When I first started sailing, there were KEDS sneakers.  And if you’ve worn those basic Keds, you know that as time goes on the sole gets pretty slick. Not the best for boating.

Which is why a lot of people sailed bare foot…which was not always the best idea.  Truthfully, your feet don’t seem have the best treads for hanging on at a 45 degree angle with water breaking over them. Maybe not so bad in a Sunfish.

Then there was:


Yes – we’ve all had them. We’ve even used duct tape to hold them together – sort of a badge of honor. And they weren’t limited to wearing on boats. The 60’s gave them great popularity with the “preppy” look. Khakis, blue blazer for men, blue shirt and a madras tie.

Or something close to that.  Girls/women wore their Khaki skirts, polo shirts and cable knit sweaters. Paul Sperry, who designed these in 1935, thought his dog’s foot pads worked better than ours. That’s where the white rubber chevron sole came from.

But I have to admit that unless I was on a power boat I never raced in these. And yes, I still have my original pair.

So I bought a pair of Sperry women’s sailing sneakers. They look like regular sneakers - lighter, water drains. And they were pretty good traction. But now that I am older and no longer fleet of foot, I felt I needed something more – something as good as Spiderman!

 Enter the Sperry SON-R. Yes, I bought a pair and I’ve been wearing them around the house. But next week they will be christened in the waters of the Caribbean at the Pro-Am at the Bitter End Yacht Club. We’ll see if I can wear them ALL DAY.

And I will give you an update but they seem to have the traction I’m looking for. 


Posted on October 24, 2013 and filed under what to wear.