It was a simple invention born of necessity.
Paul Sperry was born in 1895 into a family with a long sea-faring tradition. He grew up listening to his great-grandfather speak of wild adventures in the South Sea Islands. These tales set the stage for young Paul’s inventive spirit, curiosity, and quest for adventure.
Paul Sperry was an avid sailor with a passion for adventure. He was an inventor, an intrepid explorer. An independent spitit enamored with the power, freedom, and unlimited possibilities of the sea.
He was faced with a real-life problem that stood in the way of his passion: How to maintain traction on a slippery boat deck. No solution existed in 1935.
Paul found his inspiration from his best friend: his dog Prince. He noticed how Prince didn’t slip on ice and turned his paw over to find hundreds of small cracks and lines going in all directions. These became the inspiration behind his inventive non-slip sole and the world’s first performance boat shoe. In that moment of inspiration, he not only created an icon, he launched a brand: the perfect union of an inventive idea, a man, his passion, and the allure of the sea.
In 1922 Paul met his match when marrying Pauline L. Jacques. Nicknamed “Peen”, she was described as a “class act”, a gracious and energetic companion for Paul. She could navigate celestially, traveled around the world and could hunt with the best of them. Paul and Peen’s lifelong pursuits of hunting, fishing, motorcycles, photography, skiing, and above all else, sailing, provided the content for wonderful stories that inspired friends and family to follow their own passions. Their bold journey together lasted over 60 years and their spirit for discovery is celebrated today in the “Intrepids” who are inspired by the call of the sea and the odysseys of Paul and Pauline.
Sperry has evolved from the original boat shoe into one of the great, authentic lifestyle brands; a rare brand that spans fashion and function without compromise.
Selected Brands started the distribution of Sperry in the Nordic and Baltic market in 2015.