Whether you're up against choppy seas or a downpour, prepare for your next adventure with the best men's deck shoes...
Every crew member has a checklist of safety requirements they must meet before they set sail on their next adventure, but one item on the bill that can often be overlooked is a pair of the best men’s deck shoes.
While this bit of kit has become a fashion accessory for some, it is essential at sea for sailors because of the protection and manoeuvrability they will get while facing different conditions on the open water.
Best men’s deck shoes at a glance
Best traditional deck shoe – Crew Austell deck shoe
Best luxury men’s deck shoe – Dubarry Commodore XLT
Best boat shoes for comfort – Quayside Sydney Boat Shoes
What are deck shoes?
Not sure what the difference is between deck shoes, sneakers or even loafers? Simply put, deck shoes are footwear designed to provide grip and security on a slippery deck. Often made from leather or canvas, they are created to keep your feet warm, dry and protected from infection.
If you’re wondering what sailing footwear to select, you can go head-to-head with deck shoes vs boat shoes thanks to our guide on the best boat shoes for men and women. But, if you can’t imagine checking the guard wires are tight and the lashings are in good condition without a pair of top-siders, here are our favourites.
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8 of the best men’s deck shoes
Crew Austell deck shoe
Best traditional deck shoe
Specifications: Sizes: 7 up | Colors: Brown | Material: Leather
Reasons to buy: As well as being 100% leather, it’s also non-slip, looks great on and off the boat, and is good quality.
Reasons to avoid: It is a long-time classic, so don’t expect anything fancy.
The Austell deck shoe is about as traditional a deck shoe as you can buy. Featuring 100% chocolate brown leather uppers and non-slip rubber soles, these shoes have been crafted to look great on and off the boat.
In creating its Austell deck shoe, Crew Clothing has paid total respect to the enduring appeal of this long-time design classic. So don’t expect anything fancy, it won’t be there.
But what you do get in return for your investment is a high-quality pair of shoes built for purpose and built to last.
Chatham Galley II men’s leather boat shoes
Best athletic deck shoe
Specifications: Sizes: 6 up | Colors: Burgundy, Dark Tan, Navy, Navy / Tan, Tan | Material: Leather
Reasons to buy: Wide range of colours and sizes | Anti-bacterial sole with shock absorption and comfort | Athletic
Reasons to avoid: Lace isn’t designed to be replaceable
Available in five colourways, including a distinctive navy and tan option, the Chatham Galley II comes in whole sizes from 6 to 12.
Chatham tell us its Galley II design is athletic-inspired, and with its sporty looks and use of contrasting materials and colours, we can see exactly what they mean.
The Galley II also has anti-bacterial Sole Spring Poron performance cushioning for shock absorption and maximum comfort. Completing the picture inside the shoe, and enhancing its overall quality appeal, is a textile lining.
Quayside Sydney Boat Shoes
Best men’s deck shoes for comfort
Specifications: Sizes: 7 up | Colors: Walnut | Material: Leather
Reasons to buy: They are comfortable and are a good pick for the wardrobe thanks to their classic style with a modern touch. The shoes also have good grip and are good value for money.
Reasons to avoid: Not to everyone’s taste because they are chunky.
Quayside’s Men’s Sydney is a good value-for-money deck shoe particularly if you buy them from Amazon. As well as its robust, masculine looks, it is well-rated for comfort and fit according to the many favourable online reviews.
And, with over 30 years in the business producing performance deck shoes, it’s not surprising Quayside’s Sydney Boat Shoe is rated well when it comes to grip on deck thanks to its non-marking/slip-resistant sole.
Manufactured using the finest soft nubuck Walnut leather with mesh side panels to aid breathability, and a fully cushioned footbed, there is no doubt the Sydney Boat Shoe is a good option.
Dubarry Mizen X LT Deck shoes
Best hybrid deck shoes
Specifications: Sizes: 7 up | Colors: Brown, Walnut, Navy | Material: Leather
Reasons to buy: These deck shoes are for dual use (on and off the water). The slip-on tan design makes them both stylish and functional.
Reasons to avoid: Not the option for you if you’re on a budget.
The styling of Dubarry’s men’s Mizen X LT deck shoe makes them the perfect hybrid design for both sailing and shoreside use. Although this loafer-style shoe is slip on, as opposed to the more classic lace-up deck shoe, it is fairly high cut to provide a close fit.
For the fashion-conscious sailor it’s a good choice, particularly when wearing with a pair of chinos or shorts. The shoe’s ultra-lightweight construction gives them that trainer feel, and the shock-absorbing sole makes them extremely comfortable.
As is common with all Dubarry’s quality footwear, the Dubarry Mizen X LT has sealed hand-stitching and, to ensure the shoe remains as watertight as possible, it has a DryFast-DrySoft finish to the nubuck leather.
What’s more, the Dubarry NonSlip-NonMarking sole is designed to work well in both wet and dry conditions.
Tribord Sailing 500 boat shoes
Best budget deck shoe
Specifications: Sizes: 7 up | Colors: Dark Chocolate, Ebony, Carbon Grey | Material: Leather
Reasons to buy: Along with the wide range of colours and sizes, these shoes also feature an anti-bacterial sole with shock absorption.
Reasons to avoid: Lacks durability in the long term, which mirrors the budget price.
The Tribord Sailing 500 boat shoes are a classic choice from Decathlon. The pair are made of flexible full-grain salt-water resistant leather, with a non-marking siped rubber sole.
As well as the extraordinary price, we think you’ll like features such as the padded leather insole and tongue. The biggest downside for us is that these deck does have no fabric linings that absorb foot odours.
Dubarry Regatta boat shoes
Best deck shoe for durability
Specifications: Sizes: 5.5 up | Colors: Donkey Brown, Navy, Chestnut, Extra Fit Donkey Brown, Midnight | Material: Leather / Fabric
Reasons to buy: Durable | Excellent water resistance | Quick-drying, won’t become hard and inflexible
Reasons to avoid: Premium price
The Dubarry name is synonymous with sailing footwear and has an outstanding reputation for durability.
The Regatta deck shoe combines elements of a traditional style, including leather and nubuck, with technical fabrics.
The result is excellent water resistance, reasonably quick drying and excellent protection against wind chill.
A dry soft and dry fast finish means that, unlike many leather boat shoes, these won’t become hard and inflexible after a dunking in the sea.
Sebago Portland Cape Town
Best boat shoes for style
Specifications: Sizes: 5.5 up | Colors: Brown | Material: Leather
Reasons to buy: Classic style | Hand stitched | Continuous lace system for secure fit
Reasons to avoid: Only one colour | High end budget
When it comes to style around the dockside, there are few deck shoes to match the Sebago Portland Cape Town.
This classic brown shoe is hand-sewn, using full grain leather with snazzy cross stitch along the apron and heel and, as a nod to its American heritage, there’s heat embossed USA script and an American Flag on the back.
With Sebago’s long-standing tradition in producing fine quality deck shoes, the Portland has all the features you would expect including a leather sock lining, 360° rawhide lace system and non-marking/non-slip siped rubber soles to offer stable grip in all weather conditions.
Chatham Bermuda II G2 boat shoes
Best classic deck shoe
Specifications: Sizes: 6 up | Colors: Navy / Seahorse, Walnut / Seahorse | Material: Leather
Reasons to buy: Classic design | Razor cut rubber sole | All-around lacing
Reasons to avoid: Premium price | Unlined inner can’t absorb foot odours
These are an absolute classic design, in waxed breathable nubuck with all-around lacing and a razor cut rubber sole.
They are unlined, which means there’s no fabric that can absorb foot odours if they are worn without socks.