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The Best Men’s Loafers for Casual & Comfortable Style

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A solid pair of loafers can serve as the average outfit’s determining factor, pulling together any ensemble to immediately make you look more polished. And while you might be able to say that about a handful of other shoe styles, few other silhouettes will work equally well at a formal get-together and a pool party. Whether it’s a casual dinner or a day at the beach, loafers are perfect for any warm-weather occasion. And that’s why we’ve put together this guide to the best men’s loafers on the market.

Before selecting your pair, keep in mind that there are a variety of different kinds of this timeless style from which to choose. But whether you decide to roll with an old-school penny loafer, a fashion-forward tasseled option, or something that ventures into espadrilles/huaraches territory, there is luckily no shortage of fashionable choices in the world of footwear. So get your shoe closet in order with our favorite loafers.

The Best Loafers

The history of loafers

Loafers (AKA slip-ons or slippers), first came about during the mid-1800s, when Raymond Lewis Wildsmith designed a pair of casual house slippers for King George VI. About half a century later (and not too far away in Norway), Nils Gregoriusson Tverange took inspiration from the Native American moccasins and shoes worn by local fishermen in Aurland, Norway, and the Aurland loafers were born. It wasn’t until the Spaulding family created a pair of shoes inspired by Norweigan cattle farmers (specifically, the loafing area that cows hang out in) that the term “loafers” came about. Since then, loafers have transcended casual wear and have become a dressy staple that’s a must-have for any man’s wardrobe, with a solid selection of styles that we’ll get into below.

Loafer styles

Wildsmith: This is the OG loafer, made by Raymond Lewis Wildsmith, and it features vertical stitching along the toe.

Penny: Originally dubbed “Weejuns”, G.H Bass invented these preppy loafers, and the key feature is the strap on the upper (which, as legend has it, should be big enough to hold a penny).

Tassel: These loafers have instantly recognizable tassels on the upper held by leather strands.

Kilted: Hailing from Scotland, these golf-friendly shoes feature a leather kilt on the upper, much like the kilts worn in Braveheart Country.

Aurland: The second iteration of the loafer, this is the moccasin-style version inspired by the Iroquois and Norweigan fisherman.

Belgian: Created by Henri Bendel in Belgium, these shoes have a small bow on the upper, and are sewn inside out.

Horse Bit: Ah, the famous Gucci shoes, with the iconic horse-bit metal link. They were originally black and gold, but many other styles (and versions from other labels) are available today.

what to look for

Material: More often than not, loafers will be made of leather, so it comes down to personal preference when deciding which leather to go with (suede, velour, etc.). If you’re vegan or trying to be eco-friendly, there are some faux leather options out there.

Style: You should have a better idea of the styles on offer after reading our loafer styles section (if not, you should probably go back and check it out). You really can’t go wrong with any of them, so go for a style that complements your current wardrobe (and maybe one that has a history that’s interesting to you).

Details: Some loafers may have extra features like a lug sole, fringes, and other embellishments that elevate the shoe and give it more personality/utility.

Dr. Martens Adrian Smooth Leather Tassel

  • Goodyear-welted
  • Durable yet smooth leather
  • Takes some time to break in

The Starter Pick: As one of the world’s most beloved footwear brands, Dr. Martens is adept at crafting something to suit everyone, and the Adrian Smooth Leather Tassel Loafer is yet another example. The Goodyear-welted shoe is made from the brand’s signature brand of leather, then polished for a smooth, shining finish. And since these are Goodyear-welted, they serve as solidly-built shoes with a good amount of longevity to keep them in your rotation for years to come.

Material: Polished leather
Style: Tassel
Details: Goodyear-welted

G.H.Bass Larson Lug Weejuns Penny Loafers

  • Classic loafer label
  • Leather sock liner
  • A little uncomfortable when breaking in

The Comfiest Loafers: The Larson Lug Weejuns Loafer is handcrafted in El Salvador and available in three colors that are perfect for any casual occasion. Its easy-going design makes it incredibly easy to slip right into on your way out the door. For comfort’s sake, the shoe is rounded out with a leather sock liner, timeless mod stitching, and a surprisingly lightweight, lugged cushioned outsole, making it as comfortable as it is stylish.

Material: Leather
Style: Penny
Details: Lug sole

Astorflex Patnoflex Loafer

  • Hollywood-inspired design
  • Handmade in Italy
  • Sustainably-made
  • Only available in whole sizes

The Sustainable Pick: An eco-friendly option is always worth considering, and Astorflex’s sustainably-made leather loafer is made soft and supple using nothing but natural materials. The brand’s flagship Patnoflex comes to shape when European leather is aged in a mix of water, oak bark, and powdered mimosa, then finished off with a durable, weather-resistant rubber sole for enhanced wearability. These handmade shoes take after the iconic silhouette that some of Hollywood’s finest used to wear, from James Dean to Elvis and everyone in between.

Material: Leather
Style: Slip-on
Details: Grippy rubber heel

Tricker’s Churchill Velvet Slipper

  • Versatile style
  • Super soft
  • Leather lining
  • Run narrow

The Best Velvet Loafers: While your average slipper is built for a night in, velvet slippers are better suited to a night out on the town — preferably to a black-tie event. Tricker’s knows this, which is why its fanciful Churchill Velvet Slipper is so incredibly handsome and comfortable, thanks to its lush leather lining and voluptuous velvet upper. And if you do want to wear these around the house, we won’t blame you one bit — after all, who doesn’t like a bit of luxury at home?

Material: Velvet
Style: Slip-on
Details: Leather lining

Duke and Dexter Wilde Chesnut x White Penny Loafer

  • Handmade in England
  • Lined with Italian leather
  • Custom crepe sole
  • Fits small, need to size up

The Best Penny Loafers: London-based shoemaker Duke & Dexter has become a staple in the loafer scene, which says a lot considering it set up shop less than a decade ago. Nonetheless, that is just a testament to the brand’s unsaturated craftsmanship, and this gorgeous option is indicative of that. The handmade Chestnut x White Penny Loafer plays with color to the perfect extent, blending a rich shade of brown and a milky white hue for a pair of shoes that can work with countless outfits.

Material: Leather
Style: Penny
Details: Crepe sole

Taft The Monaco

  • Handmade in Spain
  • Leather-lined
  • Crafted with Italian leather
  • Can stain or bleed if wet

The Best Summer Loafers: If you’re heading to a picnic or beach day, this is the choice for you, as its woven silhouette is all kinds of casual and screams “summer fun.” And while the subtle style does come available in a handful of other color options, the pictured design is a surefire way to stand out. This particular pair is woven by Spanish artisans from Italian leather and offered in a standard-fitting width, so you can rest assured that these will fit to size perfectly.

Material: Italian leather
Style: Woven
Details: Fully leather-lined

Blackstock and Weber The Ellis Penny Loafer

Blackstock and Weber The Ellis Penny Loafer
  • Goodyear-welted
  • Handmade in Portugal
  • Double leather sole
  • N/A

The Most Unique Loafers: Blackstone & Weber is one of the most popular new brands for dress shoes, and for good reason. The ever-so-stylish Ellis Penny Loafer is Goodyear-welted and handmade in Portugal, and it comes in a natural tri-color pattern made of pony hair with an eye-catching look. This Black-owned label is making major waves in the fashion world, and these loafers are just one reason why.

Material: Pony hair and leather
Style: Penny
Details: Goodyear-welted

Yuketen Bit Loafer

  • Made in America
  • Steel shank reinforcements
  • Made with vegetable-tanned leather from Italy
  • Runs big

The Best USA-Made Loafers: Yuketen’s wide array of American-made shoes has a lot to offer, but this Bit Loafer debatably takes the cake. The shoe is crafted from full-grain, vegetable-tanned flesh-out leather from Tuscany, ensuring nothing short of sheer elegance with every step you take. It sits on a rubber-and-cork-chip outsole and is rounded out with a solid brass horse bit on the upper for that authentic touch. This pictured “Perla” color is a Huckberry exclusive, as well as an additional “Grizzly” option. Regardless of which pair you choose, either is bound to level up your summer style a considerable amount.

Material: Horween full-grain leather
Style: Horse-bit
Details: Natural rubber boat sole

Todd Snyder x Rubinacci Marphy Loafer

  • Made in Italy
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Only comes in full sizes

The Best Velour Loafers: This Todd Snyder joint effort is nothing to scoff at, which is typical of the New York label. Upon collaborating with Rubinacci, the two brands have churned out a reimagined take on the latter’s Marphy Loafer by coating it in handsome tobacco-colored velour. This handmade loafer boasts a suede leather outer and leather sole that gradually contours to your foot, practically resulting in a tailored fit. The lowkey shoe is subtle enough to serve as an easy addition to any outfit but can easily be dressed up if necessary.

Material: Suede
Style: Tassel
Details: Custom insole

TOD’s City Gommino Leather

  • Italian-made
  • Great driving shoe
  • Leather lining
  • UK sizing

The Best Italian Loafers: The century-old Italian shoemaker‘s luxurious City Gommino Leather Penny Loafer screams upscale from every angle. This leather driving shoe is crafted from ultra-smooth calf leather, then rounded out with leather linings before being finished off with embossed embellishments. When it comes to high-quality driving shoes, there are few better options to consider than this premium pair courtesy of Tod’s, so get ready to heel-toe in style.

Material: Black leather
Style: Penny
Details: Rubber pebbles on the outsole

Rancourt & Co. Pinch Penny Loafers

  • USA-made
  • Crafted with one of the best leathers available
  • Handsewn moccasin construction
  • Take some time to break in

The Best Customizable Loafers: This gorgeous pair of penny loafers is as comfortable as it is chic, which is saying a whole lot. The Maine-made Pinch silhouette sits on a full-leather midsole and leather heel and is then rounded out with a full rubber tap for added durability. If you’re aiming for a refined look that still has a splash of color to offer, then Rancourt & Co. has you covered with a robust selection of fanciful choices to make.

Material: Horween Shell Cordovan leather
Style: Penny
Details: Watertight outsoles

The Best Suits for This Summer

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Loafers are a great type of shoe to wear in the summer, but you’re going to need to stock your warm-weather wardrobe with more than just footwear. So check out our best summer suits guide to complete your outfit.