The best designer boat shoes merge fashion with function for a perfect fit whether you are headed up on deck or off to work.

Deck shoes are a staple of any sailor’s wardrobe, but they’re not limited to sailing anymore. For many shoemakers, the classic topsider has evolved from purely functional footwear to a fashion statement. As such picking the best boat shoe will mean first selecting what you are buying them for.

When it’s time to upgrade your look with a pair of deck shoes that are as stylish as they are functional, you’ll need a tread that effortlessly transitions from the waterfront to the workplace and everywhere in between.

Each shoe listed here offers a unique take on the classic boat shoe design, but with at least as much emphasis on style as performance.

Our selection includes brands renowned for quality, craftsmanship, and style. From traditional brown leather to breathable knit uppers, these shoes come in a range of colors and materials to suit any taste.

Whether you’re planning a trip out on the water or just want a good-looking shoe for everyday wear, these designer boat shoes are sure to impress.

6 of the best designer boat shoes for men and women

Best Designer Boat Shoes_Manolo Blahnik

Manolo Blahnik Sidmouth Croc-Effect Nubuck Boat Shoes

Specifications | Sizes: 6 through 12 | Colors: Brown, Dark Gray | Construction: Nubuck leather

Reasons to Buy:

– Handcrafted in Italy.
– You will never be accused of lacking style.

Reasons to Avoid:

– Very expensive.
– More fashionable than functional.

Anyone who tells you they need an $800 pair of deck shoes probably isn’t even going sailing. And if they are, rest assured they own the boat.

The Sidmouth Croc-Effect Nubuck Boat Shoe from London-based shoemaker Manolo Blahnik is such a shoe. Perhaps better known for producing stiletto heels and sleek loafers, Blahnik offers its take on the classic men’s deck shoe with polish and style.

And no, that’s not real crocodile skin. It’s nubuck leather with a “croc effect”.

Nonetheless, one look at the outsole and there is no doubt this heavily siped tread belongs to a legitimate boat shoe. The rest—from two-eyelet laces to the stitched moccasin toe–is pure topsider, albeit with exquisite craftsmanship.

Whether or not you chose to save these shoes for the corporate retreat or muck them up day sailing with chums is, truly, a matter of style.

Buy from Mr. Porter

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Barbour Capstan Leather Boat Shoes

Specifications | Sizes: 7 through 13 | Colors: Navy/Brown | Construction: Leather

Reasons to Buy:

– Traditional deck shoe performance.
– A brand known for craftsmanship and quality.
– Comfortable and versatile footwear.

Reasons to Avoid:

– Relatively expensive.

Barbour is a venerable British clothier best known for waxed cotton jackets and other sporty apparel. The brand conjures images of driven game, fine double guns, and country living.

Yet it also makes a line of boating footwear ranging from traditional deck shoes to wedged soles and heavily lugged stompers that are boat shoes in name only.

But the Barbour Capstan is undeniably yachty. From the two-toned leather upper to the stitched apron toe, this is a shoe as comfortable on the water as it is in the workplace.

The microfiber and cotton liner will keep you fresh all day, and there’s plenty of insole padding for support.

Overall, this is a shoe with as much polish as performance, and it easily fits our category of the best designer boat shoes.

Buy from Saks Fifth Avenue

Hilfiger Panly

Tommy Hilfiger Panly Boat Shoe

Specifications | Sizes: 7 through 13 | Colors: White and Blue | Construction: Canvas and leather

Reasons to Buy:

– Lightweight canvas upper.
– Leather collar for comfort.
– Breezy and affordable.

Reasons to Avoid:

– Not as durable as leather shoes.
– Less resistant to stains.

Do you want a shoe made of material a little lighter than leather? Check out the Tommy Hilfiger Panly Boat Shoe.

This stylish and comfortable sneaker is made from canvas with a high-quality leather collar and a rubber outsole. Though it is not exactly a siped sole, the wavy tread pattern is clearly intended for extra grip on wet surfaces.

The shoe features a classic boat shoe design with the iconic Tommy Hilfiger logo on the side, giving it a touch of elegance.

Hilfiger’s Panly Boat shoe has a cushioned footbed for support and shock absorption, making it easy to wear for extended periods.

If you want to look outside the leather topsider category, the Panly is a stylish and functional shoe that will keep boaters safe and comfortable on deck.

Buy from Amazon

Best Designer Boat Shoes_Sperry Highland

Sperry Women’s Highland Platform

Specifications | Sizes: 5 through 12 | Colors: Baby Blue, Tan | Construction: Premium leather

Reasons to Buy:

– Guaranteed to elevate your style.
– Two neutral colors go with any outfit.

Reasons to Avoid:

– Impractical as a real boat shoe.
– Tripping hazard.

Looking for a fashion-first women’s boat shoe? While it’s hardly ideal for serious sailing, the Sperry Highland Platform Boat Shoe does boast serious style points.

With its 2-inch platform outsole, this loafer is a little bit retro and a whole lot of attitude.

Hidden gores at the tongue provide slip-on convenience, while the rawhide two-eyelet laces ensure a comfortable fit.

The non-marking outsole features a moderately siped tread, making it suitable for slippery surfaces.

Of course, this is a deck shoe in the sense of trend rather than tradition. But all in all, the Sperry Highland Platform Boat Shoe is a stylish choice sure to complement any fashion-forward wardrobe.

Buy from Sperry

Best Designer Boat Shoes_Timberland Union Wharf

Timberland Union Wharf 2.0

Specifications | Sizes: 6.5 through 12.5 | Colors: Medium Grey, Dark Green, Beige, Black, White, Navy | Construction: Eco-friendly textile

Reasons to Buy:

– Environmentally friendly.
– Light and breathable.
– A functional boat shoe.

Reasons to Avoid:

– Not a siped tread.
– May run narrow.

If you want to look good wearing the best boat shoes as well as feel good about protecting the environment, check out Timberland’s Union Wharf 2.0.

The eco-friendly upper is made with a fabric derived from 30 percent recycled cotton and 70 percent renewable wood pulp.

Beyond the textile innovation, this is also a functional boat shoe. The rubber outsole does provide traction; however, it is lugged rather than siped, making it more appropriate for casual wear than actual boating.

With its sneaker-like profile, the Union Wharf has an EVA-blend footbed to provide support and cushioning for long days on or off the water.

The canvas-like upper is light and breathable, and it features a mesh lining to keep your feet feeling fresh on deck or on shore.

Dune Burnner
Dune Burnner Knitted Boat Shoes

Specifications | Sizes: 6 through 11 | Colors: Tan and Navy | Construction: Knit upper with rubber sole.

Reasons to Buy:

– Smart-looking casual footwear.
– Good for hot weather.
– Affordable.

Reasons to Avoid:

– Knit upper seems flimsy.

With its loose mesh upper and classic boat shoe design, The Dune Burnner Knitted Boat Shoe is certainly unique.

It’s available in tan or navy, two colors that pair well with just about any wardrobe.

However, when it comes to life on board a boat, this shoe may fall short. The knitted upper and thickly padded insole seem unlikely to bear up well in wet conditions.

This sharp-looking summer shoe is better suited for casual wear on land rather than everyday boating.

Overall, the Dune Burnner Knitted Boat Shoe is a trendy option for those searching for the best designer boat shoes. It’s a unique take on the classic topsider with an emphasis on style.

Buy from John Lewis

Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Head to Amazon’s dedicated sailing page for more marine products.