The Dexter Shoe Company was founded in 1956 by Harold Alfond. It was built into a prosperous name in shoes by providing high quality shoes at affordable prices. After nearly 40 years, Alfond sold the Maine-based company to Berkshire Hathaway for $433 million in Berkshire Class A stock (now worth a boatload of money) and after a few unsuccessful years the concern was rolled into the Berkshire’s Brown Shoe Company. Warren Buffett has called the 1993 deal his worst. Today, shoe manufacturing has moved to China, but the shoes offered under the Dexter label still seem to be of good quality and design. Dexter Schooner Boat shoes are an excellent example of a basic, solid, high quality shoe design offered at an affordable price.
Dexter Schooner Boat shoes can function on a boat or in the office. Boat shoes are definitely something to bring when you go boating. The tread pattern on the sole is that of a traditional boat shoe. While these are Sperry Topsiders, they should offer plenty of grip on a wet deck or dock. Unlike traditional all leather boat shoes, the Dexter Schooner offer faux leather uppers backed by synthetic fabric. I’m not sure how these shoes would dry after getting wet or how they would hold up when worn barefoot. I would highly recommend socks. However, for casual wear, the Dexter Schooners would be quite at home in the office or at your favorite dockside restaurant.
These Dexter Schooners are a comfortable shoe for daily wear. They have a traditional footbed with a synthetic fabric insole. However, these shoes lack the extra heel padding that Dexter provides in their super comfortable Nantucket boat shoe. I found that Dexter Schooners are perfectly comfortable for walking the dog and spending a full day at work, but my feet started to feel a little fatigued when my day continued into night with a professional association meeting. Of course, foot fatigue varies with factors like weight, temperature, and distance walked. Your actual mileage may vary. Unlike many new shoes, these Dexter shoes have nothing that chafes, needs to stretch, or rubs the wrong way. While the basic footbed shape was good, these shoes do not offer much in the way of additional arch support or heel padding.
While Dexter Shoes may have been a bad deal for Warren Buffett, for only $29.99 these Dexter Schooners could be a good buy for you. While there are more serious boat shoes in the market, these shoes look good and should be fine for a little light nautical activity. They are best suited for casual dining at your local crab shack or for casual Friday at the office.
Jonathan Stempel. “Buffett calls Dexter Shoe His Worst Deal Ever.” Reuters. February 29, 2008.
“Harold Alfond.” Wikipedia.
More from this contributor:
Cheap Shoe Review: Payless Shoes American Eagle Balboa Canvas Oxford Sneakers for Men
New Shoe Review: Earth Spirit Bremen Rugged Casual Men’s Shoe
Cheap Shoe Review: Dr. Scholl’s Relay Men’s Athletic Shoe