This Shoe Literally Gets Better The More You Wear It

Some shoe trends come and go, but Sebago's have stood the test of time.


This post is sponsored by Sebago | Words by Mark Arendse |

In high school, I had a basic set of fashion requirements: a fresh haircut, cool threads, and a decent pair of sneakers. Everything else that life threw at me, I just had to deal with as it came – like acne. Nowhere on my adolescent checklist did a pair of boat shoes appear – probably because, I dunno, I didn’t own a boat. But more importantly: at the time, I couldn’t afford them.

Related: Why You Need A Pair Of Boat Shoes In Your Closet ASAP

Sebago’s, for me, were a status symbol. Most high-school students who could afford them made an effort to flaunt them in your face, while most of the rest of us were either (a) feverishly working to save up for a pair, or (b) totally not even trying to put in the hard labour required.

For some reason, boat shoes were deeply rooted in our (completely non-boat-owning) culture. They were an understated symbol of style, appreciated by those with a keen eye and better fashion sense than I had at the time; because – given how tiresome saving was, and how easily I was distracted by fads and video games – I shelved my dreams of ever owning a pair of Sebago’s. Let alone a boat.

But now that I’m a lot older and a little bit wiser (maybe), I’m pleased to report that the boat shoes of yesteryear, and of my dreams, still hold their iconic status for boat guys and fashionistas alike. Chances are, some of them are still wearing the same shoes they wore back when they and I were at high school, as people are known to hang on to their Sebago’s for decades. I mean, the shoe just gets better the more you wear it.

If It Ain’t Broke…

Thankfully, nothing much has changed on the tried-and-tested Docksides design. It still features the same rawhide lace that wraps around your foot for added comfort and support, and the same non-slip rubber soles for added grip in any weather conditions. The only thing that’s new is the range of colour combinations available, to match whatever your brain can come up with when choosing your next pair.

Fresh & Natural

I have an entire collection of Day-Glo running shoes (you can imagine how many people I upset during the course of my day). But as someone who generally prefers to colour-coordinate his wardrobe, not only is the Military Green colour-choice pleasing to look at, but I can blend in with nature if I feel the need. These shoes are waxed leather which means they are robust and smooth, and then a waxy finish is applied. Due to this soft scratch-sensitive finish, the leather quickly gets a vintage-patina, which gives it that classic look. It’s a versatile option that goes with anything I throw at it – casual and playful by day, serious and sophisticated at night.

The Verdict

I’m now gladly taking a more relaxed approach to my wardrobe (though I miss being able to go for a quick 5-kay without changing my shoes). And at every future party, braai and random social intermingling, my Sebago’s will be used ad nauseam to let everyone know how much my sense of style has matured.

Sebago’s. Still the same shoe from my adolescence, handcrafted in exactly the same way for the last seventy-odd years.

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