Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Weekly Marine Product Review: Kingfisher

Daily Boater's marine product review is back with a look at Sperry’s new shock-reducing technology...

The hot sun and constant running around you do on a boat are obvious sources of fatigue on board. But have you ever considered how much of a toll the vibrations from the engine as well as from the constant collisions between your hull and the waves can have on your legs – and your entire body?

Sperry has thought about it. A lot. And in our second installment of the Daily Boater Marine Product Review, Mark Sutton of checks out new technology from Sperry that promises to reduce the effects of the ‘shocks’ of boating.

(By the way, if you are interested in having your boat products or services reviewed on multiple boating and fishing sites, contact Nautical Sites Media publisher Andrew Canepari at today and submit your product for consideration.)

Now, on to the review...

Sperry Topsider has recently introduced the Kingfisher boat sneaker. The Kingfisher is designed and developed by world-class sailors and anglers specifically for boaters and uses Sperry Topsider’s proprietary Anti Shock and Vibration (ASV) technology.

ASV Technology reduces shock (by up to 40%) from engine vibration and pounding over waves – pounding that causes fatigue after even just a few hours on the water. Reducing fatigue is critical from both a comfort and safety perspective.

We tested the Kingfisher boat sneaker over the course of a week on a charter in the BVI where there were some long hauls and choppy seas. Here’s what we discovered with the Kingfisher during the testing:

Reduces Shock & Vibration
The Kingfisher was the difference between doing a 5k road race in running shoes vs. tennis shoes. Even after long days the legs and lower back felt fresh. The ASV system dampens shock and vibration by laterally dispersing in it thru the shoe rather than into your feet.

The Kingfisher is a boat shoe you’ll enjoy putting on and keeping on as they feel like a comfortable pair of running shoes.  This isn’t always the case with boat shoes where you sometimes feel that you have to sacrifice comfort for traction and being waterproof.  Not the case with Kingfisher… they fit and feel great.

Reliable Traction
The Kingfisher offers reliable traction even on wet decks.  Confidence in your footing is essential as you move about the boat casting, trimming sails or setting lines.  Sperry Topsider uses Hydro-Grip rubber soles and outsoles with ‘Wave-Siping’ treads for superior traction.

Dry Quickly
Kingfisher is made with the quick drying hydrophobic upper and lining (low absorbency), they dried completely in just an hour or two when in the mid-day sun. Sperry Topsider recommends stuffing the shoes with newspaper and air dry. Of course, dry shoes also adds to the comfort factor.

Photo: Mark Sutton/Marine Product Reviews
Look Great
Not only is the Kingfisher a great performer, but it looks great as well.  Some performance boat shoes look like performance boat shoes and should only be worn on board.  The Kingfisher is definitely one that you won't mind wearing ashore. The sneaker style and color options (grey & either white or blue) help the Kingfisher look as good as they perform.

If you are serious about your time on the water, i.e. enjoy sailing with the family or chasing fish around and spend good time on the water, the Kingfisher from Sperry Topsider is a shoe you should definitely check out this season.

The Kingfisher is priced at $140 and is well worth it considering the hours of use you will get as well as the comfort, safety and performance benefits.

Tested and reviewed by Mark Sutton of Marine Product Reviews. Check out the Kingfisher product review and other products at


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