Monday, August 4, 2014

Top siders: The origins of boat shoes

Boat shoes (or top siders), favoured by the yacht se,t were invented in 1935 by sailor, Paul Sperry looking for shoes that could keep boaties sure footed on wet decks. He noticed his dog could run nimbly over the ice and snow without slipping and carved the sole of his rubber shoes with his penknife to mimicked the grooves on his dog’s paws. His shoes proved so effective he started Sperry Top-Sider , and the U.S. Navy negotiated a deal with the brand to manufacture Top-Siders specifically for them. Australian tennis champion Adrian Quist was impressed with the rubber treads and made the connection with tennis shoes and lawn courts he eventually convincing Dunlop to make the Dunlop Volley for tennis . This was the Godfather of sports trainers and remained unmatched for the next three decades. By the 50s top siders became the shoes to wear following the release of Lisa Birnbach's "The Preppy Handbook."