Illustrious US brand Sperry has been specialising in the production of boat shoes since 1935, with designs inspired by the American East Coast and classic preppy style. The brand’s signum is its grooved rubber soles with a herringbone pattern providing unbeatable grip. These “Top-Sider” shoes, as they are commonly known, were invented by founder Paul Sperry himself.
The story goes that Sperry got the idea for the Top-Sider after falling overboard from his sailboat in 1934, which he quickly attributed to the insufficient grip of his shoes. One year later, noticing that his dog Prince never seemed to slip or lose traction, Paul set about carving rubber soles whose herringbone-patterned grooves aimed to emulate the grip of his beloved spaniel’s paws. He glued these revolutionary soles to a canvas upper, and the rest is history.
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