Water Resistance vs. Sweat Wicking: Which is More Important?

Man stands holding pink boat shoes in the ocean


One of the most common questions people have is wondering if waterproof boat shoes really are resistant? This is a trickier question than it looks at first glance, as there is a lot of thought that goes into designing a boat shoe and water resistant properties. The upshot is that the best boat shoes need to strike a balance when it comes to waterproofing. The most waterproof boat shoes may be highly water-resistant but will have poorer sweat-wicking, making them less comfortable to wear (especially without socks). 


This piece will be a quick guide to the relationship between water, boat shoes, and sweat-wicking, and give you an introduction to the water-resistant specs of our men’s waterproof boat shoes. 

Water and Boat Shoes

Generally speaking, the best boat shoes you’ll find on the market are considered “water-friendly”, though you may still see these referred to as waterproof boat shoes. What this means is that you shouldn’t feel bad if you get your boat shoes wet - they are meant for beaches and boats after all. However, you shouldn’t go swimming wearing your boat shoes either.


Leather isn’t meant to be repeatedly soaked and dried.  When wet leather dries it stiffens, and when this is repeated, the durability of the leather will suffer.  Impurities in the water, like with salt water, will remain in the leather when it dries and leave a stain.  . For many owners of men’s waterproof boat shoes, a little bit of staining is actually a feature, as the leather develops a “weathered” appearance over time. Exposure to any salt, water, or sunlight will change the appearance of boat shoes.


If you get your boat shoes very wet or get something other than water on them, you can gently use a dry brush on them to cut down on the staining. As long as you take good care of them, boat shoes can look good for years. 

Waterproofing vs. Sweat Wicking

So why aren’t totally waterproof boat shoes more common? Partially it’s simply a matter of function. The best boat shoes are designed for hanging out near the water, not in it. In fact, the whole point of boat shoes to start was to keep you in the boat


Another problem with totally waterproof boat shoes is that it impacts the ability of the shoe to “wick sweat” - its ability to absorb sweat and then evaporate it. This means that the most impermeable men’s high-quality waterproof boat shoes will often end up leaving you swimming in sweat, especially if they’re worn without socks. 


Froats Water Resistant Options

Froats are proud makers of some of the best boat shoes out there, many of which are designed to tough it out for a day at the beach or on a boat. Here’s a quick guide to the level of water resistance you can expect from all our different shoes that are also moisture wicking. 


Our Wine and Dine’s are a highly water-resistant shoe and will hold up well to splashes, spills, and even salty seawater. If you are looking for men’s waterproof boat shoes, look no further. 


The Anglers, Classic Hinder Seersucker, and Shooter McGavins are water-resistant but are still liable to stain if you get wine or saltwater on them - be careful at beach parties. 


The Sharks and Minnows and the Nubuck Collection are designed for breathability and maximum sweat-wicking properties. This means they can be comfortably worn without socks, but they’ll be highly absorbent of any spills - keep them away from anything that’s not clean water. 


As you can see, Froats can have a shoe for you, no matter what you intend to use your boat shoe for. Make sure to browse all those options in our online store for more information on their great features and iconic styles.  

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