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1895 - 1920's
Our founder, Paul Sperry, was born into a family with a long sea-faring tradition. Paul grew up listening to his great-grandfather speak of wild adventures in the South Seas. These tales set the stage for young Paul’s inventive spirit, passion for sailing and curiosity for adventure.
THE BIRTH OF
The rough seas, a slippery deck and a struggle for sure footing almost cost Paul Sperry his life; and began his long and ambitious quest for a solution. One day in 1935, after watching his dog dart effortlessly across the ice on a cold Connecticut day, he was inspired to carve grooves – like those on his dog's paws – into the bottom of a rubber sole. In that moment of inspiration, the world's first boat shoe was born.
HEARTS & MIND
1936 - 1940's
Every single member of the Cruising Club of America wrote to Mr. Sperry to request a pair of these remarkable new boat shoes. Nothing else kept sailors safe on deck.
During World War II, the US War Department named Sperry Top-Sider as one of the official shoes of the US Navy.
1960's - 1970
The Kennedy family is photographed while on vacation, triggering a love affair with the active nautical life and classic American style. Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes and sneakers become established as an integral element of this iconic look.
STYLE & SPORT
1980 - 1990's
The Official Preppy Handbook endorses the Sperry Top-Sider Authentic Original as the footwear symbol of classic Prep style, marking a legacy of good taste. Dennis Conner leads the America’s Cup Team that wins back the trophy for the United States in 1987. Sperry Top-Sider is the official shoe of the America’s Cup.