Known variously as deck shoes, boat shoes, or topsiders, these slip-ons are an icon of men’s style. As the name suggests, the deck shoe got its start with sailors. Aboard a boat, where slippery decks make it difficult to maintain a firm foothold, specialised footwear became a necessity. The deck shoe’s non-marking rubber soles, and the sipping pattern cut into them, provided professional sailors and casual boat enthusiasts alike with the extra grip needed to work a deck. By the 1980s the shoes had transcended their original purpose to become fashionable footwear for the masses.
The deck shoe is distinguished by a litany of time-honored characteristics. The uppers (traditionally leather, but now available in both canvas and leather in a variety of colours and patterns) are treated with oil in order to repel water and be stain-proof. They are hand-sewn and topstitched, with mock-toe construction. The laces are traditionally, but now always, made of the same material as the uppers and constructed in a 360-degree lacing system. White, non-marking rubber soles are customary, but like most features of the deck shoe, many more options are now available.
SHOP Aquila Fender shoes for a simple, sleek, and elegant take on the classic slip-on.