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Old 08-12-2022, 10:31   #1
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Deck Shoes. Which go hard in 1-2 seasons and which don't

We all know that Sperrys loose their edge in a season, become marginal in 2-3, and go really slick within 4 seasons. Within 10 years they crack, even if not worn. Athletic shoes in general don't do this, not at all, so obviously they are using compound that is much more vulnerable to oxygen (I serious doubt it is UV, since the sole is on the deck, and it aint' saltwater, because I've seen hard old stock, still in the box).

Yes, there are many athletic shoes that work well and don't go hard. That's not really what I'm asking. Keens are good sandals. I don't care about style or marina-wear. Performance deck shoes only. It's an unusual sport in that it requires good traction on smooth surfaces, but no running.

So what about Gill, Harken, Helly Hanson, Musto, Slam, Duberry, and others? The sample size is going to be much less than Sperry (because WM carries Sperry), but still, if you have any experiences, please share.

My most recent pair of Sperrys (Harbor Masters) are ~ 3 years and are getting slick, noticeably slipperier than my New Balance trainers. I sanded the soles a good bit, and now they are a little better than the NB and the low-profile and cleaner design makes them better on deck. But by spring I'm betting they'll be too slick for safe use. Sure, I could wear them around town, but they have little padding and are crappy walking shoes.
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Old 08-12-2022, 10:55   #2
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Re: Deck Shoes. Which go hard in 1-2 seasons and which don't

Sperrys are one of the few available in extra wide, so I don't know much else.

The bottom composition varies considerably among styles and colors of Sperrys. I have a pair of the Billfish, which have more of a gum rubber like sole material, but they are only two years old. It is siped and has good wet traction. So far so good but time will tell. I have a more traditional pair with a brown TPE-like outsole but just got them and can't speak to traction.
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Old 08-12-2022, 11:03   #3
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Re: Deck Shoes. Which go hard in 1-2 seasons and which don't

I use Gill and Musto "deck trainers" which are indistinguishable from ordinary athletic shoes as far as I can tell other than the salty brand. I sail some thousands of miles a year and spend at least 4 months a year on board, so I get max 2 years out of them before they fall apart. No problems with the soles getting hard. I think any decent athletic shoe would be just as good.
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Old 08-12-2022, 11:30   #4
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Re: Deck Shoes. Which go hard in 1-2 seasons and which don't

Iíve had sperry Gil and dubsrrus. None made it through a season of heavy west. The most common fault was hf sole separating from the uppers
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Old 08-12-2022, 11:48   #5
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Re: Deck Shoes. Which go hard in 1-2 seasons and which don't

I've actually found fishing shoes to be better. I've been using these and love them:


https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/worl...-shoes-for-men


I usually wear wide, but these are pretty wide and fit well.
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Old 08-12-2022, 11:58   #6
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Re: Deck Shoes. Which go hard in 1-2 seasons and which don't

These may be a product that is of a "Buy once, cry once" nature, but the very high quality and US made sets them apart.
They also provide a discount for veterans.

https://gokeyusa.com/home/gokey-shoes/gokey-boat-shoe/
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Old 08-12-2022, 12:39   #7
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Deck Shoes. Which go hard in 1-2 seasons and which don't

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowdrie View Post
These may be a product that is of a "Buy once, cry once" nature, but the very high quality and US made sets them apart.

They also provide a discount for veterans.



https://gokeyusa.com/home/gokey-shoes/gokey-boat-shoe/


Bought high end shoes they failed within2 years dubarry , dockside t, musto
Best so far was a .Ä25 Chinese pair
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Old 08-12-2022, 12:47   #8
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Re: Deck Shoes. Which go hard in 1-2 seasons and which don't

Sorry I can't help, thinwater. I've tried stream walkers, Tevas, and finally settled on cross trainers. Even my stream walkers went slick, but not as fast as Sperry. We did find that sanding the Sperry soles with coarse sandpaper would make a temporary improvement. But I found the Sperry uppers didn't last all that long before cracking.

Good luck in your search.

Ann
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Old 08-12-2022, 12:55   #9
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Re: Deck Shoes. Which go hard in 1-2 seasons and which don't

I buy a bag of canvas slip-on's from Walmart when on sale for $7.99. The ones I'm wearing are over 2 yrs old and still good. When they fail I've got 5 new pair wrapped up in the bilge Got tired of paying $100 a year to Sperry.
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Old 08-12-2022, 13:00   #10
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Re: Deck Shoes. Which go hard in 1-2 seasons and which don't

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Bought high end shoes they failed within2 years dubarry , dockside t, musto
Best so far was a .Ä25 Chinese pair
Perhaps you might read thru the 32 reviews, many of which were written by boaters and see what they have to say.
I believe that 30 or 31 of the reviews gave 5 stars.
I have Gokey shoes and boots that are now over 35 years old, and they have never been babied, still just fine.
After 170 years they know how to make footwear.
Many companies that make "high end" stuff, in reality just make expensive "high fashion", it's a common enough trait among European makers.
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Old 08-12-2022, 14:18   #11
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Re: Deck Shoes. Which go hard in 1-2 seasons and which don't

Vans. To me the classic vans are super comfortable, long lasting, long gripping.

Come in different styles and different colors.



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Old 08-12-2022, 14:23   #12
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Re: Deck Shoes. Which go hard in 1-2 seasons and which don't

Let's keep it going!


My early take aways:
  • Sail a lot and wear the shoes shore-side too, so that they are done in within 2 years. (They are not meant to last.)
  • Some people can wear shoes that are unsupportive and crappy. (I can't. They would cost me pain and dollars in terms of knee problems and foot problems. They don't work for most of us. Likewise, we can't go barefoot either, although some swear by that.)
  • Some people post from cell phones and don't proof the posts. Hard to read.
I've heard enough bad stuff about high-end shoes and boots (Duburry and other) that I don't buy the "cry once" argument. Any rubber product will harden enough that within 5 years it will be no better than a cheap trainer. If it's much over $150 you are paying for prestige and style, not performance. I have paid real money for mountaineering boots, ice skates, dress shoes, and the like. Different IMO.
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Old 08-12-2022, 15:10   #13
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Re: Deck Shoes. Which go hard in 1-2 seasons and which don't

I bought Helly Hanson "Hydropower" shoes and while they are strong and comfortable, the soles went hard quickly (a year?) and now they are so slippery I can't wear them. I won't buy shoes from HH again.
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Old 08-12-2022, 15:12   #14
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Re: Deck Shoes. Which go hard in 1-2 seasons and which don't

Many people find Dunlop Volleys a good (and cheap) option.
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Old 08-12-2022, 15:15   #15
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Re: Deck Shoes. Which go hard in 1-2 seasons and which don't

Quote:
Originally Posted by flee27 View Post
Vans. To me the classic vans are super comfortable, long lasting, long gripping.

Come in different styles and different colors.

Foster

Yup, I wore those in the 70s, they've been suggested by a few, and I tried on a pair yesterday (just didn't fit my feet, unfortunately). Great grip, very popular with skateboarders.


Did they go hard? Mine (back in the day) never lasted long enough due to hard use on concrete.
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