Sperrys: From Boat Shoe to “Bro” Shoe
Sperry topsiders are worn by lacrosse players all across the country. The originated as boat shoes that had an exceptionally good grip on the slippery wet surface when out at sea. Sperry’s are no longer being only bought by seamen but a large portion of lacrosse players own multiple pairs and different types. Schools that have a uniform, like my high school, allow Sperry’s because they look very professional but still have a casual feel to them. They are an icon for sailors and are turning into an icon for rich preppy kids all over the country.
Sperrys were originally seen as a status symbol for yachtsman because they were durable and still looked good and could be worn when out at sea. Yachtsman dress nicely when they go out on their boats because yachts are expensive so most people who own them are generally wealthy and can afford to dress nicely. Sperrys were also a way for people who owned boats to show people they owned boats without saying a word (Grischke). Sperrys are now seen as a status symbol in the collegiate lacrosse community because of the stereotype that lacrosse players are all rich and dress nicely. There has been a huge transition from Sperrys only being a Yachtsman’s shoe to a casual to dressy shoe. This is largely in part to Lacrosse players and preppy kids alike taking the shoe and making it their own. Every single lacrosse player at Ohio Wesleyan University has at least three pairs of Sperrys at school and wears them around to class and also on the bus to games when they have to dress up and look presentable to the other team as they arrive for their game.
The inventor, Paul Sperry, came up with the idea to make slits in the bottom of the shoe to try and mimic the grip that his cocker spaniel had when running on ice while staying in control. Sperry’s started so-called boat shoes which were easily washed after getting wet with saltwater....