Are Sperrys Waterproof ? Summarized and Explained [2024]

Written By Mahia

Popularly known as boat shoes, Sperrys have gained drastic popularity in both sailors and nonsailors alike. But a common question I always get asked is, are they waterproof?

Don’t worry, I have the answer to that question for you. 

Even though Sperrys have been primarily made for being worn by sailors in boats and decks, they are not waterproof so they will not “protect” your feet from getting wet. However, they are water-friendly, which means they can be worn in watery conditions without any risk of damaging the shoes.


So, how do the Sperrys work? What’s special about them? And how should they be worn? 

Keep reading so that I can answer all your Sperry questions.

Are Sperrys Waterproof?

No, Sperrys are not waterproof. Even though they were made to be worn in boats and decks by sailors, the shoes are water-friendly instead of waterproof. This means they do not protect your feet from water, however, they can be comfortably worn in water without any risk of damaging them.

Sperrys are not waterproof in the sense that your feet will get wet if you wear them in watery conditions. However, they are water-friendly.

Being water-friendly means the shoes will not get damaged when you wear them around water. Instead, they will absorb the water and eventually dry up to look and feel exactly the same as before. 

Moreover, when Sperrys get wet, the look of the patina changes pleasantly. Some people would even agree that the shoes look better wet than dry. 

However, leather Sperrys often have a layer of protectant wax over them to create a water repellent finish.

So there is no reason to worry if your Sperrys get wet! 

As you wear them around water, especially saltwater, over time the shoes do get a rugged and used outlook, which many people find quite pleasant. But if you want to protect your shoes and maintain the initial look, you can try using waterproofing products to maintain your boat shoes. 

Now you may ask, if they are called boat shoes and they are not water-resistant, so what is their purpose? 

But before that, go through our epic guide Does Waterproof Shoe Spray Work.

What Is Special About The Sperrys? 

Sperrys, also known as boat shoes, were initially made to be worn by sailors. However, their main purpose was not to protect the sailors’ feet from getting wet but to prevent them from slipping in the wet boat decks. 

These boat shoes have unique rubber soles which give a secure grip and prevent the people wearing them from slipping on slippery boat decks. 

The traction of these shoes is excellent and perfect for wearing in slippery conditions. This anti-skid traction was introduced by the inventor of these shoes, Paul A. Sperry, by mimicking the grooves on the paws of his dog!


Sperrys also have a unique design that sets them apart from other shoes. 

They have a distinctive moccasin toe construction hand-sewn design on the upper side of the shoes that gives them a casual yet stylish outlook. You can see the unique sewing all around the shoes. So, besides the anti-skid quality, Sperrys are often worn for the chic look that they provide.

Sperrys are usually made of high-quality leather, which only adds to the classic look of the shoes. As a result, they are always in style! 

Moreover, you can slip on your Sperrys without wearing any socks and they will look and feel excellent all the same. Especially in a boat or deck setting, people more often than not opt for wearing them barefoot.

However, wearing them with socks is the better option, in my opinion.

The only problem with this is that you cannot wear them with the traditional socks as the shoes have an open top. Wearing visible socks with Sperrys does not look nice, and I would strongly suggest you avoid it.

But don’t worry, you can definitely wear low-cut socks with your Sperrys, this added layer will provide more comfort without the socks showing. 

Check out our separate post on 6 simple Ways To Waterproof Ugg Boots.

How To Wear Sperrys

A big question with boat shoes is where to wear them and what to wear them with. Well, I have the answer to that for you!

Sperrys are a big step up from conventional sneakers. You can wear them with a variety of different outfits, that too for very different settings.

Whether it is a pair of jeans, chinos, or shorts, you can pull it off with a pair of Sperrys. 

Pairing your Sperrys with denim creates an effortless, nautical look. You can also wear them with chinos of different colors to create a wonderful combo. 

During summer, you can pair your Sperrys with a pair of shorts for maximum comfort and the perfect hint of style.

However, I must mention one important thing: Sperrys are not the best choice for a formal look or occasion. So pairing your Sperrys with a suit or at a black-tie affair is a big no-no!

Once you break in your Sperrys, they are not only grippy but also very comfortable for wearing regularly. You can wear them in an office setting to source up your look and be comfortable all day long. You can also wear your Sperrys when traveling due to the comfort.


Since they were built to be worn on boats, you can always wear them while going to the beach or any such place with a waterbody involved. Along with the excellent grip, you will get the excellent style! 

However, I must let you know that Sperrys are not the best choice for cold winter days. These shoes are not the best at providing much protection from the cold, and they are not waterproof – so no additional protection from the snow. 

Follow our other guide to know how to Waterproof Cowboy Boots.


Yes, boat shoes are not waterproof and they will get wet – but they will also dry down. So, even if they are not water-resistant, they can definitely be worn around water.

In fact, as you use them in water, they develop a seasoned look that is very appealing to many.

So, even though they won’t protect your feet from getting wet but, don’t worry, you can wear your Sperrys and get them, wet without risking the quality of the shoes.

I hope this was helpful for you. If you have any feedback or queries leave them in the comments below.

About The Author
Since childhood, Mahia is a shoe freak. And this is what lead her to do more research and gather knowledge about shoes.Mahia has always wanted to share her skill and knowledge about footwear with a mass audience, which ended her up in this amazing workplace.When Mahia is not writing, you can almost always find her in the kitchen experimenting with different recipes to upgrade her catering menu.

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