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Paul Sperry was born in 1895 to a Connecticut family with a long seafaring trodden. Sperrys college years at Dartmouth were interrupted by the outbreak of World War I, when he enlisted as a seaman in the U.S. Navy.

In 1935, after almost losing his life on a slippery deck, Paul Sperry spent years and tested dozens of experiments in order to perfect a non-slip boat shoe. One day, after watching his dog dart effortlessly across the ice, he carved grooves like those on his dog’s paws into the bottom of a rubber sole. In that moment of inspiration, the world’s first boat shoe was born.

During World War II, the U.S. War Department named Sperry Top-Sider as one of the official shoes of the U.S. Navy.

In the early 1960s, the Kennedy family was photographed while on vacation, triggering a love affair with the active nautical life and classic American style. It was then that Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes and Sperry sneakers became established as an integral element of this iconic American look. Sperrys are a classic American shoe and one of our favorites for any season.