Sperry Sucks--Selling short lived shitty boat shoes-BEWARE

sinner

Super Anarchist
I have worn Sperrys for a couple of decades. (past tense is operative)

So I bought a pair of "Tech" lace up shoes some time ago. Within a season the bottoms completely dried up, got hard and slippery. I only wear them on the dock or boat (I take them off to go to the car) and I rinse them out w/fresh water after each use. Well, I tried the usual...sanding the soles w/100 grit, wiping with alcohol and then acetone to try to get the hard surface off. Nothing worked.

Soooo, I called Sperry to ask wots the deal? Twice. Both times they gave me some lame ass BS excuse about complaints that the shoes wore out too fast when wearing them on the street!??!!? I asked what part of BOAT SHOE was difficult to understand. And if it made sense to create short lived shoes that could cause injury or a MOB because some twat wore his $120 boat shoes to the clap clinic. No discernable response or attempt to placate a FORMER long standing loyal customer.

Fack 'em. I'm gonna buy harken or whatever. Before you piss away your hard earned dough on sailing shoes (not the Little Feat CD), consider something other than Sperry. They sell shit. My 2 cents.

Be well, sail safe.

 

Bump-n-Grind

Get off my lawn.
14,776
3,565
Chesapeake Bay/Vail
How do you really feel?

for what it's worth.. I agree.. bought a pair of sandals from them a couple years ago... the straps came apart 2nd time I wore em.. my repairs are the only thing keeping them together.....

 

Great Red Shark

Super Anarchist
8,401
601
Honolulu
Rubber "goes off " - various compounds react in different ways, but heat, UV, ozone & other 'environmental' factors all seem to harden and dry it out - I've had to toss deck shoes that were otherwise good, but no longer had any grip, it happens - you may have gotten some old stock or just a bad batch or a bad design-fit for the non-skid you have.

If they're bad, toss 'em - I've never gotten the scuffin trick to work very well - including riding my motorcycle around the park with my feet down like some newby rider - which helped marginally for a day.

Tires have the same issue - there's even a date-code on the sidewall indicating production month & year so you can see if you are getting sold old-stock - on motorcycles this is a BIG DEAL and even unused tires more than 3+ years old can be shot if stored improperly. I've ridden some tires that looked fine - plenty of tread-depth but were hard as marbles and gave nothing but "DANGER WILL ROBINSON !!" feedback - your shoes are just past thier 'use by' date.

 
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The alcohol and acetone probably sped up the drying process of the rubber.

I have. 3 year old pair of figawi 's that are still awesome

Some of their new ones tho arent boat shoes, theyre look alikes for land lubbers

 
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MidPack

Super Anarchist
3,645
85
undecided
Sorry to hear that, I'd be annoyed too. My plaino (West Marine) Sperry Spinnaker boat shoes are still going strong after 3 years of weekly use each May thru Oct. They're just starting to show upper wear but no loss of grip yet, and I wear them on the street when I am going to/from the boat. Go figure...

I tried Harken's twice before and they certainly didn't hold up better, probably about equal, and the Harken's cost a little more. YMMV

I've never gotten any life or comfort out of any old school leather Top Siders though, wouldn't buy another pair...

 
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SPORTSCAR

Super Anarchist
I have worn Sperrys for a couple of decades. (past tense is operative)

So I bought a pair of "Tech" lace up shoes some time ago. Within a season the bottoms completely dried up, got hard and slippery. I only wear them on the dock or boat (I take them off to go to the car) and I rinse them out w/fresh water after each use. Well, I tried the usual...sanding the soles w/100 grit, wiping with alcohol and then acetone to try to get the hard surface off. Nothing worked.

Soooo, I called Sperry to ask wots the deal? Twice. Both times they gave me some lame ass BS excuse about complaints that the shoes wore out too fast when wearing them on the street!??!!? I asked what part of BOAT SHOE was difficult to understand. And if it made sense to create short lived shoes that could cause injury or a MOB because some twat wore his $120 boat shoes to the clap clinic. No discernable response or attempt to placate a FORMER long standing loyal customer.

Fack 'em. I'm gonna buy harken or whatever. Before you piss away your hard earned dough on sailing shoes (not the Little Feat CD), consider something other than Sperry. They sell shit. My 2 cents.

Be well, sail safe.
Absolutely agree; I went through exactly the same process as you did and got the same bullshit response from the Australian distributor. I posted about this in the Gear forum a while back. Like you, Sperry is on my never gonna touch em again and gonna tell everyone else why list.

Those hardened slippery soles happened in my case in only about 6 months and the shoes were NEVER worn anywhere but on the deck of a boat. They were downright dangerous when I first complained about them. Maybe it would take someone slipping and being seriously injured, then suing the Sperry pricks out of existence to make them sit up and take notice? Vote with your feet people (Note intentional pun)

 

SPORTSCAR

Super Anarchist
Converse Hi tops

The only way to go $34 they never smell throw them in the washer and dryer from time to time after 2-3 seasons throw them overboard
And Connies are cheap enouigh that you can wear a Red one on your left foot and a Green one on your right foot to make that ultimate nautical fashion statement!. Knew a bloke who did that here years ago, he wore nothing but Connies ever and he was such a Converse fan, even his girlfriends name was Connie.

 

LostDaggerboard

Super Anarchist
I've been wearing A/O's for as long as I can remember, and up until a couple years ago, they were great. Used them for both street and sailing (never got into the whole "tech" shoe deal, mostly because I was never in a position to need them) and literally after 2009 (summer I graduated high school) and the quality went to shit. A pair used to last me 8 months tops, now I can barely get 6 out of them. Leather construction goes to shit, I practically walking on ice in any wet condition, et cetera et cetera.

 

GME

Member
214
0
newest adidas water grip shoes are fantastic.....not quite as cheap of converse all-stars but a bit lighter and quicker to dry. Save the limosine's for the feet for the after party......

 
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@last

Anarchist
912
61
I had the same experience with a new pair of A/O's I purchased. Rubber was rock hard and began rapidly cracking all over. Shoes are now effectively ice skates and a major hazard in any conditions. In all fairness I did not contact the large online shoe only retailer I purchased them from or sperry. My one take away is it makes me very gun shy to do future online purchases not know if the soles are any good or "past date".

 

@last

Anarchist
912
61
agree also about comments on new addidas. I purchased two pairs already and am considering a third as I see they are now available in light gray. Worked great in the mac wearing them several days straight.

 

Foghorn77

Super Anarchist
1,133
21
newest adidas water grip shoes are fantastic.....not quite as cheap of converse all-stars but a bit lighter and quicker to dry. Save the limosine's for the feet for the after party......
+1 on the Adidas( and they're light) after giving Sperry 3 chances and they all went slick with in a year with only boat use.

 
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Haligonian Winterr

Super Anarchist
1,495
65
Halifax, NS
I wear my Newbalance running shoes (Vibram sole) until it gets too wet, then I immediately switch to my PUMA Luff boots.

I also purchased a pair of Sperry "tech" shoes at this year's boat show (attractive price) and after 2 attempts on the fore deck (both sliding around while dry) they've been renegaded to the lowest depths of the gear box. Hopefully they'll rot before I have to look at them again.

On the contrary, pair of classic Sperry's, probably 4 years old, tough as nails and I could walk up a skyscraper with them.

My 2c

HW

 

tuf-luf

Super Anarchist
16,615
0
Bangrak
Haven't worn Sperrys on deck in ages. Currently using a super light pair of Nikes with spongy white soles and love them. Fantastic for long periods of standing/helming and grip like a 10 dollar crack whore on a nervous John's knob.

 

Haligonian Winterr

Super Anarchist
1,495
65
Halifax, NS
Are those the ones with the white soles and individual squarish cells on the sole? Was considering a pair of those but bought the Newbalances in favour of the Vibram sole (wear resistance).

They do look like they'd grip well on a wet deck though....

HW

Haven't worn Sperrys on deck in ages. Currently using a super light pair of Nikes with spongy white soles and love them. Fantastic for long periods of standing/helming and grip like a 10 dollar crack whore on a nervous John's knob.
 

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