Why Are Sperry Shoes So Expensive? 4 Reasons

In short: Sperry boat shoes are expensive because they are comfortable, water-friendly, and slip-resistant. Their shoes are also durable and will last for many years.

Sperry boat shoes are known for being the first boat shoes introduced into the boating and footwear markets. However, some people question why Sperry boat shoes are so expensive.

4 reasons why Sperry’s shoes are expensive

Sperry boat shoes have soles that are non-skid when walking on a wet boat deck. They are also very convenient to wear because they are easy to get in and out of when near the water.

However, probably 99% of people who wear them never go near a boat. They wear Sperry boat shoes because they evoke an upscale, nautical, and leisurely lifestyle.

Here are 4 reasons why Sperry boat shoes are expensive:

1. Undeniably comfortable

A big reason why Sperry boat shoes are expensive is their comfort.

Sperry boat shoes are made of high-quality leather and are great for slipping on without socks. They also have padded footbeds and a water-resistant finish to keep you comfortable.

In fact, you can comfortably wear them without socks because Sperry Topsiders have mostly unlined leather uppers with minimal seaming and leather sock liners. 

Unlike many casual shoes, they will not immediately begin to smell unpleasant and skanky. This is something very desirable for boat shoes, especially during warmer weather.

Recently, I’ve bought a pair from Sperry’s Gold Cup collection and they are a step up from the regulars. There are subtle differences like the gold eyelets that stand out against the originals.

While the Sperry Gold Cup boat shoes are more expensive than the originals, the difference in comfort is night and day (thanks to the softer leather). I’m glad I shelled out the extra dollars.

2. Water-friendly and slip-resistant

Sperry boat shoes are perfect for casual boating because they tolerate water well and keep you from slipping on the deck, which, if you happen to go over the side, can be a fatal event.

Sperrys aren’t technically waterproof, but they are water-friendly. In fact, it is more than acceptable to get them wet. They were created for slippery boat decks, after all.

While they won’t actually keep your feet dry, Sperry boat shoes can handle water and will eventually dry, with a patina that looks even better than they did pre-soak.

If you do happen to get them wet, don’t stress. Sperry boat shoes only get better with age as salt water and normal wear give them a seasoned look unique to every wearer.

In addition to being water-friendly, Sperry boat shoes are designed with boaters in mind.

They come with wet/dry traction for non-slip safety in any weather or conditions. The soles are good for sailing, although the teak deck of a 44-foot yacht isn’t that slippery anyway.

Because they are water-friendly and slip-resistant, Sperry boat shoes are more expensive than the average boat shoes. Cheaper boat shoes do not withstand moisture as well as Sperrys do.

3. Built upon a rich history (since 1935)

While sailing, Paul Sperry slipped on the deck of his boat and fell overboard. The experience drove him to develop the first-ever non-slip boating shoes in 1935.

The shoes were inspired by Sperry’s dog (cocker spaniel). It has the ability to run down an icy hill without slipping thanks to the traction-enhancing grooves in its paws.

Over the years, the Sperry brand has evolved into a top footwear brand, offering many footwear designs from boots, boat shoes, sneakers, loafers, and oxfords. 

In fact, Sperry has been outfitting people with high-style boat shoes for more than 80 years, and that tradition of excellence has evolved into today’s must-have shoes for adventurous spirits.

4. Durable and built to last

Last but not least, Sperry boat shoes are expensive because they are durable. Not only do Sperry boat shoes survive the element, but they are perfect for all summer and fall.

Cheaper boat shoes usually last under 2 years. Not to mention, they break down easily especially when they are exposed constantly to moisture.

I have worn one pair of Sperry’s practically every day over the summer and fall. They have been through rain, mud, sand, and salt water, yet they are still going strong.

This amazing ability to withstand the elements is part of the reason why Sperry boat shoes are not cheap. They are, however, worth the price because they last a very long time.

Although Sperry boat shoes are not cheap, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by investing in a pair that will last for years. If you don’t believe me, you can read more about the durability of Sperrys.

Key takeaways

Now you know why Sperry’s boat shoes are expensive. They are comfortable, water-friendly, and slip-resistant. Built upon a rich history since 1835, Sperry boat shoes are built to last.

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