Guys I know wear all kinds of footwear when they go fishing. Bad weather boots, sneakers, flip flops and bare feet have kept anglers surefooted (or not) for years.
It’s hard to find a comfortable shoe that you’ll want to wear both on deck fishing and in town dining.
I had the chance to get a pair of Grundéns SeaKnit Boat Shoes and I’ve been wearing them a lot the past couple months. Around town, fishing, and walking the dog, I’ve done a little bit of everything in these shoes. I’m even wearing them right now as I write this.
The Grundéns SeaKnit Boat Shoes are comfortable, super lightweight and grippy. Great for staying upright on a boat or bass fishing, they even look good as everyday wear. While they lack support with a loose fit and no half sizes, they’re a great outdoor sneaker whether or not you like to fish.
I have now worn these to the point that they no longer look new. So I’m ready to give you my list of pros and cons followed by a detailed hands-on review.
Just so you know, Grundéns gave me these shoes to try out and review. The links in this article are affiliate links which means if you click on one and end up buying something, we may get a commission. However, this review reflects my own opinions based on actually wearing the shoes a lot. Nobody paid for my favorable opinion and this article is not sponsored.
While I’ve always sort of thought of knit shoes as something only the newly bred or nearly dead might wear, these shoes certainly improved my perception.
When I first put these shoes on it was good vibes all around. They look good with simple clean lines and a nice shape that is neither bulky nor invisible.
Grundéns offers the SeaKnit in two colors: anchor or metal. The metal color is a light gray with bright orange laces and accents. Anchor is a nice dark gray with light gray accents. Mine are the anchor color and they look great with just about any shorts or pants.
I also thought they felt really good on the first try. They went on easy and were immediately comfortable. It was a great start.
Functional Deck Fishing Shoes
I wore these shoes my first time bass fishing and can confirm that they served their purpose well. They’re stable, grippy, breathable and comfortable even when on your feet all day long.
Knit shoes have started showing up from just about every major shoe manufacturer over the past few years. And boat shoes have been around for decades.
Grundéns set out to bring those two types of shoes together and create a functional deck fishing shoe. I dare say they succeeded and the result was a comfortable fishing sneaker.
Grundéns SeaKnit Boat Shoe Features
The main features that make the Grundéns SeaKnit Boat Shoe interesting are:
1. Air-cooled Nylon Upper
While it’s not waterproof, nylon wicks water well and it dries fast. Water beads up in the fabric when the shoes are new, so I assume they’re treated with something.
The 100% nylon knit upper breathes extremely well, which is great for hot days on a boat. And it doesn’t harbor bacteria so they don’t get stinky from fish and sweat.
2. Puddle Deep Water Tight Layer
There is a polyurethane overlay that covers the lower part of the nylon to about ¾ inch above the midsole. Again, not waterproof, but very functional when on deck.
It’s enough to keep your feet dry when fish slap around the boat or when walking through morning dew on the lawn. Just don’t plan on walking through water and coming out dry.
3. Grippy Rubber Sole
Unlike nearly every other knit athletic shoe which has an EVA foam outsole that is slicker than the dickens, the SeaKnit has natural gum rubber soles. And they’re siped for even better traction.
While there are shoes with even better grip, these are plenty sufficient for deck fishing.
When I threw some water on the deck and ran my foot across, it seemed a bit slick. But once pressure was applied with my body weight, no slippage.
Whether walking down a wet street or on a slick boat deck, they’ve never slipped out from under me under normal conditions.
4. Cushy Stable Midsole
I know EVA foam has become perhaps the most common midsole material of our time among athletic shoes and the like. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and reasonably durable. As is this shoe.
What I like about the midsole on the SeaKnit is the shape. The base bulges out to the sides under the heel and ball of your foot just enough to be extra stable without looking dumb.
This helps a ton on a boat to keep your footing and not roll an ankle with all the humming and hawing. It’s definitely a thoughtful touch for a deck fishing shoe.
They also float. You know, in case you fall off the boat and lose your shoes, I guess.
5. Easy to Slip On and Off
While these shoes have laces, they’re mainly for looks. You can’t really crank them tight even if you wanted to, but it doesn’t matter.
I’ve only tied them once, the first time I put them on. Since then I treat them like slip-ons.
The SeaKnits are easy to slip on and off. The pull loop is handy, but the loop is too small to get your finger into so I just use it more like a tab.
Fit and Feel
These are the type of shoe that neither offer nor require a super technical fit. They’re comfortable and flexible and I surmise that they would adapt to almost any foot shape.
That said, they don’t offer any half sizes, only whole sizes. I usually run a 10.5 US and the 11 SeaKnits I have are pretty loose on me. My feet are slightly narrow, but sizing is probably true.
With the generous fit and a roomy toe box, they ought to feel great on wide feet.
The footbed forms to your foot nicely and feels good right away, no break-in required.
These shoes are not, however, supportive. They let your feet move around a lot. Knit shoes have no rigid chassis so don’t expect ankle support.
The soft upper also provides no protection for your feet from dropping an ice chest or a big fish on your toes. So watch out!
What I Don’t Like
The first two days I wore these shoes I wore short socks. After just half a day running errands, driving, and a little walking, the shoes rubbed my heels to where I had raw red spots.
Maybe these would have become blisters, but I gave the shoes a break to let my heels heal. The next time I wore them I was sure to wear crew socks.
Tall socks don’t usually look cool with shorts, but they made the nuisance go away.
This heel rub issue was especially uncomfortable when it was hot and I got a little sweaty. So I can only imagine how bad it would suck saltwater fishing in the heat or with sweaty, wet, bare feet.
The issue is that the nylon knit goes up pretty high in the back. New out of the box, perhaps that part was still pretty stiff. I think it will loosen up over time, and maybe my feet are just too baby soft. Just be aware that they may rub your heel weird.
Besides that, there is a funny looking pucker of the knit material by the inside laces. This too, though, might just be due to my funny shaped feet. And it’s minor, not a big deal at all.
Then there’s the price. At $110 retail it’s a little high compared to competitors like the Columbia Tamiami, but about on par with the Sperry 7 Seas. Though, they are from a cool company and are high quality, so that should be considered.
When to Choose These Shoes
The Grundéns SeaKnit is a a great shoe for:
- Anglers who like to fish from a boat, dock, or anywhere else
- Everyday use at the office or running errands
- Light outdoor activity like walking the dog
- Spending a lot of time on your feet (medical professionals, retail, etc.)
Do not wear SeaKnits for:
- Hiking (try these instead)
- Fishing in bad weather (Grundéns has better footwear for that)
- Outdoor activities that require a lot of foot support
With the comfort of a slip-on sneaker, the Grundéns SeaKnit boat shoe is a comfortable all around casual or outdoor shoe. I wouldn’t wear them hiking, but I’d take them on a trip to Cabo. There, I’d be happy wearing them on the boat all day and in town all night.