Sperry is always touting that its shoes are "created with the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics." I was curious what that really means, so I asked Crowley about the input he received from the Olympic sailors. "Many of their requests were included in the design brief, i.e., traction, hydrophobic materials," he says, "But it is their feedback on product and samples that really adds value to the process. Their input is weighed against saleability/cost and is almost invariably represented in retail product. Among the callouts they requested on the Ventus was the outsole design and the specific location of the drainage ports at the toe. While you want the water to exit the shoe, you also don't want it to wick up through the base, a typical problem of drains placed through the base of the forefoot or heel."