man wearing sailing boots

How to choose the right yacht sailing footwear

Yachting footwear is a little different to dinghy shoes, as yacht sailors need a lot more grip for scrambling around the decks, as well as more substantial protection. If you're a small boat sailor though, you might find our guide to dinghy sailing footwear more useful.

Deck boots

Entry-level deck boots are similar to basic wellies in that they’re made of rubber, and come in different heights depending on preference. The soles will have significantly more grip than normal wellies though, and some feature a drawstring and gusset at the top to keep feet dry, like these Gul full-length deck boot. If you have a bigger budget, it’s well worth investing in a pair of leather or Gore-Tex deck boots, as they’ll be breathable as well as waterproof, and significantly more comfortable if you’re going to be wearing them for long periods of time. You don’t need to break the bank though, Gul’s Fastnet deck boots have all the essential features for a very appealing price.

Sailing shoes

Sailing shoes and other styles of amphibious shoe have gained a huge amount of popularity in recent years, perhaps partly due to the rise in paddle boarders. Shoes like the Dubarry Palma Lightweight Laced Trainer are designed to be lightweight, grippy and fast-drying, which is ideal for wearing on yachts. This style of shoe is the most comfortable sailing footwear available right now and will transfer easily from afloat to onshore.

Deck shoes

The final style of shoe is one you’ll often see worn by yachties ashore; the classic deck shoe. These are less designed for serious ocean racing and more suited to leisurely cruising and sea-to-shore wear, becoming very popular in high street fashion as well. That said, they’re a very versatile shoe for summer sailing, and their practical features should not be overlooked. Favourites like these Dubarry deck shoes offer a substantial amount of grip and comfort, and look just as good with a shirt in the evening as they do with a waterproof jacket at sea.


You can shop our full range of footwear here.

Written by Eliza Tilbury

Updated on 18th August 2021

Originally published on 21st August 2019 in Sailing

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