Why Mens Deck Shoes?

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Boat shoes also known as deck shoes started out like most men’s fashion styles for clothing and shoes as well, not as a design for design’s sake but as a specific design for a specific task. In this case the need was for shoes that men could wear on boats and yacht’s that would allow them to keep a true footing even when there were waves breaking over the vessel and to ensure that their feet never lost grip. The implications of slipping and losing balance when you are on board a ship or any kind of sea going vessel are a whole lot more serious than the implications of it when you are on solid ground. When on dry land slipping and falling could mean that you might hurt yourself a bit or drop what you were holding or just embarrass yourself and shrug it off with a laugh. At sea on the other hand if your footwear loses traction and you slip and fall you could hurt yourself very badly and there is always a very real chance or rather a risk of falling over board or falling on the deck and then having a wave sweep you overboard. The seriousness of this risk cannot be overstated so a special kind of footwear was needed to take on this task.

As the old saying goes necessity is the mother of invention and in nineteen thirty five an American inventor and avid boating enthusiast by the name of Paul Sperry observed that his dog could walk on ice and on slippery surfaces just fine due to a pattern of fine grooves on its paws. Paul Sperry took a knife and cut a similar pattern which is now known as a Siping pattern into the soles of shoes. He later developed a trademark style of shoes with leather upper and a sipped sole for grip. The shoes were also white to begin with so that the soles would not leave marks on the decks of boats which are also frequently white. Sperry’s design was quite brilliant and it soon became popular with sailors and boaters for its design and for its non skid properties which made it a very safe shoe. So great was his design in terms of practicality that in 1939 the American Navy negotiated to buy the rights to distribute men’s deck shoes to all its sailors. This resulted the shoes becoming popular all over the country and the rest as they say is history.


write by michael scott

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