Op-Eds Opinion

Hassa’s Fashion Buzz: Slip on the Sperrys

Taylor Hassa

Staff Writer 

Sperry Top-Sider is the original brand of boat shoes that was designed in 1935 by Paul Sperry.

Like most boaters today, Sperry risked injury when walking on the very slippery deck of his boat. One day while watching his dog, Prince, run across the ice, he noticed the dog’s outstanding ability to maintain traction on the slippery surface.

Sperry examined his dog’s feet and came to the conclusion that it was the different grooves and cracks that allowed the dog to maintain traction on the ice. This gave Sperry the idea for a leather upper-shoe with adherring bone pattern of grooves on the sole.

Sperry’s shoe was a big hit among boaters because, not only did the shoe provide a non-slip sole, but it also had a crisp white color, which prevented the shoe from leaving marks on the boat’s deck.

The shoe remained a “must have” item for boaters until 1939, when the United States Navy negotiated the right to manufacture the shoe for its sailors.

The Navy’s contract resulted in Sperry’s business being purchased by the U.S. Rubber Co., which then launched the shoe across the country.

Today, what started off as a strictly boater shoe can be found in every store. These shoes are popular among men, women, children and just about everyone else because they can be worn with many different outfits.

The slogan for the shoes now is, “A Passion for the Sea.”

This slogan has caused a lot of controversy because; the majority of boaters feel that the shoes were made for them. If you don’t own a boat you shouldn’t own a pair of Sperrys.

“People that are wearing them as a fashion statement are posers and are tainting the history of the shoe,” said freshman Sarah Miller.

Sperrys have become so popular that they will probably never be just a boater shoe again.

Everyone loves them because they are comfortable, stylish and come is all different colors and patterns.

These old shoes are the hottest trend right now, so the boaters are just going to suck it up.

You know what they say, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

Taylor Hassa may be reached at thassa@springfieldcollege.edu

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