The Best Way to Wear Boat Shoes

Blue boat shoes and socks on blue deck

How to Wear Boat Shoes

You don’t have to own a yacht to look like you own a yacht. Even if boat ownership isn’t your style, the boat shoe is a comfortable, sophisticated trend in men’s and women’s fashion. They are the most seaworthy of casual summer shoes, but not everyone knows how to wear them the right way and that’s including with or without socks.

Wondering how to style your boat shoes? No worries, FLAT SOCKS® won’t leave you adrift. As the best socks to wear with boat shoes, FLAT SOCKS no show socks tell you how to wear boat shoes the right way.

A pair of red boat shoes on a boat dock

What are Boat Shoes?

Boat shoes look like loafers with a more casual feel and styling. They have a soft rubber sole and either a leather or canvas upper with laces on the top and sides. The shoe’s low-profile design nestles just below the ankle making them ideal for warmer weather.

Brown boat shoes on a wooden dock

The shoes were originally designed in the 1930s by a sailor named Paul A. Sperry who wanted better traction on his shoes when walking across wet decks. He saw how his dog’s paws could run along ice without slipping, then cut grooves into his shoe tread hoping to improve their grip. Today, Sperry® is the most popular boat shoe brand in the U.S.

While boat shoes are a practical shoe for boaters, most people wear them for their comfortable feel and sophisticated look. You can’t just wear them with any old pair of jeans or dress pants, though, so it’s important to know the specifics behind wearing boat shoes.

Do You Wear Socks with Boat Shoes?

For most wannabe yachtsmen and fashion afficionados, wearing socks with boat shoes is outside the norm. On the other foot (or hand), you can wear socks with boat shoes as long as they don’t show. This maintains your sock-free look that’s so crucial to the laidback boat shoe aesthetic.

Unfortunately, most no-show socks always show, making you look like a total rookie. FLAT SOCKS are the ultimate no-show socks that go inside your boat shoes and not on your feet, meaning they never show. You get all the comfort and benefits of wearing socks without ruining your look.

Three canvas boat shoes with FLAT SOCKS no show socks inside

Why Wear Boat Shoes with Socks

If you hate the idea of wearing Sperrys with socks but still want to avoid problems like blisters and sweaty feet, FLAT SOCKS are the best socks to wear with boat shoes. There are several benefits to wearing socks with this style of shoe, and here’s what makes FLAT SOCKS the best:

  • No slip: Sliding feet cause blisters, but these socks grip the inside of your shoe and have a soft, cushy top fabric that reduces friction.
  • No sweat: Moisture-wicking fabric pulls sweat away from your feet, keeping your shoes from getting soggy because not even a sailor wants wet feet.
  • No stink: Built-in odor controlling technology keeps your feet smelling fresh, not fishy.
  • No show: More like a sockless shoe insert, FLAT SOCKS do not show past the inside of your shoes.

Stylish shoes are an investment, and you want your shoes to last longer. With fewer sweat stains, less sliding around, and no pungent smell, your boat shoes will stay in ship shape when you wear FLAT SOCKS.

Boat Shoes Outfit Ideas

Boat shoes have the comfortable, casual feel of sandals and the cultivated appearance of loafers, making them a versatile shoe for summer and spring. However, where and how you wear your boat shoes will either send your look overboard or keep you afloat:

When to Wear: You should only wear boat shoes for casual occasions. Boating with the family, going on a date or to a music festival are a few examples. If your work has a business casual dress code, replace your dress sneakers or flats with boat shoes.

How to Wear: Boat shoes look best with a pair of blue jeans, colorful chinos or capris, or plain shorts. Your pants color and styling should contrast with your shoes. A pair of plain white shorts balances well with brown boat shoes donning striped laces, while cuffed jeans are always fair play for any boat shoe outfit.

Woman wearing blue boat shoes and white shorts

Looking for the perfect outfit for your beach vacation photos, or need a few styling tips on boat shoes outfits for men? Check out the following ways to style your Sperry®, Timberland®, or Hey Dude® shoes this summer:

Navy FLAT SOCKS no show socks

The Ocean Blues

Nothing screams nautical like blue and white. For the perfect country club fit, throw on a pair of cropped ivory chinos and a plaid button down or polo shirt before slipping into your brown leather Sperrys with aqua, blue plaid, or navy FLAT SOCKS. For women, capture the ocean breeze with a soft periwinkle cardigan, white shorts, and nude leather boat shoes.

Sand FLAT SOCKS no show socks

Life's a Beach

From digging your toes in the sand to listening to loud music with friends around a bonfire, there are lots of things to do at the beach this summer. Try a pastel jumper, woven shawl, and tan boat shoes with sand FLAT SOCKS for the ultimate beachy look. Chill out by the fire with a pair of rolled up jeans, your favorite baggy tank, and dark blue boat shoes with tie dye FLAT SOCKS.

Tropical Sunset FLAT SOCKS no show socks

Pina Cool-ada

Love a good Saturday night with the boys at your favorite dockside bar? Or maybe you’re planning the perfect girl’s retreat this summer? Enjoy the season’s carefree vibes with tropical sunset and fineapple FLAT SOCKS. Pair either socks with khakis, a plain colored tee, and canvas boat shoes, or a flowing floral dress, a sun hat, and chestnut brown boat shoes.

Light Heather Grey FLAT SOCKS no show socks

Ocean’s Three: The Classics

For business casual outfits, try this James-Bond-on-vacation look. Dark wash denim jeans or tailored trousers, a white button-up, and a sharp blazer lends the ideal laidback look for an office environment. Opt for boat shoes in neutral shades of light or dark brown and keep the theme going with a pair of classic FLAT SOCKS in black or light heather grey.

Rainbow FLAT SOCKS no show socks

Whatever Floats Your Boat

Many people wear colorful socks to match their personality to their outfit. You can still show your true colors while wearing boat shoes with no socks. Slip a pair of bright patterned FLAT SOCKS into your favorite pair of comfy Hey Dudes or neutral colored boat shoes and balance it out with jeans shorts and a vibrant top.

Say Ahoy to FLAT SOCKS for Sperrys

Make FLAT SOCKS your lifesaver for stinky, sweaty feet and fashion faux pas when you wear boat shoes with socks. The best sock for Sperrys, Hey Dudes, and other brands of sockless shoes, FLAT SOCKS keep your feet fresh and your style on course. (Have a kid who loves boat shoes, too? Check out FLAT SOCKS Kids for the best socks for kid’s boat shoes.)

FLAT SOCKS is not affiliated with Sperry®, HeyDude®, Timberland®, or any other shoe manufacturer. Reference and trademarks used above are examples of shoe types that FLAT SOCKS are designed to work with.