Within Seishou line of footwear, “Hopkins” boat shoes are one of the flagship models, available for men in five color variants, two of which can also be purchased in women’s sizes.
Taking inspiration from American preppy style, designer Yuko Matsuzaki reimagined this traditional model according to contemporary taste, highlighting its versatility and ability to adapt to different situations, both formal and casual. The boat shoes were chosen because of their history, which embodies the balance of elegance and comfort that also identifies Seishou as a brand.
Boat shoes, past and present
The source of this type of footwear dates back to 1935, when American inventor Paul A. Sperry updated the traditional leather shoes by adding a rubber sole into which he cut a particular “siping” pattern. This technique is named after another inventor, John F. Sipe, who came up with a similar design in 1923, applying it to car tires. The rubber sole then made it possible to walk safely on the slippery boat decks, without giving up the elegant moccasin-like construction.
Thanks to its functionality, the model got adopted very quickly by sailors. As time went on, boat shoes also became a popular option on land, particularly within college fashion in the sixties, as documented in the historic photo book Take Ivy.
As the years went by, the style turned more and more informal, while boat shoes cemented themselves as a standard, a relaxed and elegant option alternative to both sneakers and classic lace-ups. By the time the influential and autoironic Official Preppy Handbook got published in 1980, these shoes were already widely recognized as an icon of American style.
Seishou Hopkins model
So we get to present time, with Seishou’s take on this model. Meanwhile, the history of boat shoes didn’t reach an endpoint, on the contrary the model kept evolving and being updated, following various fashion trends. In the context of a collection inspired by university style, Seishou interprets this footwear classic with the Hopkins, respecting and innovating its tradition with a few upgrades.
First of all, the shape has been refined by designer Yuko Matsuzaki to follow the foot with smooth and precise lines. The typical anti-slip function of boat shoes has been accentuated by employing thick Vibram rubber soles, a high quality material that guarantees safety, comfort, and great durability. Finally, the choice to manufacture this model in various materials and colors allows a selection of shoes that are always stylish and reflect contemporary taste.
Men’s Hopkins are available in five colors, among which a modern camouflage printed pattern, a version in white tumbled leather, both available in women’s sizes as well, and three distinct shades of brown: a light brown one in calfskin with a particular finish that lends it a nostalgic feel, one in very classy brown tumbled leather, and one in elegant dark brown suede.
Tips for a flawless style
Regardless of the color of choice, Hopkins boat shoes share great versatility. They adapt to countless outfits, from informal bermuda shorts to classic chinos. A sure bet is to reference their origin with a nautical style: for example wearing striped patterns in white, blue, red, or sea-themed prints.
Often regarded as a dignified and comfortable alternative to sneakers, boat shoes are an excellent addition to casual and sporty outfits as well, such as a simple t-shirt and a pair of jeans. If the occasion calls for it, their design and the care with which they are manufactured makes it easy to pair them with more formal clothing, like button-up shirts and light blazers for a charming look suitable for any season.