Sperry: The Ultimate Boating Shoes

Sperry Topsider

Today is Bastille Day. If you’re in France like me, I hope you’re having a party! We’re having one tonight but decided to start the day chilling in Paris, having a long walk along the Seine. When I wander along the river, I sometimes almost forget that I’m in the city and for a moment I imagine myself on a harbor, looking at boats. And there were no better suited shoes, then, that the ones I wore this morning, a comfy pair of original Sperry boating shoes.

The brand is huge in the US but as a French guy, I really only discovered it when I started Le club des douze as we featured them very early on. I love their story and thought that they were exactly the kind of heritage brand with a rich history that we should have on the blog. And that’s why they’re back today! What about you? Do you know how Sperry started out?

It was founded by a guy called Paul Sperry, who was born into a family of seamen. His grandpa was a ship captain, and Paul, himself, enlisted in the US Navy during World War I. Back from the war, and enriched by his experience as a sailor, he decided to invent, unsuccessfully at first, the perfect boating shoes that were light and would be safe to wear on a slippery deck. One day though, in 1935, after realizing that his dog, unlike him, could run effortlessly on slippery surfaces, and even on ice, he decided to carve grooves into the rubber sole of his shoes -just like those on his dog’s paws. Success! He had invented the first boat shoes and was about to become a famous icon of American preppy.


The style I’m wearing today is a special edition that’s made of leather though the top of the shoes is rubber, as is the sole, which displays the grooves I was just talking about. Plus, it’s blue, white and red, just like the French flag, so Bastille Day couldn’t be a better occasion to break it in!

If you’re into the brand’s more traditional boating shoes or would like to discover the full collection, head over to Sperry’s e-shop. In the meantime, make sure to let me know what you think of the pair I’m wearing on Twitter (@leclubdesdouze) or Instagram (@leclubdesdouze) where I’ll post pictures in a bit.

Sperry Topsider

Sperry Topsider

And happy Bastille Day of course!