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While you certainly can’t wear stiletto heels or shoes that will scratch or mark up the finish on a boat, you don’t have to go boating in clodhoppers, either. The most effective boat shoes help you keep your grip on the deck when the boat pitches or rocks. They are water-resistant or even waterproof, and they look cute with your short-shorts or bikini.
Sperry Top-Siders are the most recognized brand in boating footwear and the ones most copied by knockoff manufacturers. They have a patented sole that’s in the shape of waves that provides excellent grip in dry or messy wet conditions, according to "Boating" magazine. Sperry makes a line of thong sandals in a wide range of colors, from yellow and sea blue to black and oat-colored leather. Wearing the flip-flops with a small wedge or flat sole, you can be assured you won’t slip when the boat starts rocking. If you’re going cruising on a yacht, you might want to up the look a bit and wear the Sperry Paloma Wedge, which has a 3.25-inch wedge. The Southport Wedge and the Santa Rosa sandals are other options with every bit as much style and boat surface gripping appeal.
When measured on a Slipmeter by "Boating" magazine, the boat sandals made by Body Glove held boaters on the deck of a moving Sea Ray nearly as well as the famous Sperry soles. The Cruise II women's sandals are totally cute and come in pink and white. You’ll have to be careful, though, because they are a flip-flop style that could be difficult to keep on your feet in really rough waters. Body Glove was founded by a couple of surfer dudes who created extensive lines of water sports gear, so you know they had something personal going on when they devised the gripping sole of their sandals.
Don’t let the name of the company throw you off. Dog Funk is run by a group of snow skiing enthusiasts who like to ride waves and get into boating and extreme water sports when they’re not on the slopes. They are into fashion as well as functionality. "Boating" magazine rates the Dog Funk brand as good makers of long-lasting boat sandals that are both comfortable and durable. The Freewaters Salt N Peppa Sandal the company offers for women has a cool enough name to make you forget the company’s moniker; it has a cushy midsole arch so you can wear this style on and off the boat all day. The sponge rubber sole is designed to keep you from slipping on deck or leaving marks in your trail.
Teva is a boat shoe for the true sportswoman. If you plan on moving quickly around a sailboat or just want to appear as if you’re a super water athlete, go with the Teva sandals. They’re super comfortable and light, shaped to hug a lady’s foot. The Toachi 2 has a built-in drainage system so water quickly moves out of the sandal. The patented Spider Original grip sole will ensure you won’t be falling off the boat when you have fun fighting the lines with that big "catch." According to "Florida Sportsman" magazine, the Teva brand offers superior cushioning and arch support, important as you put your body through the rigors of an active boating lifestyle. The sandals offer you three points of adjustment for the best fit, and have an anti-microbial lining so your feet won’t get all fungal after being wet all day.