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Old 16-03-2016, 14:41   #1
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Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

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?

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Old 16-03-2016, 14:57   #2
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

Sperry boat shoes are junk. The soles go hard in a year and then they turn into iceskates.
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Old 16-03-2016, 15:09   #3
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

Just threw away a pair of Sperry deck shoes. Granted they were 10 years old but the soles had completely disintegrated. Had a problem with the siped soles hardening and getting slick on a pair of West Marine sandals. Currently wear 'water' shoes on the boat. The kind that are meant for reef walking. They don't have siped soles of the Sperry's that work great when new but have adequate traction for moving around on a wet deck.
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Old 16-03-2016, 15:16   #4
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

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Sperry boat shoes are junk. The soles go hard in a year and then they turn into iceskates.
So what brand would you recommend?
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Old 16-03-2016, 15:19   #5
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

I had a pair of Sperry sandals I loved but with the same problem - dangerously slick, finally tossed them.
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Old 16-03-2016, 15:30   #6
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pirate Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

My $150 pair bought in Florida were disintegrating by the time I reached Samoa 4mths later.. over priced crap for poseurs.. definitely not a functional deck shoe..
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Old 16-03-2016, 15:36   #7
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

sperrys are for nonboaters as they never did actually work. bare feet are safer.
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Old 16-03-2016, 16:09   #8
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

I got and like the adida's climacool boat shoes for $29 (cheap) they are not the most comfortable deck shoes but are great when getting wet, They double as great to swim in them when i need water shoes
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Old 16-03-2016, 16:21   #9
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

My sentiments exactly. The Sperry deck shoe soles get hard and are awful. I've swapped 2 pairs back to West marine but the problem persists. I bought a much cheaper pair of Bass deck shoes that look like the Sperrys but the leather uppers were hard and stiff.
I'll never buy any more Sperrys.
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Old 16-03-2016, 16:35   #10
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

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So what brand would you recommend?
Depends on the weather. Fishermens boots, teva sandles, bare feet -- cold to hot.
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Old 16-03-2016, 18:23   #11
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

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I got and like the adida's climacool boat shoes for $29 (cheap) they are not the most comfortable deck shoes but are great when getting wet, They double as great to swim in them when i need water shoes
I'd like to know where you found them for $29. Amazon starts at $80 for men's, although they have some kid's sizes for $35.
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Old 16-03-2016, 19:31   #12
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

I like Keen Newport H2 sandals and have gotten a few years out of them. I wear them all summer, not just on the boat.
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Old 16-03-2016, 19:46   #13
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

My three daughters are national champion junior/collegiate sailors. They wear some kind of special booties. I don't race or even sail. But I do wear sperrys on my boat and even when the teak cockpit is full of fish blood, I don't slip. You might have received a defective pair, but I suspect it is more likely that you stepped in something.
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Old 16-03-2016, 19:50   #14
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

I've always worn Sebagos. They last longer and stay pretty good looking. Nowadays I'm addicted to Keds.
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Old 16-03-2016, 20:27   #15
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Re: Deck Shoes - Sperry Harbormaster - Product Defect?

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My three daughters are national champion junior/collegiate sailors. They wear some kind of special booties. I don't race or even sail. But I do wear sperrys on my boat and even when the teak cockpit is full of fish blood, I don't slip. You might have received a defective pair, but I suspect it is more likely that you stepped in something.
Don't know what I could have stepped in. I only wear the shoes on boats. I carry them on and off in my gear bag. I thought perhaps the club had waxed or soaped the deck when they last cleaned it and left a waxy film on the decks that the shoes couldn't grip but as I said, two other crew members were wearing the same shoes and didn't have the problem I had.

We'll see how Sperry handles it - sending me a new pair or returning them with a letter rejecting my defective claim.
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