Quoddy vs Sebago Boat Shoes: Which Is Better?

The “Quoddy vs Sebago” comparison has come to stay as long as the world of boat shoes is concerned.

The major differences between Quoddy and Sebago boat shoes are in their fit, aesthetics, ground feel, and the materials used for their design which determines their respective qualities.

Quoddy boat shoes are built with the Chromexcel material which is easily flexed and comfortable as it aids tonal effect.

Meanwhile, Sebago is constructed with full-grain leather, it has a snug fit and is a great on-ground feel. There is good arch support, albeit, needs a break-in period.

Quoddy shoes are true to size and fairly wide and require no brake-in and it replaces arch support with a Vibram sole.

Both shoes have similarities and differences, however, some people have used both and have drawn references from their experiences.

On the other hand, some newbies make this search in an effort to find what boat shoe is best for them.

In this article, we shall be making an in-depth review to help you make a better choice according to the uniqueness of your need.

Quoddy vs Sebago Boat Shoes: Comparison

Features Quoddy Sebago boat shoes
Sizing/Fit True to size, a relaxed fit, and no arch support. There is a Vibram sole that offers excellent softness. True to size, snug fit, great on arch support and cushioning.
Leather Quoddy uses pull-up leather, it is pretty flexible and foot-friendly. Sebago uses a full-grain leather type. It is tough and durable, albeit comfortable too, but not as comfortable as the pull-up leather.
Price Quoddy is not as pricier as Sebago. Sebago is pricier than Quoddy.
Overall quality Although Quoddy has great quality, on a relative basis, Sebago has more quality. As regards overall quality, Sebago takes the lead.

1. First glance

(a). Quoddy boat shoe

Quoddy vs Sebago

The first thing you would notice about the Quoddy boat shoe is how the color is deep and rich – an unwavering commitment to simplicity – a perfect view of rustic craftsmanship.

You would notice that the toe box is not very large but is nicely rounded. There is a nice lining at the side and an arch cushion pad.

Although the tie closure is not very fashionable but good. Its great length will catch your attention too, you can easily tell that your toes are not going to be annoying brushing against the edges to cause pain.

The waist of Quoddy is quite small, but not in a bad way.

(b). Sebago boat shoes

Quoddy vs Sebago

The first thing you would notice about Sebago boat shoes (See on Amazon) is the neutral colors; they are mostly beige, taupe, cream, or grey.

They appear as though they lack color. This is because most of these colors used are mutilated shades, but the design has underlying hues that complement the primary and secondary colors.

You will also notice that it has a stitched sole instead of the regular glued sole type. The toe area and the upper has a fine carving, pretty fashionable.

From looking at Sebago alone, one could tell that the leather is thick and not very flexible.

2. Leather

(a). Quoddy

The material used for Quoddy shoes is Chromexcel. This is a “pull-up” type of leather.

This means when it is flexed or bent, greases that are trapped inside the leather begin to migrate, and this causes a tonal effect inside of the grain, this leaves the shoe with no need for break-in.

It is usually very soft and durable. It’s pretty comfortable too. The Quoddy design uses thread too for stitching some of the areas.

In most Quoddy designs, you’d notice that Chromexcel is usually used in the upper, while the toe areas are stitched with thread.

The inside of the shoe is mostly made with a gold-colored type of leather. The material used for the footbed is corked material (this is a type of material that is elastic, water-resistant, and buoyant).

This is one great material that makes Quoddy a sustainable shoe.

(b). Sebago

Sebago uses full-grain leather for its designs. This is the type of leather whose manufacturing process has the hair removed before the tanning process ensues. This turns out to make it very qualitative.

This is said to be the best way to use animal hides in shoemaking because it preserves the original properties and oil-absorbing characteristics of the leather.

Full-grain leather is stronger and lasts pretty long. This leather type is buffed and sanded such that all types of marks are removed which makes it pretty easy for the entire thickness of the hide to be used.

The reason Sebago is pricier than most boat shoes is because of the complexities involved in the manufacturing process of the material used. It will cost you but it would be worth every penny.

3. Price

(a). Quoddy

Quoddy is not very costly. The cost often depends on the type of design you order for. It used to be pretty difficult to find Quoddy shoes on sale because most of their shoes are made upon order.

You can only get them on sale whenever a retailer who has picked up the brand runs out of the sale or if he decides to go out of business.

I was big on luck to have found the former when a certain shoe outlet close to my residence was looking for an easy way to sell their old stock at $176.

Due to the Quoddy nature of sales, it is often very much affordable. Most of Quoddy’s popular designs range from $150 to $200.

This is not to mean there are no Quoddy shoes that are sold at $250 and above. In fact, the  Blucher version of Quoddy is sold at $295 to $320.

(b). Sebago

Sebago is not very pricey. Even though an average Sebago shoe design is costlier than an average Quoddy shoe design.

As mentioned earlier, it is a tad pricier than most boating shoes because of the complex process that is involved in obtaining the material for its design.

An average Sebago boat shoe costs within the range of $21 to $24. However, you can get some Sebago Dockside shoes for as high as $61.

There are different iterations of shoes that the Sebago brand makes. So the price of each shoe iteration is dependent on the volume of quality and features stuffed in it.

4. Sizing/Fit

(a). Quoddy

Quoddy is true to size, however, it does not give as much snug fit as Sebago.

It is fairly wide. It is unfortunate that Quoddy still refuses to use all forms of arch support for their shoes’ designs.

It comes with a completely flat sole, a user said this makes one’s feet easily tired as though one has walked three times the actual distance that one has covered.

But there is a positive side to it as the Vibram sole has a great extent of softness to the feet. And this gives a good dose of padding.

The combination of this and the leather insole used is not bad. It can be tagged “just Ok.” Do not expect any kind of structure in this shoe.

Apart from the shoe collar and the back strip, most Quoddy designs just have single layers atop the feet.

On break-in, Quoddy has an “out-of-the-box” softness. The leather is way softer. This is one feature that Quoddy is pretty big on than most boat shoes.

The first Quoddy I used came about a half size down, but surprisingly, that wasn’t a problem as the shoe was able to break in no time.

(b). Sebago

Sebago is true to size, just a little relaxed fit.

So, it is advisable to make orders according to one’s real size. What will happen if you size down?

First, you will have little foot pains, especially in your toe areas for a short while. This stops after a short break-in period after which a snug fit will be the case.

You may want it this way, however, subjecting your feet to pain in order to get a snug fit is not advisable. Not many people recover from certain foot pains.

Unlike Quoddy, Sebago is good on arch support and has a tad cushioning level. In all, I will advise that you make your orders only from sites that allow for free shipping/return.

5. Overall quality

On overall quality, Sebago is a more quality boat shoe than Quoddy. Some brands make use of the outside/inside part of the animal hide for their leather production.

The hide used for Sebago shoes is utilized in the complete thickness. So this is a combination of high quality.

Both Quoddy and Sebago boat shoes are durable brands, nonetheless, comparatively, Sebago lasts pretty longer than Quoddy.

Oftentimes, the quality of a shoe has direct proportionality to the type of leather used in the shoe’s design.

And in the hierarchical order of quality, the full-grain leather used for Sebago shoes tops the chart on quality leathers.

Another thing to look at is the fact that Sebago has more quality control and more mindful design. And it is a fact that good quality control plays a big role in determining the quality of a product.

Why you should choose Quoddy

You should choose Quoddy because it is more comfortable than Sebago.

Remember, as mentioned earlier, that the Quoddy material type is easily flexed and bent which accounts for foot friendliness as the grease-like fluid trapped within, moves and brings about tonal effect, which in the end, calls for no break-in need.

This in itself spares your foot some type of stain that it is supposed to undergo before the shoe undergoes the break-in transition.

Aside from that, Quoddy is way cheaper and there is truly not much quality margin between Sebago and Quoddy. You may want to consider reducing the financial hit that Sebago will bring you.

Why you should choose Sebago boat shoes

Choose Sebago boat shoes for quality, cushioning, and more importantly, better arch support. Quoddy has zero arch support.

Even though it has other features that replace its lack of arch support, it is still not as effective as actual arch support. Sebago has a more ground feel too.

Especially its neoprene iteration. Sebago has a design that makes it good for a longer time use than Quoddy.

Which is better?: My verdict

Sebago shoes does it more for me. The quality, the fit, the ground feel, and how it holds the feet in one piece. All of these cannot be traded for any other shoe feature. 


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