• Announcements

    • Zapata

      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  
Bull City

Sperry Topsiders & molded non-skid deck = slippery

43 posts in this topic

I went sailing today on a '97 Hunter that had a molded non-skid deck. I was wearing a pair of old school Sperry Topsiders that are a few years old, but have plenty of tread left. The deck was dry. My footing was really bad on deck and in the cockpit - everywhere. It was like bowling shoes on a bowling alley. Very perplexing. Anyone have a similar experience?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went sailing today on a '97 Hunter that had a molded non-skid deck. I was wearing a pair of old school Sperry Topsiders that are a few years old, but have plenty of tread left. The deck was dry. My footing was really bad on deck and in the cockpit - everywhere. It was like bowling shoes on a bowling alley. Very perplexing. Anyone have a similar experience?

 

yes, they are much better when the deck is wet for some reason....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The soles have probably gone hard. Time to buy some new shoes.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The soles have probably gone hard. Time to buy some new shoes.

 

 

Yes, this!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My only pair of topsiders have been like skates on ice since day one. They look good but i'll never buy another pair.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The soles have probably gone hard. Time to buy some new shoes.

 

 

Interesting. I've got some canvas Topsiders but they have not gone hard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. When they are new they are great. I kept an older pair on board as a backup and they are worse than bowling shoes.

Even if it looks like there's tread left.

The last two years i've been using sperry shoes that are more like sneakers or vans. Much more betterer. and saferer too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This sounds like a job for Ralph Nader.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, here is a just for run question: When the soles on Topsiders go hard, are they hard through and though? Could you take a belt sander to the soles and restore some king of grip? Inquiring minds........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, here is a just for run question: When the soles on Topsiders go hard, are they hard through and though? Could you take a belt sander to the soles and restore some king of grip? Inquiring minds........

i did just that. sanded the soles with 80-grit sandpaper. the traction improved a lot but, of course, it's a temporary fix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

OK, here is a just for run question: When the soles on Topsiders go hard, are they hard through and though? Could you take a belt sander to the soles and restore some king of grip? Inquiring minds........

i did just that. sanded the soles with 80-grit sandpaper. the traction improved a lot but, of course, it's a temporary fix.

 

 

I had the opposite experience, belt sanded Sperry's and had no noticible improvement. And the shoes were only a season old and they weren't the cheap mocassins. Last pair I'll buy.

 

I used Harkens last season and they seemed to work well. They still haven't 'hardened' yet so I am hopeful for another season. I was on the boat on the hard this past weekend and it was cold as hell and they worked like a charm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW, I contacted Sperry, and they said:

 

The quickest way to resolve the issue is to contact the retailer. We have return policies in place for such situations. If the retailer takes care of you within their return policy, we take care of them so they are not at a lost for exchanged merchandise. We suggest calling prior to making a special trip. If your original retailer is unable to assist, you may return your product directly to us. Please provide us with the following information so you can be provided the necessary forms to return your footwear at no cost to you for evaluation. Should the item be deemed defective, we replace in the same size and style.
First and last name
Address (no PO boxes)
Phone Number
Stock number, this is typically 2 letters followed by 5 numbers for example BB12345
US Size and Width
Date and Place of purchase
Specific description of the problem/photo
Should you be in Canada, in addition to the above, please reply back with a clear picture of the underside of the tongue showing the label information and a clear picture of the defect.

 

 

Sounds reasonable. I'm going to take them up on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately they are using cheaper compounds on the sole and there is not as much rubber as there was 15 yrs ago

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even the Gold Cup series had been cheapened although the price is still the same

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sperry should read this thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mentioned some of these issues to them but they really don't care

Most of their product never sees a boat or water for that matter

All about margins

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could all save a ton of money and bother by going out and getting a pair of Chucks or Vans. Lace-up or slip-on, it hardly matters.

 

I bought way too many pairs of crappy over-priced yacht-racing specific shoes that never lasted and somehow stunk to high hell after half a season.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The soles have probably gone hard. Time to buy some new shoes.

 

 

Interesting. I've got some canvas Topsiders but they have not gone hard.

 

 

Someone told me that wearing sailing shoes on grass (lawn, not dope) made the rubber compound go hard much faster. I don't know how much of that is true, but I have avoided lawns with my latest shoes and they are still soft and flexible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

The soles have probably gone hard. Time to buy some new shoes.

 

 

Interesting. I've got some canvas Topsiders but they have not gone hard.

 

 

Someone told me that wearing sailing shoes on grass (lawn, not dope) made the rubber compound go hard much faster. I don't know how much of that is true, but I have avoided lawns with my latest shoes and they are still soft and flexible.

 

 

 

I would love to understand how that works..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

The soles have probably gone hard. Time to buy some new shoes.

 

 

Interesting. I've got some canvas Topsiders but they have not gone hard.

 

 

Someone told me that wearing sailing shoes on grass (lawn, not dope) made the rubber compound go hard much faster. I don't know how much of that is true, but I have avoided lawns with my latest shoes and they are still soft and flexible.

 

 

 

I would love to understand how that works..

 

 

 

Well, keep your sailing shoes dry, duh.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a couple of old pairs that I use around the house, including cutting the grass. I can definitely state that the soles are rock hard and NFG for anything boat related, not even a stroll down the dock. What I cannot tell is whether this is grass or age related, probably a combination of both

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Sperry Fugawi`s are at least ten years old and the soles are like new. I have never worn them off the boat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More from Sperry. The first quote was in response to my product review. This is in response to my email to Sperry customer service:

 

With age, the soles of our Topsiders can harden, crack, and/or become slippery. This can happen for several reasons; from leaving the shoes unworn for extended periods of time to the soles coming in contact with harsh chemicals (oil, bleach, etc). We do offer a one year warranty against manufacturing defects. If your shoes fall under this, we would be more than happy to have your send them in and replace them!

 

 

While this is friendly, and an admission of defective soles, it is not quite as generous as the earlier response to my product review (#12):
post-54228-0-96817100-1483753471_thumb.png
I will be "reaching out to the team."

post-54228-0-96817100-1483753471_thumb.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zero luck here with Sperry and Timberland. They would never leave the boat, but soles would harden and be worthless within two years. Otherwise like new. Switched to water aerobics shoes like Speedo and never looked back. Costco sometimes carries them ($17 last year). Grip is outstanding, they drain well and fit great. When it's a bit cold, and a pair of gortex socks and you are good to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boat shoes only serve one purpose, to stop you stubbing your toes. Otherwise worse than bare feet.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My experience is if they have the gum type sole that looks like congealed gelatin, they will dry out and harden in about a year. I've tried sanding them and it only helps a little. Considering what you pay for boat specific shoes it seems extravagant to buy new ones every year and, since I never wear them on the docks or ashore, hardly worth the investment mileage wise. The old canvas Topsiders had a rubber compound that was like a pencil eraser, very soft and self ablating but prone to slipping on dry, dusty decks. Once the decks were wet they were fine but there is very little support from canvas uppers. I may give the Speedo footwear a try but would want to be sure they didn't leave marks.

 

The youngsters all tell me the solution is to race barefooted but I've stubbed too many toes on deck hardware.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just went arse over tit on a smooth (dry) plate on the dock wearing Sperry Topsiders, and yep they're 2 yrs old. No warning , just instantly slid as soon as I put weight on.

Heading to chandlery now.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got some LL Bean deck shoes in my closet that I haven't worn yet. I'll start wearing them and give a report sometime. Of course, we have snow on the ground, so it may be a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My experience is if they have the gum type sole that looks like congealed gelatin, they will dry out and harden in about a year. I've tried sanding them and it only helps a little. Considering what you pay for boat specific shoes it seems extravagant to buy new ones every year and, since I never wear them on the docks or ashore, hardly worth the investment mileage wise. The old canvas Topsiders had a rubber compound that was like a pencil eraser, very soft and self ablating but prone to slipping on dry, dusty decks. Once the decks were wet they were fine but there is very little support from canvas uppers. I may give the Speedo footwear a try but would want to be sure they didn't leave marks.

 

The youngsters all tell me the solution is to race barefooted but I've stubbed too many toes on deck hardware.

 

Year or two ago, Costco had these for $17

 

post-14713-0-40617000-1484102274_thumb.jpg

 

Earlier version had light grey soles, but neither marked decks, including smooth gelcoat with no non-skid. They actually last several years (based on my experience with an earlier version), but for $17 USD, who cares. I regularly sail on 3 different boats and leave a pair on each, plus one I travel with. Bonus, they don't seem to get stinky like the $300 Solomon trail shoes I own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just bought my first ever pair (Sea Kite model). More about looks and the cushy New Balance-like soles with good arch support.

 

Avoided Topsiders for many years as boat gear for reasons spelled out here - they suck after a while. Viewed them as something yachties put on after races for drinks and b.s.

 

Been wearing Aigles, Gill dinghy boots and New Balance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My only pair of topsiders have been like skates on ice since day one. They look good but i'll never buy another pair.

This.

 

Try Zhik or Musto.

shoe-20-gy-cy-img01.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once again, why pay three times more just so your Musto sneakers match the rest of your kit?

 

A $30 pair of Vans will do the exact same thing as any sneaker made by a sailing brand. Moreover, they'll probably last longer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My experience is if they have the gum type sole that looks like congealed gelatin, they will dry out and harden in about a year. I've tried sanding them and it only helps a little. Considering what you pay for boat specific shoes it seems extravagant to buy new ones every year and, since I never wear them on the docks or ashore, hardly worth the investment mileage wise. The old canvas Topsiders had a rubber compound that was like a pencil eraser, very soft and self ablating but prone to slipping on dry, dusty decks. Once the decks were wet they were fine but there is very little support from canvas uppers. I may give the Speedo footwear a try but would want to be sure they didn't leave marks.

 

The youngsters all tell me the solution is to race barefooted but I've stubbed too many toes on deck hardware.

Definition of a cleat (or any other deck hardware): Toestop

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

My experience is if they have the gum type sole that looks like congealed gelatin, they will dry out and harden in about a year. I've tried sanding them and it only helps a little. Considering what you pay for boat specific shoes it seems extravagant to buy new ones every year and, since I never wear them on the docks or ashore, hardly worth the investment mileage wise. The old canvas Topsiders had a rubber compound that was like a pencil eraser, very soft and self ablating but prone to slipping on dry, dusty decks. Once the decks were wet they were fine but there is very little support from canvas uppers. I may give the Speedo footwear a try but would want to be sure they didn't leave marks.

 

The youngsters all tell me the solution is to race barefooted but I've stubbed too many toes on deck hardware.

 

Definition of a cleat (or any other deck hardware): Toestop
Human soles are amazing. Incredible grip and comfort. But, one exciting moment had me dislocating two toes due to a shroud. Been wearing shoes ever since, but they gotta be compfy any grip like shit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once again, why pay three times more just so your Musto sneakers match the rest of your kit?

 

A $30 pair of Vans will do the exact same thing as any sneaker made by a sailing brand. Moreover, they'll probably last longer.

 

Simple, the sniff test...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect sailing is much less than 1% of the Sperry market. I went to the Sperry store at the mall a few years ago and all they stocked were street versions. And the store was busy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Once again, why pay three times more just so your Musto sneakers match the rest of your kit?

 

A $30 pair of Vans will do the exact same thing as any sneaker made by a sailing brand. Moreover, they'll probably last longer.

 

Simple, the sniff test...

 

 

Oh please, that's not the fault of the shoe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

My experience is if they have the gum type sole that looks like congealed gelatin, they will dry out and harden in about a year. I've tried sanding them and it only helps a little. Considering what you pay for boat specific shoes it seems extravagant to buy new ones every year and, since I never wear them on the docks or ashore, hardly worth the investment mileage wise. The old canvas Topsiders had a rubber compound that was like a pencil eraser, very soft and self ablating but prone to slipping on dry, dusty decks. Once the decks were wet they were fine but there is very little support from canvas uppers. I may give the Speedo footwear a try but would want to be sure they didn't leave marks.

 

The youngsters all tell me the solution is to race barefooted but I've stubbed too many toes on deck hardware.

Definition of a cleat (or any other deck hardware): Toestop
Human soles are amazing. Incredible grip and comfort. But, one exciting moment had me dislocating two toes due to a shroud. Been wearing shoes ever since, but they gotta be compfy any grip like shit.

 

I only sail barefoot in drifters. Even a clean modern deck has painful shit to bang in to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like skateboard shoes for deck shoes. Circa is a good brand. Tough, good grip, non marking, color doesn't bleed when soaked.

 

Plus I'm the hippest grandpa on the block according to my kids.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've purchased several pairs of different brands of deck shoes at Goodwill. Most recent, brand new Topsiders for $15, Vans for $5. bottoms look like they've never hit the ground. but yeah, got my first store bought Topsiders wet and the stitching gave way on the sides, didn't last a whole year.


And Tevas WILL make your feet stink.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got a pair of LL Bean's "Casco Bay Boat Mocs." They look just like old school Topsiders and cost about the same. They are a bit more comfortable, AND they come with the LL Bean guarantee: "If something’s not working or fitting or standing up to its task or lasting as long as you think it should, we’ll take it back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/27/2017 at 10:07 PM, grnrngr said:

I've purchased several pairs of different brands of deck shoes at Goodwill. Most recent, brand new Topsiders for $15, Vans for $5. bottoms look like they've never hit the ground. but yeah, got my first store bought Topsiders wet and the stitching gave way on the sides, didn't last a whole year.

 

And Tevas WILL make your feet stink.

I currently have Teva Hyrdro something or others - and they will stink so sprinkle in some baking soda and they are much better than any athletic type boat shoe I have worn, also Teva closed toe sandals and they rock - plenty of protection very quick drying and no smell.  If it's really f'ning cold (rare here) add some waterproof socks.  Will only buy the Teva sandals from now on. The end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now