Sebago Spinnaker vs Docksides: Which Is Better?

The major difference between the Sebago Spinnaker and Docksides is the material design of their upper material.

While the upper material of Docksides is made uniquely from pure leather which is hand-sewn and serves as a better alternative to the common canvas boat shoe worn by sailors, Sebago Spinnaker, on the other hand, is made from other upper materials like suede and nubucks with a touch of leather at the collar of the shoe.

Sebago Spinnaker vs Docksides

Spinnaker is more or less part of the Docksides.

What this means is that they are simply the combination of two or three tones of Docksides, using a combination of premium grade leathers, suede, and nubucks. 

However, these shoes are quite similar despite having different upper materials but if there’s any boat shoe in the world that has its upper leather feel like that of a sock, then it is the Sebago boat shoes.

And one could easily conclude that both the Sebago Spinnaker and the Docksides are the same shoes, obviously because of their similar appearance and their unique outer soles design.

In this article, you will not only get to see the difference but also the similarities of both shoes, so as to help you hasten your decision-making process on which pair to splurge on instantly today.

What is Sebago Spinnaker

Around the mid-1960s, Sebago as a brand produced Spinnaker, as their first boat shoe and it became so popular in the South of France amongst vacationers and was iconically known as a ‘must have’ casual shoe.

The shoe was popular (and is still) because of its overall moccasin-like construction made with high-quality upper materials that wrap around the feet to give comfort while walking.

The shoe also features a classic slotted leather collar and stitching that gives that sophisticated feel of a casual look.

However, the shoes are only great for recreational and casual purposes and are not to be worn as deck or beach shoes.


  • Sebago Spinnaker shoes offer a rubber outsole with a non-marking and slip-resistant properties
  • The shoes come in a few vibrant colors combinations
  • The shoe has a rust-free eyelet that carries the rawhide laces
  • It has a padded footbed and a rubber outer sole that ensures a firm grip while walking
  • The Sebago Spinnaker only functions well on land.
  • Made of great quality upper materials


  • The suede dye initially bleeds through if it gets wet
  • Your socks will get stained if the shoes get wet
  • The shoes are made with regular fabric insole with no ventilation as sweat gets trapped
  • Only available in a few designs
  • Has a stiff upper layer that causes calluses and makes one’s feet look ugly
  • The shoe has uncomfortable white stitching inside that disturbs the feet

What are the Docksides?

Docksides was first released in the 1970s as a brand but later became a fashion trend in the 1980s in high schools and colleges.

And since then have become popular not only amongst boat enthusiasts but also among modern fashion lovers.

They are iconically known as the best go-to boat or deck shoes and are the best selling of all Sebago shoes.

The body of the shoe is made from 100% hand-stitched leather, making the shoes strong with a close and comfortable fitting. Also, the brand offers a timeless fitting look and design that remains classic all through the year.

The soles of Docksides feature a rubber outer sole that is not only tough, and sturdy but slip-resistant as well.

This feature alone provides you with the perfect traction on both wet and dry surfaces. Also, the soles have excellent EVA foam that works to absorb shock and leaves the wearer with a comfortable feel.

Interestingly, Docksides shoes are available in more than 24 several color combinations for both men and women, making it possible to find your taste. And Docksides shoes are lightweight, more flexible, and give that loose-fitting.


  • Docksides are lightweight and water-resistant shoes
  • They are made with water-resistant uppers and a deck friendly, non-slip rubber soles
  • They come in several elegant leather designs
  • The shoes are highly resistant to water and feature a sole tread that provides sufficient grip
  • The shoe has an unusual color combination with contrast stitching that makes the shoe stands out
  • Made of high durable stitching
  • The upper material is made from 100% leather
  • The shoe features a really nice rawhide lacing


  • The shoes are not designed to be worn for longer periods, as you may develop heel pains
  • The break-in time for the shoe is quite long
  • The shoe offers very low arch support, hence not suitable for those with a high arch
  • The shoes are narrow which means you will have to order a wider type

What makes Sebago Spinnaker and Docksides similar?

Both have non-marking Rubber soles

Unlike other boat shoes which are made with buckskin soles, the soles of Sebago Spinnaker and Docksides shoes are patented with sniped rubber soles that feature a series of knife thin cuts.

In addition to this, both shoes don’t leave marks on the deck or on the boat surface.

They are both slip-on shoes

Apart from offering simplicity, comfort, and convenience as slip-on, both shoes have sock-like upper leather that is stitched directly to the sole.

The implication of this is that the bottom of the sock becomes the shoe’s insole, making the overall shoe supremely comfortable. And you can slip them on easily, with or without socks

Sipping Pattern

Both shoes have dozens of sipping patterns or knife thin cuts on the outer sole that cuts through the soles, providing one with a unique firm grip on slippery marine areas, wet decks, or slippery beach surfaces.

They are both hard-wearing

Both shoes are designed with quality components that enable them to be able to put up with the hard life of being in and out of saltwater.

Also, with proper maintenance of the leathers in the form of regular waxing and polishing, the shoes tend to last and improve in appearance with age.

Sebago Spinnaker vs Docksides: Comparison

Sebago Spinnaker vs Docksides: Material

Both shoes are made from high-quality leather, suede, and nubucks.

And since both shoes are designed to function not only as fashion shoes but also as wet shoes, the uppers of Sebago Spinnaker and Docksides have interior linings made from heavy-duty leather.

This quality alone makes both shoes stand out as they are designed to last for longer despite being worn wet.

It also features distinctly placed metal eyelets for the rawhide laces. And the outsoles are made from high-quality rubber and not with “man-made” soles made from cheap low-quality plastic). So, it is a DRAW!

Sebago Spinnaker vs Docksides: Design

When it comes to design, Docksides shoes have it. This is so because of the wide range of upper leather design options the shoes are being made from.

From leather to suede to nubucks, one can selectively wear one shoe with several outfits without looking odd or out of style.

Unlike the Spinnakers that are available in just a few designs and because they are a combination of leather, suede, and nubucks upper materials, the shoes are selective as to what outfits to wear with them.

So, the Docksides are better off when it comes to design and styling.

Sebago Spinnaker vs Docksides: Sizing

Generally, boat shoes take a while before it successfully breaks in so they might not fit correctly at the first instance of trying them on.

The shoes don’t fit perfectly unlike normal shoes, what you can do instead is to go for a little snugger fit than your usual.

The implication of this is that they will stretch out with time and get looser on your feet as you wear them.

So, choose a half size down from your normal size, and if you are between sizes, just go with the smaller of the two sizes.

Based on the sizing, both Spinnaker and Docksides are true to size but they require a bit of time to break in so that they can conform to the size of your feet.

Sebago Spinnaker vs Docksides: Price

Both deck shoes are not the cheapest on the market but they are the perfect boat shoe to rely on as the second option when it comes to pricing.

Because of how high-quality leathers can cost, the shoes are a bit pricey but they have proven to be long-lasting and versatile in use.

Hence, they remain the most recommended and most reliable form of footwear for the discerning yachtsman and non-sailing folks.

Docksides leather boat shoes range from $60 on the low end to $266 on the high end, while Sebago Spinnaker range from $25.95 on the low end to $264 on the high end.

So, Docksides are a bit more pricey than the Sebago Spinnaker boat shoe.

Sebago Spinnaker vs Docksides: Overall quality?

Both shoes have been made with the finest leather and upper materials that any true moccasin shoe should have.

Not to mention the white rubber outer sole that is adorned with fine knife cuts that suit explicitly for providing a firm grip on any surface at all.

The shoes are traditionally made for both men and women to outperform other similar footwear most especially in roughest sea conditions amidst being stylish as well.

Just by mere touching the shoes and having a feel of the level of craftsmanship, you will get to know the quality of the leather and upper materials that goes into each pair of both shoes. So, it’s a DRAW.

On what occasions can you wear a Sebago spinnaker? 

The Sebago Spinnaker shoes can be worn only on land because if it gets wet, they can affect the overall color of the shoe.

The shoes are made with an upper material different from leather but with the same unique moccasin construction.

The upper material being suede or sometimes nubucks is thinner and more pliable than the typical Docksides leather.  And suede is generally of higher quality, which makes it durable and comfortable for the feet.

So, if you are a moccasin-inspired or boat shoe lover who wants high-quality boat shoes that can stand stylish on land, then Sebago Spinnaker is the shoe for you.

On what occasions can you wear the Docksides?

You can wear Docksides both on land and at sea.

Although they were made with the serious sailors in mind offering a tough rubber outer sole and the finest premium leather that can tolerate the hard life of being soaked up in seawater, now the shoes are made to be worn comfortably on land.

Docksides are moccasin-inspired loafers featuring a low-cut profile with the best hand-sewn features.

This is made possible through their high-quality craftsmanship and unique moccasin construction.

These shoes are designed to be stylish enough to be worn anywhere as they come in multi-color options and a comprehensive range of styles such as the crazy horse tan leather, camel suede upper leather, chiffon suede, and purely brown leather.

So, if you are looking for not just a boat shoe but a stylish type, the Docksides is your best option as they are equipped with an outer sole that features a soft, non-slip, non-skid, non-marking sipped pattern for the general firmness and traction that a boat shoe is required to have.

And also they are suited explicitly to be worn as casual footwear as they meet the demands of trendy fashion.

Final thoughts

Both shoes offer unique yet similar features as boat shoes but the upper material seems like the only outstanding difference between them.

Now, if I am to choose between the Sebago Spinnaker and Docksides, I’ll go for the latter.

I think Docksides shoes are of better value because of their quality of construction, leather materials, and styling options.

Buying a Docksides instead of the spinnaker shoe will mean that you don’t have to be conscious about getting your shoes wet or being worried that your shoes will be ruined by the rain. 

As explained in the post, Docksides shoes are the go-to deck shoe for both the serious sailor and anyone looking for a robust recreational boat shoe.

That is why it continues to remain the benchmark quality for all sailing shoes and their timeless style, perfect fitting, and leather construction makes these shoes look superbly.

Because of the multi-color array of leather design options made available, Sebago Docksides can look great with almost any outfit (well except for suits though).

And they are constructed as deck shoes to withstand the most demanding conditions both at sea and on land.

However, if you don’t want to lock up your feet in heat-retaining leather boat shoes and you don’t have the intention of buying Sebago shoes for use as beach, deck, or boat shoes, then the Sebago Spinnaker is the right choice for you.

Remember these shoes are not designed to be wet unlike their counterpart; Docksides. So, wear them instead as fashionable and casual moccasin boat shoes.


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