Origins of an Icon


This year marks 74 years since the Sebago brand was established, so we thought we would look back on one of the most iconic shoes, the Dockside, and how it has evolved over the years.

In 1946 the owner of a few independent shoe stores saw the demand for quality, casual footwear and determined to keep his stores stocked he partnered with two other businessmen to start Sebago Shoes. The first shoe to be released was the Beef-roll Penny Loafer, which is made the same way today as it was back then, handsewn with the finest craftsmanship.

Sebago Classic Beef Roll Penny Loafer
The Beef-roll Penny Loafer
Photo Credit:

Through the 50s and 60s, Sebago had produced over 1 million pair of shoes, and expanded its collection to offer shoes for women, as well as men, and exported internationally. The owners of the brand at this time were avid sailors whom saw a gap in the market for functional, handsewn leather boat shoes. 

So in 1970, the Dockside was launched and arguably the most iconic boat shoe in history. The slip-resistant rubber sole and non-corrosive brass eyelets were designed for sailors, but quickly grew to be loved by everyone.

The durability and craftsmanship of Sebago's Docksides are legendary as smart casual shoe , which is why they are made the same way they always have been. For this reason, the tagline "Crafted with Care, Crafted to last" was added in the 80s.

Dockside Credit Twitter Pns Durban
Photo Credit: PNS Durban

Box Stitch:
Designed with a Purpose - this stitch anchors and makes the beginning and end of the hand-sewing process, clean and in a purposeful way.

Heel Seam Stitch:
Not just for show - this vital stitch joins the heel and upper leather together using an old Colonial stitch that is strong and distinctive. It also provides essential protection for everyday wear.

Stay grounded - The Sebago Docksides rubber sole is designed with confidence to meet the challenges of sailors moving from dock to boat decks.

It is no wonder why the Dockside has been a constant favourite over the years. Pharrell Williams has worn this iconic silhouette along with Steve McQueen, Paul Newman and Kate Middleton, to name just a few. And we know, the list will continue growing as the Dockside evolves for many more years to come.