8 Best Boat Shoes For Women Reviewed

best womens boat shoes for women

You’ve heard the term ‘boat shoe’ or ‘deck shoe’ but do you really know what they are? In general terms, the best boat shoes for women are made from canvas or leather with a non-marking sole and are designed specifically for use onboard a sailing vessel. However, ladies sailing shoes are also regarded as fashion accessories and can be worn just about anywhere because they are comfortable and practical.

In this article, we will look at these types of ladies’ deck shoes as well as a few that are not made with traditional deck shoe materials.

What To Look For In Boat Shoes

There are a number of different styles of the best women’s sailing shoes available in the marketplace. Although they are called boat shoes, not all of them are as effective as you may desire if you are a serious sailor. While the name implies that they are primarily to be worn when boating, some styles have a more casual flavor to them. As such, they are more suited to wearing onshore.

Most women’s boat shoes, particularly when worn with socks, can easily substitute sneakers or loafers, depending on the function. It is because of the design and construction material that they are so versatile. However, with this in mind, here is a list of things to look for and what you will typically find when shopping for the best boat shoes for women:

  • Uppers are traditionally found in mid to dark-brown leathers. More contemporary styles feature canvas and leather uppers in different color choices as well as in numerous patterns.
  • Uppers should be water and stain-resistant.
  • Construction is often hand-sewn and top-stitched.
  • The overall design would be identified as ‘moc-toe’ in construction.
  • Lacing systems vary but commonly include a 360-degree design.
  • Boat shoes typically have two or three sets of eyelets.
  • Laces come in different materials but usually match the uppers.
  • Rubber soles are usually white and are always non-marking.
  • Soles have patterns carved into them to provide grip and to flush away water.
  • Shock absorption features appear in many styles.
  • Comfort in design and padding (often with removable liners) are typical.
  • Breathability comes from mesh panels and lightweight construction.
  • Many styles offer quick-dry materials in the uppers.

As you can tell, the details listed above can easily describe more than just women’s deck shoes. For serious sailors, not all of these factors make for good sailing shoes. As mentioned, some boat shoes are a good choice onboard boats and yachts, while other shoes in this category are best worn on dry land and not used for any kind of sailing activity.

Regardless, for a serious sailor, boat shoes serve a very different purpose than many of the shoe styles that fall under the actual name of ‘boat shoes.’ To find out more about the best sailing shoes for men and women that are specifically designed for sailing yachts, dinghies and sailboards, click here.

How To Properly Care For Boat Shoes

Because boat shoes are exposed to elements that regular shoes are not typically (sun and saltwater) they require special care. By taking these precautions, your boat shoes will last longer and perform at their best at those times you need them most:

  • Clean the leather frequently with water-based cream shoe polish.
  • Do not use alcohol-based or silicone polish.
  • Brush frequently to remove dirt, dust, and salt deposits.
  • Clean suede boat shoes with cornmeal massages. Let sit overnight them brush clean.
  • You should hand wash canvas boat shoes unless otherwise noted.
  • Dry at room temperature. Do not dry in the sun.
  • Store with shoe trees to keep their shape intact.
  • Put on with a shoehorn to keep the back of the shoes in proper form.
  • Monitor sole condition and seek repairs when needed.

Our Picks Of The Best Women’s Boat Shoes

Many of us have been there… After a day of sailing or just a few hours on a boat, our feet ache and the soles of our feet and toes are sore from kicking blocks and treading on ropes and jib sheet tracks.

There are a lot of different brands out there making women’s sailing shoes nowadays. This can make finding the best women’s sailing shoes a little overwhelming.

That’s why we’ve decided to take a look at what we think are the best women’s sailing shoes available today. This will give you an idea of what is on the market to help you navigate through the different options available.

We’ll check out the various features you’ll want to look for, and show you that women’s sailing shoes can be functional and stylish, so you are sure to find something you like.

ImageTitleRatingMore Info
Helly Hansen Women's W Ahiga V3 Hydropower Fashion SneakerHelly-Hansen Women's Ahiga Hydropower Boating Shoes

5.0 out of 5 stars
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Helly-Hansen-Womens-Watermoc-2-Water-ShoeHelly Hansen Women's Watermoc 2 Water Shoe

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Skechers Women's Go Walk Lite Boat ShoeSkechers Women's Go Walk Lite Boat Shoe

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Sperry Top-Sider Women's Bluefish Boat ShoeSperry Top-Sider Women's Bluefish Boat Shoe

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Sperry Women's Songfish Chambray Boat ShoeSperry Women's Songfish Chambray Boat Shoe

4.2 out of 5 stars
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XTRATUF Finatic II Women’s Deck ShoesXtratuf Finatic Ii Women’s Deck Shoes

5.0 out of 5 stars
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Vibram-Womens-V-Aqua-Black-Water-ShoeVibram Women's V-Aqua Black Water Shoe

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Sperry Women's Sayel Clew Washed Canvas SneakerSperry Women's Sayel Clew Washed Canvas Sneaker

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Helly-Hansen Women’s Ahiga Hydropower Boating Shoes

Helly Hansen Hydropower Fashion Sneaker

Featuring HellyGrip rubber in the soles with siping for traction, these synthetic shoes also contain cushioning for comfort and a flexible outsole. The design includes a quick-dry mesh which makes these shoes breathable. They come with the popular HellyWear rubber construction.

This provides durability and users online rave about how much support these shoes provide. The white sole and dark shoe combination mean you can wear these shoes casually if you like.

Pros

Great fit, very comfortable
The excellent grip provides stable footing
Easy to clean with just a damp cloth
The leather strap on the heel prevents blister formation

Cons

A bit on the costly side
Not enough colors to choose from
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Helly Hansen Women’s Watermoc 2 Water Shoe

Helly Hansen Women’s Watermoc Water Shoe

Our list would be incomplete without mentioning another product from the same company. We are also fond of the look of the Helly Hansen Women’s Watermoc Water Shoe.

Equipped with a rubber sole that contains a multi-directional grip system and quick-dry mesh, this shoe is another great choice to have onboard when sailing. With a flexible and comfortable grip, you can’t go wrong with this particular brand.

Pros

Great fit, attractive design
Quick to dry
Comfortable enough to wear both off and on the boat

Cons

There is no tightening strap in the design which may be required for individuals with wider feet
The material does not give around the top which may make for a tight fit for some
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Skechers Women’s Go Walk Lite Boat Shoe

Skechers Women's Go Walk Lite Boat Shoe

Constructed with a soft canvas fabric & a smooth ‘Leather-Tex’ overlay, these shoes are stylish and functional. The synthetic sole has superior grip, stability, and shock absorption. The insole is made from a high-rebound material for maximum comfort.

The attractive appearance makes these a popular choice. Anyone who has owned a pair of Skechers will attest to how comfortable they are.

While these boat shoes may not be as good in wet conditions on the boat as others that are specifically designed for boating, they are great-looking boat shoes that you can walk in and be comfortable wearing all day.

Be sure to check them out as these boat shoes are well worth a look.

Pros

Lightweight and comfortable
Attractive-looking shoes that appear dressier than sneakers
Excellent fit

Cons

Some users found these shoes lacked sufficient support
Foot design may not work for some wearers
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Sperry Top Sider Women’s Bluefish Boat Shoe

Sperry Top Sider Women’s Bluefish Linen

Sperry is a leader in the boat shoe industry. These particular ones are made of leather and have a rubber sole. The design is a bit more on the casual side with a padded tongue for added comfort and a slotted collar. The moc-toe styling includes an upper with two eyelet lacing. These women’s leather boat shoes are also stain and water-resistant.

The casual look of these shoes as allowing them to be worn for more than just sailing as they complement many different wardrobe combinations. These shoes are also constructed in such a manner that they do not lose their shape or level of comfort regardless of how or where you choose to wear them.

Pros

A narrow-fitting shoe with a perfect fit
Great value
A good-looking boat shoe that can be worn in other settings as well

Cons

Sizing runs a little on the small side
The leather is too easy to mark
Some wearers found them far too narrow to fit properly
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Sperry Top Sider Women’s Songfish Chambray Boat Shoe

Sperry Top Sider Women’s Songfish Chambray

Our list of the best women’s boat shoes would look a bit lopsided if we did not include another quality product made by Sperry. Their Top Sider line is a classic for boat shoes. Another of our favorites happens to be the Sperry Top-Sider Women’s Songfish Chambray Boat Shoe.

Made from a combination of leather and textile construction, these shoes have a synthetic sole that is non-marking and provides excellent grip. An EVA foam midsole adds comfort and a breathable, moisture-wicking Dri-Lex lining keeps feet cool and dry. Add a 360-degree lacing system with rawhide laces and rust-proof eyelets and these are dependable shoes for boating.

Pros

The venting in the design keeps these shoes cool and comfortable
Attractive design
Some users found these fit perfectly

Cons

The sizing is too small
Only has three eyelets so lacing across the top of the foot may be an issue
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Xtratuf Finatic II Women’s Deck Shoes

XTRATUF Finatic II Women’s Deck Shoes

Here is a very special boat shoe. It features a full-grain leather upper and slip-resistant outsole that is non-marking for grip and stability. The inner pigskin lining of the removable and washable liners contains antimicrobial Ortholite which provides cushioning comfort.

The shoe design includes Airmesh lining plus Airmesh windows at strategic locations (heel, tongue, sides) for additional cooling and offers quick-drying solutions. These are probably some of the best women’s sailing shoes and are described by users as light and sporty.

That pretty much makes them suitable for more than just boating. If you are seeking a flexible shoe that is not only comfortable and stylish but does what it is designed for when on the water or off, then these are certainly a good selection to make.

Pros

Lightweight and comfortable
Attractive design
Breathable mesh keeps shoes cool and assists in quick drying

Cons

Leather is easy to mark up
Pigskin interior may cause foot irritation or blisters from rubbing
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Vibram Women’s V-Aqua Black Water Shoe

Vibram lady's sailing shoes

Featuring a black and yellow color combination, these ladies’ sailing shoes really stand out. They have a stretch polyester mesh construction, which is tear-resistant, with a rubber wave grip sole.

If you do wash them, remember to use the cold water setting. Also, do not dry them in direct sunlight or in a dryer. Your best bet is to air dry at room temperature. Users generally like these shoes but some find the sole to be ineffective in the comfort department.

Pros

Lightweight
Secure fit
Attractive looking footwear

Cons

Some users found these difficult to put on
The fit can be problematic with a seam that rubs against the big toe
Too expensive for what you get
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Sperry Women’s Sayel Clew Washed Canvas Sneaker

Sperry Top Sider Women’s Washed Sneaker

With a low-profile rubber vulcanized outsole for traction, these fabric/textile boat shoes are comfortable. The comfort comes in part from the removable cushioned EVA footbed. These may be the best canvas deck shoes for women as the uppers are made of lightweight, breathable canvas.

Although these deck shoes are designed as slip-on shoes, they include leather lace-up features. Sizing is good according to users. They also rave about the comfort of these shoes. There are raves related to the visual appearance that makes these shoes a good choice for more than just boating. This is casual footwear that will likely have your friends commenting on how cute they look – as has been reported in online reviews.

Pros

Comfortable shoe
Affordable price
Easy to slip on and off
A stylish look that makes these shoes perfect for more than just boating

Cons

Some users found the material these shoes are made from easily ripped
Some users found that the colors were not exactly as displayed and faded
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Conclusion

There are several different options available in ladies’ deck shoes, even if not all of them are made just for sailing. However, if you are looking specifically for the best boat shoes for women, you are in luck. Manufacturers that are known for their sportswear, and men’s boat shoes in particular, also happen to have ladies’ styles available in their product line.

You really have to be clear on what you intend to use the shoes for as not all boat shoes are suitable for serious sailing. Some of the deck shoes on the market are intended to be used in and best suited for a more casual setting. Although that adds to their versatility, it reduces their value for boating.

Regardless, shoe manufacturers will continue to produce what they call deck shoes. Serious sailors know a good boat shoe when they see one. Even if you don’t own a boat nor do you intend to, you will surely find some boat shoe styles to be comfortable enough to wear casually.

Hopefully, this list of some of the best women’s sailing shoes has helped you decide which pair is right for you.

If you have a favorite pair of sailing shoes, let us know. What is your pick for the best boat shoes for women?

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