Ali Wood tests the Chatham Alcyone II deck shoes on a narrowboat charter in Wales
I’ve always hankered after a pair of Chathams. The family-run company has made country and marine footwear in Britain for over 30 years, and has earned a reputation as the go-to place for dashing deck shoes.
With a holiday coming up I opted to test the women’s Chatham Alcyone II shoe, made from soft, washable grey nubuck. Ordering online I was worried I’d end up with a pair of shoes that don’t fit, particularly as they’re the slip-on design.
Typically women have a narrower heel in relation to the ball of the foot, and I have given up on many unisex or men’s boat shoes in the past. So I was thrilled when they arrived and were a perfect fit.
As it was autumn I wore them over socks during our canal boat holiday in the Brecon Beacons. I very much liked the colour and design, and they were grippy on wet decks.
And what really impressed me about the Chatham Alcyone boat shoes was how easily I could slip them on and off to go inside and out (something you do a lot on a narrowboat) and yet still comfortably walk three miles into town.
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I did also try them over bare feet while in Gran Canaria for the start of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, but they required a bit more breaking in until comfortable in that respect. However, as a stylish multi-purpose boat shoe they proved ideal for me worn over socks.