Columbia Dorado PFG Sneaker Style Women’s Boat Shoes

Last updated: August 7, 2023

Columbia Dorado PFG Sneaker Style Women’s Boat Shoes

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We looked at the top Women's Boat Shoes and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Women's Boat Shoe you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 11 expert reviews, the Columbia Dorado PFG Sneaker Style Women's Boat Shoes placed 7th when we looked at the top 7 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY: Durable and yet casual, the Women’s Dorado PFG Mesh Deck Shoe features a mesh and synthetic upper, combined with our TECHLITE lightweight midsole with superior cushioning and high energy return. BOATING & FISHING SHOE: Born for water ready action, this all-around sneaker-style lace-up shoe taps our advanced water-and-stain repellency helps ensure a clean look whether you’re dockside or downtown. WET SURFACE GRIP: Our signature Omni-GRIP non-marking wet grip outsole with razor siping provides high power grip across a wide variety of slippery wet surfaces. ALL-AROUND PERFORMANCE: Designed to be super comfortable, quick-drying, and feature a low durometer EVA midsole that provides the ultimate in comfort and shock absorbent all-day wear. BUILT TO LAST: Columbia’s attention to detail is what sets our footwear apart. Specifying only the highest quality materials, expert stitching and craftsmanship. These are worry-free shoes you will enjoy on every outing.

Expert Reviews

What experts liked

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Boating can be slippery business, from the docks to the boat deck to the rocks you’ll encounter if you drop anchor next to an island and step out. Slip-and-fall accidents are among many hazards boaters face, contributing to unnecessary injuries and deaths.

When you’re boating, the right gear is essential. You’ll likely ensure you have life jackets on board, as well as a fire hydrant and other safety gear required by law. But a good pair of shoes can also boost your safety, reducing your risk of slipping during your day on the water.

Boat shoes feature rubber soles with a textured bottom that grips the surface beneath your feet for added traction. Although they can be made with leather uppers, canvas tends to be more popular with those who actually plan to wear boat shoes while boating.

Of course, boat shoes certainly aren’t limited to boating. In fact, the shoes became a fashion staple in the ’80s and were even included in the 1980 book “The Preppy Handbook” as popular footwear for the true “preppy.” Boat shoes are still often worn with shorts, jeans and khakis as a comfortable but sporty compromise between dressy shoes and sneakers.

Sperry was the originator of the boat shoe, though they weren’t the first shoes to have ridged soles for traction. There are also numerous brands of boat shoes on the market bearing the same design concept under different names. Sperry’s shoe became known as Top-Siders, but the generic name “docksiders” emerged in the last half of the 20th century. “Boat shoes” is now the preferred generic term.

Boat shoes are especially popular with those who prefer not to wear socks in the summer. Although they can be worn with socks, they’ve become associated with a casual yet put-together look that has wearers skipping socks and pairing them with shorts or lightweight pants. This provides a casual summertime vibe that works whether you’re wearing shorts, jeans or pants.

Buying Advice

  • Leather is a classic, durable and attractive option, but it does have its downsides. It might not give you the breathability you need, particularly during the hot summer months. Leather can also be a little harder to maintain. Faux leather or canvas might be a lower-maintenance, all-weather option.
  • Arch support is important in any shoe. Look for at least a little support in the arch area, especially if you spend a lot of time on your feet.
  • If you plan to wear your boat shoe without socks, breathability should be a top priority. Without socks, there’s no moisture barrier, so moisture can easily build up, creating an unsafe environment for your feet.
  • Memory foam can make a big difference in comfort when you’re on your feet for long stretches of time. You can buy memory foam inserts, but unless the shoe is designed to accommodate it, it’s best to look for shoes with the insert built in to avoid overcrowding the foot.
  • Don’t forget about heel comfort. Look at the lift of the shoe to make sure it won’t put your foot in an uncomfortable position, but also ensure there’s padding and support in the heel area.
  • Look at sizes as you’re shopping for boat shoes. Some come in half sizes, while others don’t. If you need narrow or wide sizing, that will further limit your options.
  • It may seem like a small thing, but durable shoelaces are also valuable. Before buying, check to make sure your shoestring won’t break. Of course, shoestrings can easily be replaced, but it can be tough to match your shoes after the fact.