The difference between boat shoes and moccasins.

Two types of modern functional shoes for men and women - topsiders and moccasins - are very similar in appearance. Therefore, there is some confusion in terms. In fact, it is quite easy to see how topsiders differ from moccasins.


Modern moccasins are flat-soled shoes that are sewn for men and women. Initially, it was made by North American Indians, in a slightly modified form it has survived to this day.


Boatmen originally served as a specialized shoe for yachting. One of the main differences between topsiders and moccasins and other types of shoes is the obligatory white sole. She is rigid and has a pronounced relief that allows you to maintain stability on deck. In turn, the white color of the sole does not leave marks on its surface.



Both topsiders and moccasins were created as a male shoe. But nowadays women also wear them with pleasure. The second similarity between them is that these 2 types of shoes are made of soft materials that can fit the foot tightly: leather or suede. Thirdly, according to the rules, topsiders, like moccasins, must be worn exclusively on bare feet. And it doesn't matter if it's a ladies' model or a male one.

Another similarity is that topsiders and moccasins always have an outer seam at the top. It can be done with threads to match the main part of the product or with contrasting ones. It is because of the similar sewing technology that topsiders and moccasins are mistaken by many for the same type of footwear.


It seems that these two models have too much in common. Then what is the difference between boat shoes and moccasins? In fact, there are also plenty of points by which you can recognize each species.

The key difference is the original purpose of topsiders and moccasins. The first, as it is already clear from the definition, were created for a specific task: comfortable yacht control. The latter were used as shoes for every day. This leads to the following important difference: the sole of the moccasins was supposed to provide comfort with constant wear, so it was made soft, with minimal relief. In addition, its color usually coincides with the main tone of the shoe or is close to it in shade. Topsiders, in turn, must ensure stability on the smooth surface of the yacht and not leave marks on it. Therefore, their sole is very white, hard and embossed. True, in our time for everyday wear, comfortable models with a softer bottom are often created.

Visually, the easiest way to distinguish topsiders from moccasins is by their laces. The former always have them and have a specific function of fixing the leg. The lace wraps around the back of the product, passes through 4 holes in the front and is tied. If not for this design feature, topsiders with their inflexible soles would simply fall off their feet. Soft moccasins without additional techniques fit the foot tightly and hold well. Laces on them may be present, but they are always exclusively decorative. Women's moccasins are often decorated with embroidery, chains with small pendants, rhinestones, etc. For topsiders, laces have always been and remain the only piece of decor, moreover, functional.


Topsiders Moccasins
Created as a specialized shoe for yachtingOriginally a model for everyday wear
Have a hard, white and embossed soleHave a soft, non-embossed sole, which can be of any color
Fixed on the leg with a laceDo not require additional means of fixation
Not have decorative elements, except for laces and contrasting stitchingMay have various decorative details