Women might be landlocked with their chunky wooden clogs this season, but men are setting sail with boat shoes.

The preppy, nautical-inspired shoes — also known as deck shoes because, well, you can wear them on the deck of your boat — are the big footwear trend for men.

“You know a trend is hot when you see it from low to high,” says Shannon Stewart, sportswear merchandise manager at Harry Rosen.


You can find this casual shoe being pitched, in canvas, by H&M to young trendy types likely to sport them on boards — skateboards, that is. And Harry Rosen’s luxurious leather versions are aimed at Bay Street bulls who will wear them onboard — a yacht, that is.

“It’s not frequently that you see a trend that so many different kinds of people can wear,” says Stewart.

And that’s probably why there are so many different incarnations of the boat shoe today. In the ‘80s they were mostly brown leather, but today they rock the boat in a rainbow of colours, though most still have that signature white sole.

They are a great alternative to sandals and yes, you can wear them to the office — if your office attire consists of smart casuals like chinos or seersucker blazers. But they don’t jibe with suits. Unless it’s a white captain’s uniform. And as with women and their clogs — don’t wear them with socks.

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