Paul Sperry may have invented the high-traction sole that makes his namesake Sperry boat shoes so special, but his dog also deserves credit. Inspired by the pup’s grooved paw pads that allowed him to run over ice, Sperry— a fourth-generation seaman , who once almost lost his life, on account of slippery decks—applied the same sure-footed principle to easy, slip-on loafers in 1935. Dubbed the ”Top-Sider,” the style was so effective that it went on to become the official footwear of the US War Department during WWII, and a staple in nearlyevery American’s closet. The preppy, classic boat shoes are the brand’s centerpiece these days, with men’s and women's Sperry boots and sneakers rounding out the rest of the tried-and-true collection.
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