Let’s face it — boat shoes are for kids.
After you graduate college, the only place they should be worn is on the deck of ship. They unintentionally give off a youthful vibe that you probably don’t want to portray all summer long.
The problem comes when they’re your “default” summer shoes that go with everything and can slot into pretty much every outfit. You might never venture far from their perennial comfort — but you should.
There are numerous other types of shoes that carry a similar profile to boat shoes, but eschew the frat-boy influence. Here are some of our favourites:
No longer relegated to the closets of the prep, the penny loafer has gained acceptance as a three-season casual shoe. It’s a definite step up from the boat shoe — and it will get you noticed in a great way.
Choose a well-made pair like these Oak Street Bootmakers Beefroll Penny Loafers ($328), and go sockless. The beefroll refers to the rolled-up leather on the sides, which gives the loafer a more casual vibe.
Many men are now donning the driving moc for activities other than driving. They have a refined, yet laid-back vibe that’s ideal for summer in the city.
The driving moc is often considered the penny loafer’s sportier, European cousin.
We like the subdued styling of Jack Erwin’s Ernie driving loafers ($95), which are a sportier version of the penny loafer.
If you’re not looking to stray very far from the styling of the boat shoe, but still want to look age-appropriate, the camp moc is for you. A very close relative of the boat shoe, the camp moc even has the same wraparound leather lacing and general profile.
However, the front lacing sets it apart with a distinctive row of metal eyelets.
L.L. Bean’s Camp Moc ($84) is a wonderful example of this kind of shoe.
The most rugged of the bunch, the blucher moc ditches the wraparound lace in favour of a full four-eyelet system.
This changes the profile of the shoe and make but still provides that low-profile, moc-toe summer look with the casual spirit we love.
Bass’ Ranger Moc pairs the blucher style with a super-durable boot-style rubber sole.
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