As the name suggests, this developed as a non-slippy shoe to be worn on board a boat. It was made of canvas or waxy leather, to withstand the elements. It’s a cemented-sole shoe, now often made of different combinations of leather – waxy and nubuck in the Loake 521s on the left. It’s probably best viewed as a “smart-casual” shoe, most at home with jeans or chinos. The “socks or no socks” debate continues to rage and more boat shoes are now worn on the High Street than on boats!