by Alexis Jenkins ’11
Are we starting a sailing team? No, but McNamara is all prepared with our boat shoes.
With one glance around a classroom, you may see several students headed for the deck in Sperry’s Top Siders or variations of that design. Sperry’s are the modern sport shoe invented by Paul Sperry in 1935 that are made to grip the wet decks of boat, hence the name. They also are called loafers, Top Siders, and deck shoes. Typically, they are leather with rubber soles. As Kyle Martin ’11 said, “They are water-proof!” That they are, and they “poofed” their way onto several students’ feet this school year.
Although they are the most preferred boat shoe, some prefer a cheaper buy and have adapted to the new trend without breaking the bank. Several students made it known that their Top Siders weren’t Sperry’s but were from other brands such as Payless Shoe Source where, as you might guess, they paid less.
This trend at our school is mainly seen on upperclassmen, but I suppose it’s just a matter of time until we see freshmen adorning these cushy loafers. As of now, one in every four people are wiggling their comfortable toes in boat shoes. However, if you thought this was just a McNamara thing, it seems to be popular through-out the WCAC. Many students from Seton, Good Counsel, PVI, and Gonzaga have been seen sporting these popular shoes too.
It’s a little ironic because just a couple of years ago we probably all would have called them “old-man” shoes, but now they are the coolest thing. Style is evolving and so are the boat shoes. They come in different shades: tan, brown, and black. These are acceptable for school, but they also come in bright shades of red, yellow, and blue. And to make the “old-man” shoe even younger, some have vibrant orange soles and piping or plaid. Mark Yacat ’11 said, “They’re hard to get messed up compared to black dress shoes.” Bottom line is: they are cooler than black dress shoes.
So, boat shoes win in the style category, they win against their closest competitors (dress shoes and ballet flats), and they win in what could be the most important category of all — comfort. Allison Bahneman ’11 said “Boat shoes are comfortable, they don’t fall off like ballet shoes.”
However, the benefits of boat shoes would have no importance if they didn’t fit this category–the uniform requirement. It’s one less thing the deans have to look after, one less blister, and two less wet socks. Boat shoes meet all of Amber Martin ’11 standards. “They’re easy to put on, they’re comfy, and they go with the socks too.” The people have spoken. The boat isn’t coming anytime soon, but if it does, McNamara has the shoes on deck.
In light of this, I believe it is safe to say the Top Sider is not going anywhere any time soon.