It was a simple invention born of necessity

Our founder, Paul Sperry, was an avid sailor with a passion for discovery. He was an inventor and explorer. An independent spirit enamored with the power, freedom, and unlimited possibilities of the sea. He was faced with a real-life problem that stood in the way of his passion: How to maintain traction on a slippery boat deck. No solution existed in 1935.

Paul found his inspiration from his best friend: his dog Prince. Noticing that he didn’t slip on ice, he turned Prince’s paw over to find hundreds of small cracks and lines going in all directions. These became the inspiration behind his inventive non-slip sole and the world’s first boat shoe.

Sperry Boat Shoe, Patent- Original - Today

Original PatentFirst PrototypeToday’s Authentic Original

In that moment of inspiration, he not only created an icon, he launched a brand: the perfect union of an inventive idea, a man, his passion, and the allure of the sea.

An enduring icon crafted for function transcends time to become a badge of attainable luxury and authentic craft.

Today, Paul’s inventive outlook and optimistic spirit continues to permeate everything we do, from beach clean-ups with the team to Ambassador outings at sea. We’ve shared just a couple of our ongoing initiatives here.

Employee Beach Clean-Ups

At Sperry, our love and respect for the sea starts with Our Crew. That’s why, throughout the year, we inspire volunteers to join us in the conservation of our local beaches and coastline.

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Emily Penn during the Beach Clean Up

Sailing for Good

With a shared passion for the sea, Sperry has partnered with Pangaea Exploration to preserve and protect our big blue planet — while also having a great time.

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Pro Sailor during America's Cup