To celebrate an 80-year passion for exploration, the American based footwear company Sperry launched the “Odyssey Project™” and is inviting some adventurous souls to embark on an odyssey. Some odysseys are big and transformative. Others are smaller and just shift perspectives a bit. Eighty ambassadors or modern-day explorers, such as photographers, musicians, and bloggers are already started to travel around the world to experience something new. No matter the size, they want to take people to places unfamiliar, and to experiences unexpected. The only clues to what a person’s odyssey will actually be come inside hand-delivered custom Sperry shoeboxes with an itinerary map and the only directive— to discover new people, places and bring back unforgettable stories. All they ask in return is for their adventurers to come back with a story to share. They hope their stories will inspire you to embark on your own personal odyssey. Tune in the first two episodes of Karri White and couple from Sweden, Ted Malmros and Bebban Stenborg, on her Odyssey in Ireland and Thailand.

Sperry Top-Sider is the original brand of boat shoe designed in 1935 by Paul A. Sperry, older brother of writer and illustrator Armstrong Sperry, whose books often featured a sailing theme. The Top-Siders were the first boat shoes introduced into the boating market. Sperry himself was an avid boater who, like most boaters, risked injury while walking on the slippery deck of his boat. His design was inspired by his cocker spaniel, Prince. While watching Prince run across the ice on a winter’s day in Connecticut, he noticed his dog’s ability to maintain traction on the slippery surface. The pattern of grooves or cracks on his dog’s feet gave him the idea for a leather upper-shoe with a herringbone pattern of grooves on the sole. The cutting of grooves in the sole of the Top-Sider was an implementation of a process of splitting or siping a shoe sole invented and patented in the 1920s by John Sipe. This process was instrumental in maximizing the traction and performance of the Authentic Original Sperry Top-Sider first introduced in 1935.

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