Spring has sprung and, even if a pandemic hadn’t made every day casual Friday, that means it’s time to loosen up your sartorial routine. The warmer months bring the unique joy of bidding socks adieu and setting your ankles free. And lucky for you, there’s a new wave of seriously stylish boat shoes reviving an old summertime classic. Originally a utilitarian bit of workwear for sailors, boat shoes were built for function: water-resistant uppers, anti-slip soles. While those crisp white soles were designed to avoid scuffing a ship’s deck, they also speak to more leisurely pursuits: sunset sails on the Cape and poolside lounging at the country club. So, it was only natural that the boat shoe was adopted by mid-century preps and became an Ivy style grail.
The boat shoe is, in many ways, the perfect shoe for right now: fuss-free chic, whether you’re kicking around the house or strolling around town. From traditionally reverent top-siders to streetwear-inflected riffs, here are ten of the best to buy now.