I recently tried these $160 sneakers that are meant to double as rain boots — and their versatility and durability sold me

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SeaVees

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SeaVees

  • SeaVees, which bills itself as the brand behind the “original casual sneaker,” has been making footwear for over 50 years.
  • Despite how long it’s been around, the first shoe that finally caught my attention was a sneaker that doubles as a rain boot: the SeaVees Mariners.
  • Where most brands fail at making sneaker-boot hybrids, SeaVees‘ minimal approach to style makes this design a winner. And at $158-$178, the SeaVees Mariners a much better value than buying sneakers and boots separately.

As someone who loves shoes, I’m very open to trying new styles (hence my more-than-100-pair collection), but there are certain types of shoes that I just won’t wear – and rain boots are at the top of my list.

I get it; rain boots have a distinct purpose of keeping feet dry. It’d be hard to argue that they’re not useful for everyone at one point or another, but I just can’t see myself trucking through the rain in calf-high rubber galoshes. Maybe if I had a slick yellow rain jacket to match, but that’s a whole lot of look.

On rainy days, I typically find myself struggling to choose the lesser of two evils: sacrificing my sneakers that are alright at keeping my feet dry but probably too nice to get soaking wet, or wearing winter boots that are fully waterproof, but definitely overkill for rain and puddles. I needed shoes that were casual and comfortable like my sneakers, but still fully functional in the rain – and I found them at a brand called SeaVees.

SeaVees has been around since 1964, and while I had heard of the brand, I always overlooked its footwear. The company calls itself the maker of “the original casual sneaker,” but I finally came to appreciate the brand for a shoe that’s actually more of a rain boot: the SeaVees Mariners.

The pair I went with

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The pair I went with
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Amir Ismael/Business Insider

At first (and even second) glance, they look like sneakers, and that’s actually what makes them a huge winner for me.

On paper, the idea of sneaker-boot is genius, but I almost always hate them as soon as they come to life. When sportswear or boot companies haphazardly slap performance materials that clearly come from a sneaker onto a bulkier silhouette, the resulting hybrid is confusing aesthetically and sometimes harder to wear than a normal sneaker or a normal boot. The SeaVees Mariners, on the other hand, is a very rare exception because of the brand’s minimal and casual approach to design.

The shoe features a waterproofed suede upper, sealed seams, gusseted tongues, and extra rubber foxing around the perimeter to ensure leak-free wear. With all the necessary attributes of a boot that matter for staying dry, the rest of the shoe design is closer to a sneaker. The high-top silhouette has a simple toe box, a traditional lacing system with metal eyelets, a heel pull-tab, and a natural rubber sole.

The end result is a shoe that’s just as stylish and wearable as most casual sneakers, built with the utility of a rain boot. I’ve been wearing my pair of SeaVees Mariners for a few weeks now and even tested them in an unexpected downpour in New York City and they’re everything you can ask for in a rain-ready shoe.

seavees2

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SeaVees

When it came to keeping my feet dry, the SeaVees Mariners were very capable. In addition to handling the rain with ease, they were also suitable for everything else in my day. The Mariners were just fine as my only pair of shoes, which meant I didn’t have to lug around an extra pair on my commute.

Read more: Everlane’s $75 rain boots for women handled slush and puddles after heavy rain in New York City

For days when the weather isn’t a concern, the SeaVees Mariners are still a nice shoe to wear. I’d even go as far as saying you could wear them as boat shoes. Although the overall look isn’t the most trendsetting or unique, it’s at least, and very simply, totally timeless. I’d like to think of them as being in the same vein of everlasting style as a Converse Chuck Taylors or a Vans Authentics. I went with my normal shoe size, but if I were to buy another pair, I’d go a half-size up.

The durability and waterproofed upper also makes them great boat shoes.

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The durability and waterproofed upper also makes them great boat shoes.
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SeaVees

At $158, the SeaVees Mariners are priced very fairly. I’ve paid more for sneakers that are only good for looks and I’ve paid a lot more for heavy-duty boots – and none of which provided me with the best of both worlds like the Mariners.

Whether you live in a city where style is equally important as function, or a simply don’t want to buy two different pairs of shoes, the SeaVees Mariner is a great footwear choice. Call them what you want – boots, sneakers, or a mixture of both – they’re good looking, extremely durable, and fully waterproof.

SeaVees Mariners Boot, available for men and women on Zappos, $158-$178

Shop all SeaVees shoes on Zappos here