There’s seriously nothing better than a perfectly broken-in pair of boat shoes. Okay, maybe a day on the docks with a cold drink, but we can’t imagine better shoes to take you there. The best broken-in boat shoes feel like a second skin. They fit so well you don’t even realize they’re on your feet. But how do you break in your boat shoes to feel so amazing in the first place?
Step 1: Make Sure You Have the Right Size
Having the right size is key for having a perfect fit. You want to be sure your feet are comfortable in your shoes—that there’s enough space for your toes to wiggle, and that they’re just snug enough they won’t fall off. No matter how many times you try to break in too-tight shoes or too-loose shoes, it just won’t work.
Step 2: Go for Leather
Classic leather is easier to break in than other textiles or synthetic/patent leathers. Most of our leather boat shoes are unlined—that means they’ll quickly and more accurately mold to the shape of your feet (depending on frequency of wear and your body heat) because there isn’t another layer that also needs to take shape.
However, leather also tends to dry out after time, so if you want that nice broken-in feeling, wear your boat shoes a lot when they’re new (aka when the material is most pliable). If you wear them less often and the leather dries, that may impact how (and how fast) they mold to your feet.
Hint: We sell Leather Cleaner & Conditioner to bring dry leather back to life.
Step 3: Think About Socks
Whether or not you wear socks with your boat shoes will also determine how they mold to your feet. Socks will make the shoes feel tighter because they add volume to your feet. They may stretch the leather, so if you break in a pair wearing socks and then wear the shoes barefoot, they might feel loose.
Finding the right shoe size can be tricky. Here’s the scoop on how Sperry boat shoes should fit.