Herring Shoes

Socks off…it’s time for deck shoes

14 May 2019

It isn’t strictly necessary for you to take your socks off when you pop on a pair of deck shoes as our quick romp through the deck shoe’s potted history will reveal.

Herring Fowey in tan nubuck

The deck shoe was invented by American Paul A Sperry in 1935 when he noticed his dog’s ability to run easily over ice without slipping. He proceeded to cut thin slits into the rubber soles of his shoes and so inspired the perfect shoe for boating and the Sperry Top-Sider brand.

Known as boat shoes over the pond, the deck shoe has transcended its boating use becoming a slip-on casual footwear favourite for both men and women from the 1970s onwards, especially in coastal areas of Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, Argentina and China.

From the 1980s, the deck shoe has been popular at various times with secondary school and college students…with and without socks!

These days, deck shoes are often seen beneath skinny or straight-legged turned up jeans, chinos or tailored shorts, an open-neck buttoned shirt with rolled-up sleeves or plain t-shirt for men. While women, with the Duchess of Cambridge leading the way, favour the skinny jean look.

Herring Fowey in Navy nubuck

The style has remained largely unchanged with a moccasin-style moc-toe construction and leather laces. Some still have the traditional white, non-marking soles, while dark, non-marking soles are popular too.

Once regarded as a status symbol due to their association with boats, deck shoes are the epitome of smart casual attire and summer comfort. The Herring range is lightweight, cushioned and made with supple leathers from a fabulous family-owned factory in Portugal that has been making them for many years. 

We see them as perfect for casual strolls in the sunshine, for some serious boating, for a day on the beach or for a cheeky G&T at your local at the weekend. They also suit a multitude of dress-down occasions that require a bit of style.

Herring has a sale running throughout May with 20% off our deck shoe range, including the Salcombe, Padstow, Rock and Fowey styles to offer you plenty of choice. Slip on a pair and start thinking about summer!

Herring Salcombe and Leonardo polo by Naked clothing