Friday, January 22, 2010

Sperry Top-Siders

Women's Bluefish and Men's Billfish

For decades, after Paul Sperry in 1935 invented the iconic boat shoe with the "Razor-Siping" sole, no other brand would do.   Now, of course, they are made in China instead of Connecticut.   Choose either the Original Boat Shoe (in Classic Brown only) or the popular Billfish 3-Eye in Dark Tan, (the only acceptable color option). The Billfish is a somewhat more substantial shoe which is arguably more comfortable despite the mesh.

Women's Bluefish 2-Eye Boat Shoe

Men's 3-Eye Billfish in Dark Tan 

Men's Authentic Original Boat Shoe


Cooper said...

Should women wear them at only certain times of the year or year-round? Would you recommend wearing them with socks or without? Thank you!

manifolddestiny said...

NOOOOOOO! Not the Billfish! Not unless you're actually deep-sea fishing. Otherwise it looks like you left your boat shoes next to your running shoes and they had a pair of very unfortunate-looking children. Stick with the Originals.

Anonymous said...

Hi Muffy,
I just bought a pair of Sperry Intrepid in tan. To me they look exactly like the women's bluefish, except with fabric laces. I haven't been able to find intrepid on Sperry's site, so I wonder if they were discontinued or reintroduced as bluefish? Should I keep them? Should I replace the laces to be leather, or stick with the fabric ( like on the men's billfish)... The other option was a pair of bluefish in dark brown deerskin with leather laces. The color didn't appeal to me that much, because I think the tan looks more classic, but then again, I'd like the most authentic/ original pair, since I can only afford one pair. Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated!!!!

CharlestonPrep said...

I own several pairs of boat shoes, including Sperry's classic 2-eye. My favorite (and newest) pair is the Costal by Clarks, and I must say that when it comes to comfort and quality, they win hands-down. They're more supportive and cushioned, and unlike Sperry's, their medium width is more accomodating.

Philipp Mathes said...

Hi Muffy, i have seen the Searacer + GripX3 at the Sperry Website. Do you think that they are only for sailing, or can i wear them in the city too?

Thank You

andrew said...

I just replaced a venerable pair of top-siders, the traditional dark brown with white sole, with a pair of 'gold cup' ASV 2-eye boat shoes. i hate to admit it, but the thicker and more cushioned sole is much more comfortable than the originals. The sole is also different than the original siped sole. Obviously haven't seen a wet deck yet, but they have done well with slick sidewalks. 3 colors - dark brown that is close to the originals, a medium brown, and black. hard to replace such a great shoe, but this is a nice alternative if one actually must walk any distance in the shoes. lined with lambskin, so they feel wonderful with bare feet.

Dave said...

How about Sperry vs. Sebago?

I've had the idea that Sebago is made somewhat better than Sperry. The fact that you can get Sperrys anywhere, while Sebagos are harder to find would in and of itself also tend to back up my thinking.

Having said that, I have two pair of the original Sperry Topsiders - one is well over twenty years old and the other is at least fifteen, and the bottoms on both are still good. With some shoe cream I am able to keep both pair in good condition, and was able to restore the older pair to where I didn't need to pitch them. They even survived some salt water abuse.

About ten years ago I bought a pair of Sebago Clovehitches, which I find much easier on the feet, legs, and back for walking and normal wear than original boat shoes. Although boat shoes have give better footing on the pitching deck of a sailboat.

I wanted to buy another of Sebagos, but the newer Clovehitch II is now only in nu-buck which I'm not thrilled with. I have also seen the Sperry Billfish, but am not sure whether they're made as well.

I would be curious about peoples' experience with the Sebago Clovehitch vs. Sperry Billfish, and for that matter, original boat shoes - Sebago Docksides vs. Sperry Topsiders.

Some time in the next few months we'll be able to wear them again!


EEC III said...

Good lord, people. If you ever think it's about comfort over canon, you've lost your way. We are the folks who refuse to turn on the furnace until the timbers of the house begin to moan. Where's your sense of pride in true yankee thrift? If you are asking about the acceptability of other brands, let alone other colors, truly you are lost.