Along with a polo shirt and chinos, the boat shoe was once a hallmark of the New England prepster’s uniform. But the classic, unisex slip-ons have found their way into the wardrobes of fashion-forward girls (even Kate Mara’s a fan). You don’t have to be strolling down the pier in Cape Cod to wear a pair of these nautical-inspired shoes; in fact, they’re as stylish for city streets as they are for a yacht outing. Though the latest versions are playful—rendered in glittery metallic or trimmed with bright red laces—boat shoes haven’t lost their aristocratic appeal. Keep reading for the coolest riffs on this Current Classic.
On The Street
When it comes to warm-weather footwear, comfortable boat shoes are ideal (bonus: no socks required). We spotted Mara out in New York wearing a casually chic RVCA hat, Roxy dress, and Coach purse, a cool off-duty ensemble that called for a little extra polish. The actress’ canvas boat shoes do just the trick. We’re also fond of the Sperry Top-Sider Cloud Logo A/O 2-Eye Boat Shoes ($90) in Pewter/Blue/Silver on street stylephile Jesse Maricic. This eye-catching metallic pair is a far cry from traditional brown leather boat shoes, which brings us to the array of fun and colourful pairs available right now.
On The Market
Lanvin Metallic-Trimmed Boat Shoes ($595) in Light Pink
Grosgrain ribbon gives Lanvin’s gorgeous rose gold boat shoes a particularly luxe feel. Slip on these stunners with a floral skirt and crisp button down.
Milly for Sperry Top-Sider Original 2-Eye Boat Shoes ($130) in Blue Floral Print
Sperry Top-Sider, which debuted in 1935, is known for their iconic boat shoes, while Milly’s modern, highly feminine designs are a fashion-insider favourite. Their recent collaboration produced a standout pair in a lovely floral print that would look perfect with a white sundress.
Topshop Tamia Flatform Boat Shoes ($52)
If you don’t want to sacrifice height, we suggest Topshop’s flatform-style boat shoes. Made of black patent leather and trimmed in white laces, this edgy pair’s best for the downtown girl on the go.
American Eagle Canvas Boat Shoes ($40)
Look chic at your next backyard barbecue in American Eagle’s bubblegum pink pair styled with rolled-up chinos and a striped shirt.
Paloma Boat Shoes ($99) in Blue
These textured snakeskin boat shoes inject your outfit with exotic flair. Wear them to brighten up a pair of casual Bermuda shorts.
Coach Richelle Glitter Boat Shoes ($138) in Gold
Add a little glitz to a standard spring uniform, like a trench coat, t-shirt, and skinnies, with Coach’s sparkly, notice-me-now boat shoes.
Photo of Kate Mara, courtesy of Splash News; street style photo of Jesse Maricic, courtesy of Micah Gianneli.