Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Re: Boat shoes for women
I would have to say that you have not researched woman's sailing shoes very carefully. It turns out that there are a very wide range of high quality woman's sailing shoes out there. The range from pretty traditional Topsider style shoes, to 'espadrille' styles, all the way to technical racing boat shoes and high tech dinghy shoes. It turns out that there is actually a wider range of woman's sailing shoes than men's.
But no matter what your gender, the key threshold technical issues that any boat shoe used for sailing must meet are grip on a wet deck, good support balanced with the ability to conform to irregular surfaces, non-marking, compact enough to find footing on the more confined walking surfaces, washable, odor resistant, cool to wear in summer, does not wick water from the bottom of the sole up to the foot, quick draining and quick drying.
Style seems to vary between those intended for going ashore and walking around, vs. those targeting actual sailing. The going ashore and walking around tend to try to look stylish and more like casual shoes or else traditional 'mocs'.
These days those targeting actual sailing tend to look more like rock climbing shoes than traditional boat shoes. These are sometimes referred to as "technical". A good example of that might be something like the Sperry Sea Racer 2, or woman's boat shoes by Adidas or Body Glove. Visually they often have reflective details and brighter colors. One thing about 'technical boat shoes' is that they tend to use a soft rubber for the sole in order to get an adequate grip. That rubber seems to wear more quickly, and to remain soft for only roughly 3-5 years after which it suddenly becomes hard and slippery. That usually isn't a problem since these shoes get replaced on a more frequent basis due to hard use.
Velcro closers do not hold well when wet, tend to mildew, and they tend to catch on things. Normal tied laces, cinch laces and stretch laces seem to work equally well. Mesh uppers really help a lot. Protected toes are important to safety. Removable inner soles are crucial for quick drying.
From what I have seen, most women seem to buy boat shoes that are $80 or less, even if that means waiting for them to go on sale.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay
Last edited by Jeff_H; 06-19-2017 at 12:34 PM.