2 years ago I bought my first pair of deck shoes, manufactured by a company called Chatham. I’ll admit when I bought them I loved the style, and the deep brown colour, they looked stylish, and smart. However, after about a week of using them, the “deep brown” colour that I loved so much started to scratch off. It seems that the rich colour was more of a temporary dye then the actual colour of the shoe. The laces began to show signs of wear, and my feet would complain every time I stepped on something thanks to the thin, unforgiving sole. I also had the problem of sweating feet, the deck shoes didn’t allow for much air to circulate through, meaning a nasty smell was given off every time I took off the shoes.
When you pay £100 for a pair of shoes you expect them to be of very high quality, unfortunately this was not the case. After about a month the shoes began to look very scruffy, although I’m not the kind of person that can afford to spend such a large amount of money on a new pair of deck shoes every month – I was forced to stick with them.
Last week I was invited to go to the Jeanneau World Dealer meeting, after a few very strong recommendations, I decided to invest in a new pair of deck shoes. I’d been eyeing up the Clovehitch II model made by Sebago, although I assumed the quality would be the same as Chatham, thankfully I was proven wrong. The Clovehitch II shoes were very stylish, they have a sole that feels 3 or 4 times sturdier than the Chatham, far more comfortable and I don’t feel like an idiot wearing them. The dye is still as deep and shiny as it is when I bought them, and they have a breathable material that keeps my feet from sweating.
I’m very happy with my new Sebago deck shoes; I’d strongly recommend them, especially to people who suffer from sweating feet, and being a Chandler I hear a lot of people complaining about that problem. My favourite thing about them would probably be the support and stability they give; it’s far easier for me to move around boats now that my shoes don’t feel like they’re made of paper.
My only criticism of the Clovehitch II model is I don’t like the colour of the laces, they have a slight orange tinge that I’m not fond of. Other than that I’d say if you’re looking for a new pair of deck shoes, or have had a bad deck shoe experience in the past, then try the Sebago Clovehitch II.
David Woodward. Network Yacht Chandlers.