure on my feet, and are non-marking. My feet can get seriously soaked, but dry quickly. Even with socks. The Keens (and the Durbarry's) grip very well on deck - we have teak, non-skid, and a few spots of plain waxed fiberglass. No issues at all with staying sure-footed.

The toe protection of the Keens is superb. I should have been wearing them (read: not barefoot) the last time I washed the boat. I stubbed my right "index" toe and...SNAP!

Damn it still hurts. The purple color is nice, too. LOL
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Old 17-03-2016, 11:55   #41
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

I gave up on special deck shoes about 50 years ago as the soles slowly get harder and less grippy. Now I just buy ordinary sneakers wear, them for a year or two on the boat and then move them to street use, and buy a new pair that have nice soft grippy soles for boat use
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Old 17-03-2016, 12:18   #42
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

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but really didn't fit my narrow foot very well).
I have very narrow feet. When I used to wear heels, AA or AAA width. Don't miss that!

You can adjust the width of the Keen shoe to fit your foot using the elastic cinch. Great arch support, too.

Might be worth trying a pair on?
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Old 17-03-2016, 13:01   #43
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

Try "shoes for crews". They all have
OSHA approved nin skid bottoms. Come in a full variety of styles including boat shoe type, very comfortable, non skid and long life.
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Old 17-03-2016, 13:02   #44
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

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I bought a new pair of Sperry Harbormasters last July. I only wear them on the boat and only when racing. I loved these shoes; great fit, light weight, great traction, etc.

That said, I put them on for a race late last month (Feb '16) and on a completely dry boat it was like ice skating. There was zero grip/traction even standing straight up in the cockpit. Two other crew members wear the same shoe and neither were experiencing the problem. Visually the soles are pristine (as I said, I only wear them on a boat, never on the pavement, street, etc.). One guy suggested maybe the soles dried out and got hard. I was somewhat skeptical since I had only had the shoes for 8 months and only wore them 15-20 times.

I called Sperry and told them my situation and that I was afraid to wear the shoes on a boat. To their credit the representative suggested it might be a defect and emailed me a free FedEx return shipping label and product return form to fill out. She said they would either replace the shoes with the same model or replace them with another shoe I chose on the return form. I shipped them that day and am now waiting to see how Sperry responds.

My question: Has anyone else had a similar experience with either this shoe specifically or any Sperry deck shoe in general?

Sperry's are junk. I've bought a few pairs cheap at Nordstrom rack. They fall apart very rapidly.

I like Eccos and Keens. The Eccos are high quality and well built. The Keens are cheaper. Our sailing boots are Dubarrys.

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Old 17-03-2016, 13:10   #45
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

I just bought another pair of Columbia shoes. I wore out the first pair after 2 years. They are called Tech lite and very grippy , good arch support, light weight, and width can be adjusted with elastic lace and toggle. These are cheaper than similar from other brands. I've found them on sale on ebay, etc.
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