American shoe brand. When Paul Sperry, a former sailor, saw Paul's dog running effortlessly across the ice, he noticed that the dog's legs had distinctive grooves. Inspired by this, he invented the rubber sole (Sperry sole), which was made by cutting the rubber sole of a sneaker with a knife . This became the origin of deck shoes. During World War II, the U.S. Navy also recognized the Sperry Topsider as its official shoe.