Open-water sailing’s spirit of freedom and adventure is inspiration this summer for deck shoes that embrace colour and hybrid styling. In the vibrant flotilla are Hermès’ soft calfskin versions in tomato, dove and navy (£550), with an “H” ridged pattern on the handstitched Blake sole, and Louis Vuitton’s bright blue, navy and white calfskin shoes (£445) with Damier embossed rubber sole. Louis Vuitton is currently celebrating 33 years of sponsoring the America’s Cup, and these shoes are part of a complementary accessories collection that includes a smart Steamer bag (£3,150) first launched in 1901 as a sailors’ laundry bag. Also brilliant on the colour front is Paul&Shark’s deck shoe (£308), which teams a bright red suede upper with panels in pale blue and navy woven lattice leather.
Hybrid styling can be found at Car Shoe, where the brand’s driving-shoe upper in chestnut antique calfskin (£260) or blue suede is married to a deck-shoe-style rubber sole; similar styles (£295) see white or blue calfskin with, respectively, a blue or red flash in the sole. They’re dynamic, narrower than is typical for the genre and brilliant for bounding around on deck or off.
Tod’s has also added a chunky deck-shoe sole to its classic driving style (£335) – beige suede has cobalt laces and trim, while olive suede (pictured far right) has yellow detailing.
Francesco Moreschi, grandson of the eponymous Italian footwear firm’s founder, has created a hybrid of another kind by adding a soft deerskin or chamois-leather back to the traditional deck shoe, which he calls a “ski back”, and which can be pushed down so the shoes become “deck mules”. Suede versions (£295) come in muted tobacco (pictured below), charcoal or blue, and nubuck versions (£295) in chalk, yellow and red.
The most outré hybrids can be found at Louis Leeman, where suede deck shoes (£465) feature moccasin-esque fringing and wooden beading, and at DSquared2, where tomato low-tops (£350) have a deck-shoe-style lace and eyelet trim.
In contrast, John Lobb’s smart-casual Arima (£705) echoes a more formal Derby style. A broad, round toe and elegant top stitching are paired with metal eyelets, metal-ended laces and a rubber sole. Go for a single colour in orange, navy or brown.
A leather sole takes the look smarter still at Jimmy Choo. The Walter (£450) in sky blue, malibu, grey or canary vachetta combines a leather sole with the deck shoe’s traditional lacing and blanket stitch. “The style merges formal codes with sportswear functionality,” says creative director Sandra Choi.
For designers, this season seems the time for messing about with boat shoes, and for seafarers and landlubbers alike.