The Best & Most Comfortable Sailing Shoes

Sailing Gear

You may have seen it on one of those movies, where glamorous models and their hosts enjoy a day in the sun, sailing and partying. The whole experience is enviable and makes you want to go out on your boat and enjoy the sun too.

Their suntanned bodies covered in bikinis,T-shirts and briefs makes you think about the ho-hum sailing clothes that you wear when you are out on the water.

However, as your eyes travel down the length of their well-toned bodies, you realize one thing that is absolutely shocking:

They are all wearing flip-flops.

Now wearing flip-flops on boats may seem fashionable in the movies, but these are the most unsafe footwear that you should war on deck. They are slippery when wet, and they do not have the best traction, especially I unsteady waters.

You have to put a lot of thought into choosing the best and safest sailing shoes. We also have information on the best sailing gear too if you are looking for more than just shoes.

Here we look at what you need to consider,and give you a brief look at some of the best sailing shoes on the market today.

What to look for when choosing the best and safest sailing shoes.

Materials

The best sailing shoes are made using a wide-range of materials. Some are made from tough leather that will weather the conditions of the water, while others boast of synthetic materials that allow your feet to breathe.

Non-Slip Soles

The best shoes should have non-slip soles,which allow you to have better grip, even on slippery decks. A non-slip sole that has grooves is much better as it provides added traction.

Insides

Think about the materials and design of the inside of the sailing shoes. Basically they should be able to keep your feet dry, and the designs of today allow for quick draining and drying shoes.

Size

Make sure that you have comfortable shoes,which will enable you to move freely, and still have a snug fit. Sailing shoes do not come in the same sizing as traditional shoes, so make sure you consult your store clerk, or manufacturers comparison table before ordering.

Let us take a look at some of the best and safest sailing shoes.

1)      Sperry Men’s Sea Kite Sports Moc Deck Shoes

sailing shoes

These are shoes best suited for mild to moderate sailing conditions. They are great for sailing on a leisurely trip,rather than competitive or extreme sailing. They are created from durable leather to protect your feet from getting wet.

They have a tough rubber sole giving you a high-degree of traction when on deck. The tough leather also has a traction grip, giving them a firmer grip. When you get off the boat and want to explore your landing site, the soles protect your feet from rocks and uneven land.

The shoes also have a tough stitch making them durable and are less likely to tear. They also have laces running on the side, which adds to the non-tearing feature.

These shoes are fashionable, light and unbelievably comfortable. You may wear these shoes when you are on deck or on the street without feeling out of place or experiencing any discomfort. The rubber sole does not leave any marks, which is an added advantage for boat owners who pride themselves with the smoothness of their decks.

The comfortable nature of the shoes also makes them ideal for summer fashion, whether you go sailing or not. They fit in well with casual slacks or shorts and can be won comfortably without socks. So if you are a sailor who wants to have a casual look, especially during weekends at the beach, then these re the best option for you.

Pros

·        They are comfortable on land and water

·        Their slip-on nature makes it easy to slip in and out of the shoes

·        They are made from tough leather so they are durable

Cons

·        The leather design makes them retain water longer

·        They are not ideal for sailing during cold weather conditions

 

2)      Dynamic Pro II MustoSailing Shoes

 

best shoes for sailing

These are shoes that are specially designed for sports sailing, rather than leisurely sailing. Do not judge these shoes by their average sporty look; these are fully functional sailing shoes and come with a lot of features best suited for boating.

The shoes are made from water-proof synthetic materials and they will keep your feet protected against the water and spray that comes with racing a boat or catamaran.

They also have a very firm grip thanks to their specially designed breathable, water-prof high-traction, Grip Flex soles.No matter how much water there is on deck, you can safely and comfortably runaround the deck without worrying about slipping.

They have a TPU welded overlay in their upper, which offers better lateral support. A shock-absorbing heel cage enables you to have added traction and protection.

The design of the shoe also allows for free movement of water and air so they dry faster, which is great when you want your feet to remain fresh even after wearing the shoes for the whole day. Basically,even after being fully drenched in a race, the shoes will dry out fully after being left out in the sun for 20 to 30 minutes.

The shoes have an XPL drainage system which stops salt water from pooling inside as this could affect your feet.

Their design is specifically targeted at warm weather sailing so you should no use them in cold weather conditions or when "trapezing" on a catamaran.

Pros

·        They have an antimicrobial,quick-drying design

·        They have a great and supportive inner design

·        They are excellent shoes for racing during warmer months.

·        They have a great aesthetic feel for those who are fashion conscious.

Cons

·        These are not great for cold weather conditions or when trapezing.

 

3)      Gore-Tex Ocean Racer Sailing Boots

racer sailing boots

These are boots specifically designed for sailing during the colder months. Your feet should be warm and dry, and these boots do a great job during extreme conditions.

Despite the fact that they are designed as tough and warm boots, they are quite flexible and will not hinder movement on the deck. The boots are also breathable and water-proof.

How is this design possible?

The use of a revolutionary material called Gore-Tex. This material is flexible, water-proof, breathable and durable,making these boots a great asset to any cold-weather sailing enthusiast.

The design of these boots not only makes them ideal for racing in cold, choppy waters, but also for commercial fishermen who spend days out in the cold deep seas searching for fish.

The heat-containing design of the boots makes them unsuitable for sailing during the warmer months. One would argue that the Gore-Tex material will allow for fresh air to move around the boots during warm weather, but there are other options that you can explore, which would be more apt.

Unlike tradition rubber sailing boots, you do not have to worry about rubbing on the upper calves. They have excellent Gore-Tex lining which protects against scratching your skin.

The boots have an excellent sole which gives you traction when moving around the boat in cold weather. It is called“Grip Flex Multi-Directional” and has a very sticky rubber compound ideal for extreme conditions.

When you are out on deck, in choppy and cold waters, you can be sure that you are safe from any dangerous slips.

Pros

·        Grip-Tex material for breath-ability and durability.

·        Grip-Flex Multi-Directional soles for extra traction when out in extreme weather.

·        They are well designed for flexibility for easy movement.

Cons

·        These are not great for warm weather conditions.

 

4)      Dubarry Ultima Sailing Boots

sailing shoes

This are perhaps the most durable sailing boots that you can get today – some experienced sailors say the boots can last for more than 12 years.

These are boots that are fashionable as well as functional and can be worn with any outfit. The boots offer great traction when out at sea and keep your feet warm – these are the most basic functions of any sailing footwear.

The boots have a revolutionary seam and sole design, which allows your feet to remain dry at all times. The tough leather is also water-proof adding to the “dryness” feature.

The boots have a traditional slip-on feature, which makes it easy to get in and out of them. They also have a thick,non-marking sole with grooves for added traction.

Their design and breathable lining make them ideal for offshore and inshore wear. The most adorable feature is that they can be worn in all weather conditions.

The boots have a Gore-Tex lining which allows fresh air to circulate within, keeping your feet dry and fresh, even if you wear them for the whole day. The leather design has waterproof compounds added during the tanning process making these boot dry, as well as light. Most leather boots have the waterproof compound added after tanning, and this makes it wear off easily.

Waterproofing during tanning also prevents the boots from cracking and shrinking over the years. This is why these boots can last for more than 12 years.

These are boots designed for serious sailors, but also quite suitable for the novice sailor who wants to use them for many years to come.

Pros

·        Waterproofing during tanning adds to the durability and waterproofing feature of the boots

·        Grip-Tex interior keeps your feet dry at all times

·        Can last for up to 12 years and more

Cons

·        They do not come with gaiters

·        They are quite expensive

 

5)      Musto GP Race Sailing Shoes

musto shoes

For those who want sailing shoes that are specifically targeted at racing, then these shoes are your best option. Musto has dominated the market when it comes to sailing shoes and the GP Race Sailing shoes live up to this reputation.

The shoes are put through rigorous testing during the design and development, right from the Gore-Tex material, right up to the overall design. The shoes have a mesh construction, ideal for breath-ability and lightness.

The supportive foot mold and sole deign also keeps your feet comfortable and make you more confident when you are racing.

The Gore-Tex liner ensures that your feet stay dry from perspiration and any water that make seep into the shoes. The material allows for free movement of fresh air adding to the comfort and dryness of your feet.

The soles are Made from Gore FlexMulti-Directional insole made for protection and comfort and a Grip Deck lower sole which allows for better grip when out at sea. The EVA midsole also works as a shock absorber during fast movement.

The overall design takes into consideration the extreme conditions that it must bear during racing. You can see the use of materials in each part of the shoes which add to the protective and functional features. It has a patented Gilly lacing system to ensure a snug fit an at all times. This is a triangular lacing system that goes around your feet.

The mesh design also makes them very light for easy movement.

Pros

·        Carefully designed for protection and comfort in every aspect.

·        Gore-Tex interior for better aeration

·        Grip Flex Multi-Directional inner sole

·        Grip Deck lower sole for better traction on deck

·        Gilly Lacing system ensures a snug fit

·        EVA midsole acts as a shock absorber

Cons

·        They are not designed for use during cold weather conditions.

In conclusion

Having the proper shoes or boots is essential when you are out at sea. There have been many documented accidents caused by wearing the wrong footwear when out on the water. Items like flip-flops are not for wearing on deck, even when sailing on a large yacht, which may seem more stable.

Always look for the best and safest sailing shoes and boots so you are protected when sailing. The shoes listed above are some of the best on the market. Not only are they safe, but they are also fashionable. Next time you go sailing with your friends, make sure that you all have proper footwear for your trip.

Tony Nderi

Tony is a creative writer and has contributed many articles to the DeepSailing community blog.You can learn more about this site in the about  us page. We set this up for a community of sailing lovers all over the world. If you'd like to send us your photos or stories, we'd love to hear from you and share it with our community. Just use our contact form and we'll get back to you.

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