Sperry Top-siders it is the original American brand of boat shoes designed in 1935 by Paul A. Sperry. Sperry was the first boat shoes introduced into the boating and footwear markets. 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.