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| With thanks to Sea Design
Yacht crew tend to be on their feet the majority of the time, so it's imperative for them to have comfortable footwear that will ensure they can do their job effectively. In this Tried & Tested, we at Yachting Pages have explored various deck shoe options to determine which shoes are the best to provide for the feet of crew members.
Crew can be on their feet for many hours at a time, so what shoes they are wearing makes a world of difference to whether they can continue the party, or crash into a heap of blister plasters. When it comes to deciding on what to provide for crews in terms of footwear, it's always a good idea to consider comfort and durability, although this sometimes comes at a price.
Happy feet, happy crew, happy client.
The debate is always between the practical, comfortable shoe and the smart, trend-led shoe like the traditional leather loafer. This dilemma has been addressed by yacht trainer manufacturers, and some have released shoes that are both comfortable and dapper.
We have chosen to review both types of shoe to try and highlight the pros and cons for different models, but firstly a few points to consider when choosing your shoe:
Do you need to find a model that sizes for male and female?
Do you require size 48+?
Do you have crew with wide feet?
Is odour a problem for some crew members wearing synthetic fabrics?
Is the shoe going to be available in seasons to come?
Answering these questions and more, superyacht crew uniform specialist Sea Design reviews a selection of the best deck shoes on the market right now - highlighting their pros and cons before crowning an overall Tried & Tested winner.
This popular classic shoe option offers the foot ultra comfort and support. Made from a combination of water resistant DryFast-DrySoft™ nubuck leather and fabric, the Dubarry bi-colour cup sole provides superior traction, lateral stability, flexibility and durability. The full-length leather removable footbed offers maximum underfoot comfort and exceptional stability. Also available in EXTRAFIT in the colours navy and donkey brown. Sizes range from EU 37-48.
Clarks always delivers a traditional style shoe, with added reliability and comfort. Ormand Sail is a men's shoe, coming in a brown or navy leather. These deck shoes were originally developed with the Musto brand giving the boat-shoe style and a sporty technical edge. Boasting technological know-how, this style comprises a light foot-bed with an Aqua DX drainage system, and the rubber outsole provides excellent grip. Great for achieving a look suitable for being on deck. Size ranges from EU 39.5-47.
The shoe is really light, flexible, soft, colourful and antimicrobial, with thanks to XL EXTRALIGHT® materials. Genuine pull-up leather with a water-resistant finish that is both DryFast and DrySoft™. It has traditional hand-sewn roll top moccasin construction, but updated with super-lightweight sole compound which has shock absorption and extreme durability.
This shoe is ideal for the eco-conscious; its material is non-toxic, recyclable and antibacterial. Combined with the NonSlip-NonMarking™ rubber outsole, it provides great traction and durability in wet and dry conditions, with unique water dispersion channel system preventing aquaplaning. There will be no little water droplets getting through these with the carefully sealed hand stitching, plus non-corrosive eyelets. There is a three-quarter length leather in-sock for the genuine moccasin look, with the hot emboss heritage sock logo. Size ranges from EU 40-47.
This lightweight, low-profile performance shoe is ideal for wet or dry conditions. It's highly breathable with a non-marking and slip resistant sole. It boasts a wealth of clever practical features to aid performance and comfort, including air-cell impact-absorbing removable insoles, a low-profile tread pattern with water expulsion channels and heat moulded toes and heel protection. This shoe is casual in appearance, and has full ladies and mens sizes. Size ranges from EU 37-47.
The Breeze Tennis Knit is the staple versatile shoe, featuring the Swims' Breeze technology to create a timeless form. The shoe is light, flexible, breathable, and durable. What more could you ask for? Size ranges from EU 40-46.
With a secure fit, non-absorbent materials and fast-draining outsole, the Gill Race trainer provides a dependable grip in all conditions. Its lightness means you'll get around deck quickly and safely, and is ideal for on-board athletes, and anyone wanting a comfortable, free-draining deck trainer. Size ranges from EU 37-47.
The Breeze Wave Boat Loafer is the classically designed shoe of choice. The loafer’s mesh/foam padded lining, injected pylon midsole compound, molded plastic heel counter, and high-traction textured rubber outsole maximizes comfort, while its mesh upper and ventilating portholes make it stylish and breathable. Size ranges from EU 40-46.
A classic shoe from the fashion brand Vans. Canvas upper with a rubber sole. Sizes range from 35-50.
This new model from Dubarry is a wonderfully lightweight, aquasport sailing shoe. The upper is carefully constructed using high-frequency technology which fuses a breathable mesh fabric with PU resulting in a more durable, lightweight and flexible shoe. The EVA midsole provides durability, flexibility and comfort combined with Dubarry award-winning NonSlip-NonMarking™ rubber outer sole which has a unique water dispersion channel system that also prevents aquaplaning.
The Dubarry D-Chassis™ system offers extra support, protection and control, which minimizes heel pronation of the wearer, and features a removable footbed to give cushioning and support underfoot. This style also has a toe guard that offers a high wear resistance and protection in this key area of the shoe. A high-quality flat fabric lace provides a secure lacing system for improved foot stability.
The Nike Revolution is a modern style for a choice of deck shoe. It has a cushioned insole and padded ankle collar for brilliant comfort for the wearer. The rubber outsole provides traction and with foam sole to absorb impact. There a multiple colours available. Sizes from EU 36 to EU 44.
Of all the shoes tried and tested, the Dubarry Skerries is the perfect fit for crew members. They will provide brilliant support for a yachtie who is immediately on hand to deliver the champagne, and will be comfortable from day to night so no need for blister worry during long hours. These shoes will also last for multiple seasons, and with both female and male sizing, it's easy to roll it out amongst all crew members in one go.
The products featured can be purchased through Sea Design.
Read more Tried & Tested articles in our back catalogue, which includes reviews of the best yacht bedding and crew t-shirts currently available on the market.
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