How to Break in Sperry Top-Siders at the Beach

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Top-siders are the ideal boat shoe, and are traditionally worn with no socks.
Top-siders are the ideal boat shoe, and are traditionally worn with no socks. (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Sperry top-siders are the ideal footwear for a day on a boat or yacht. Unfortunately, getting your shoes to that ideal comfort level may take months, even years to achieve. Once you purchase your new top-siders, take a day or two to break them in. A little salt water and time can help give your new shoes a worn-in look, but the perfect fit may take some more time.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat bucket
  • Salt water

Verify the shoe fits you prior to aging them. Once shoes have been worn or damaged, they cannot be returned.

Wear shoes around the boardwalk, on the beach and sightseeing, to help break in the fit. Bring along another pair of shoes, in case the top-siders start to hurt your feet.

Purchase a flat, plastic bucket, long enough to accomodate both shoes horizonatally. A plastic boot box will work well. Place the shoes inside the box with the soles on the bottom.

Fill the box with salt water to the top of the shoe. The water should not be high enough to reach the interior of the shoe. If water does enter the inside, it is not a problem, just remove some water and refill.

Allow the shoes to sit for 24 hours. The salt will help to remove the glossy top-coat of the shoe and soften the leather for a more relaxed fit.

Remove the shoes and rinse with cold water, and lay out to dry. If water reached the interior of the shoes, remove the insole and lay it out separately to dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Normal wear and tear will create a more natural worn-in look.

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