Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sperry Billfish: A Footwear Identity Crisis



While I am glad to see that boat shoes are currently making a comeback, I find it unfortunate that about 90% of boat shoe-wearing students, both guys and girls, at Clemson have chosen the Sperry Billfish. Is it a boat shoe? Is it a sneaker? Why has everyone in South Carolina chosen this pair? Who knows? What is clear is that it doesn't hold a candle to the Sperry Authentic Original in terms of style.

7 comments:

Lindsay said...

i think it's a status thing. they want you to know that they (read: their parents) can afford to pay the extra $100...

trip said...

Author's note: Lindsay was actually referring to the Gold Cup version of the Billfish, which do actually cost the ridiculous sum of $170.

Giuseppe said...

If you're not going to buy Topsiders, in either dark brown ar navy blue, what else is there?

In Massachusetts, this is not a matter for discussion.

The Duck said...

At at time these were the shoes that you deep sea fished in, the reason why everyone wanted a pair. I have them and they rarely get worn anymore. If we are fishing offshore it is better to wear the sneaker style sperrys. They dry quicker, they get better grip. Function is everything.

Laguna Beach Trad said...

Great post. I've started seeing a lot of boat shoes. I prefer the original. On a recent trip to the Indian Ocean, I saw dozens of people wearing boat shoes, both tourists and locals. They seem especially to be popular among Italians and French.

drew said...

That thing is a blight on the face of style in this state. I simply don't understand why so many people choose to wear that shoe. Especially on campus, inland. In Columbia, it often seemed as if a marlin tournament were to break out in five points every minute.

It seems to be one of those hideous hybrid shoes that the manufacturers keep pushing to consumers as "all-purpose." Why must one have a shoe that fits every occasion? I've got a pair of blue suede topsiders for casual wear and others for athletic ventures. This is beyond me. The shoe is a compromise at its core and I suspect that 90% of its wearers do not deep sea fish.

You've got pretty good taste in music. You oughta come over to Greenville to catch the Everybodyfields at the Handlebar on the 26th.

Noah said...

Clemson, as in this is what you observed there? As a current USC undergrad this isn't surprising. You can't have your boat shoes and tennies too, no sir. The majority of people on our fair campus wear the classic Sperry in Sahara, but some people have another pair in flashier colors. I do see the Billfish around, but it is definitely the exception not the rule. And being SC, everyone wears them: Greeks, Nerdy types, african americans, and even hipsters...