Men's loafer shoes are a great choice when you need to throw on comfortable shoes that match your outfit and still look professional.
You can buy two pairs in different colors that will match whatever you are wearing that day, slip them on, and head out the door.
What Are Men's Loafer Shoes?
Sometimes in a hurry, you won't have time to pick out shoes to match your outfit. That’s where men’s loafer shoes come in handy. They are classic, comfortable shoes that slip right on your feet.
There are no laces to worry about with men's loafers, making them great for getting out the door in a rush. Loafers have a similar origin as moccasins, but they are meant to be worn casually or with business casual attire.
Characteristics of Men’s Loafers
Men’s loafer shoes are typically low shoes, which means they usually do not go past men’s ankles. They do not fit snuggly like some other types of shoes, and they are looser to slip on and off the foot.
Loafers usually also have shallow heels. They will not give you the extra boost in height like other shoes. You will see there are no laces; they will typically have one piece of material that covers the upper part of the shoe where laces would be. Loafers also have separate upper pieces from the soles of the shoe.
History of Men’s Loafers
Originally from England, men wore tassel loafers, which Americans then copied. The truth is, loafers have been around as a practical shoe before people even started noticing it. There are conflicting stories about who created it and when it began. North American Natives originally started wearing a version of loafers by wrapping their feet in deerskin.
In the 1900s, Scandinavian students saw an old fisherman wearing these practical shoes and brought the style to North America. Loafers are interesting because many were targeted for men’s comfort, but women also bought these shoes. In America, they became known as the Ivy League look, but how did that happen?
It started with the Bass Weejun loafers in 1936, which slowly became the Penny Loafers in the 1950s, and to this day, we still have the Gucci loafers known for luxury. These shoes had a modest start and progressively became the symbol of luxury and wealth.
How to Wear Loafers
Loafers started as a very functional shoe that could go from work to home with no problems. Now, many men choose to wear these to look dressed-up and nice. They are great shoes to be worn with suits for a business casual look in the office or slipped on with a pair of nice dark blue jeans and a button-down. You can wear them with almost any outfit.
On the other hand, these shoes are not meant to be dressed down. They will not work with sweats or workout clothes. They will clash way too hard. This is intended for everyday office and school looks that will take your look to the next level.
Types of Loafers
There are now so many different types of loafers to choose from. Each will have a distinct look that will match various personalities. Not all loafers are suitable for all events and jobs.
If you are looking for a style of loafers for men that are good for office jobs, stick with a tassel loafer or a penny loafer in a neutral color. Here are the different styles of loafers, what they’re known for, and what they’re suitable for.
The Penny Loafer
These are very classic shoes that scream elegance and look good with most outfits. They also come in a wide variety of colors, making it easy to find a pair for every occasion. These men’s loafer shoes were popular in the ’50s and ’60s, but many women also loved to wear these shoes too. The Penny loafers are still a trending style for young professionals today.
The Penny Loafer is suitable for all seasons except for winter, and they are excellent for everyday wear. If you are looking for something for a casual or semi-formal event, these are a perfect choice. They feature a strap on the front of the shoe that makes them stand out from other options. Usually, you will see them offered in darker colors like:
- Navy Blue
However, these days, there are many color options available.
The Tassel Loafer
You will find that these shoes have a ton in common with the penny loafer; the one key difference is that instead of having a custom strap on the top of the shoes, there will be a soft tassel. These shoes are suitable for semi-formal events or everyday wear. Tassel loafers tend to come in more colors than penny loafers.
The materials used for this type of loafer are usually suede or leather. If you find suede loafers, they will not be suitable for spring or winter. Any season that is too wet will ruin the suede and could harm them even if you water treat them.
The Gucci Loafer (Horsebit)
The Horsebit loafer is identified by the buckle on the top where the strap or tassel would be in the other pairs. The gold buckle is shaped like a horse's snaffle on the top.
Gucci is famous for this look, so you may hear it referred to as the Gucci loafer. Gucci has experimented with the style of loafers and also the lining of the loafers. You will see Gucci's loafer is different from some of the other Horsebit loafers you see on the market. They are also vastly more expensive.
Traditionally, Horsebit Loafers have a classic and retro vibe but are still loved to this day. You will find them in darker shades, although Gucci has experimented with bold colors, especially for women. These loafers are only suitable for spring and summer casual wear. You can wear these for a semi-formal event, but you will have to consider the color of loafers and the buckle on top.
The Kiltie Loafer
These men’s loafer shoes were once known as old man shoes. However, they have come back in style and won’t fade out anytime soon. They are perfect for casual events or busy days at the office.
The Kiltie Loafers have a kilt-style finishing on the top of the shoe where the strap on the penny loafers would be. These make perfect fall shoes, and you will find them in darker colors. You can wear these every day in the fall, but because of the style and colors this loafer comes in, it may not be suitable for other seasons.
The Driving Loafer
These are functional loafers meant to be put on when running to the store but not for anything formal. You will not want to wear these into the office. In terms of color, most are in dark hues, but they can come in bold colors. These shoes have lace on the top and rubber soles on the bottom.
They are perfect for boating, relaxing on the beach, or strolling through the park. Since they come in many shades of colors, they are perfect for spring and summer when you go out a lot. Leave them by the door and slip them on when you’re off work and relaxing.
There are two common types of fabrics used to make loafers: suede and leather. The material can make them a bit more expensive than other casual or semi-formal shoes. However, they will also last a very long time.
Suede is a type of leather made from lambskin. It is soft, flexible, and what can make loafers for men very comfortable. If you choose suede shoes, you need to treat your shoes before wearing them. Suede is not suitable for wet and rainy days; this material is better for dry days.
Leather is not made from one specific type of animal. Still, it is the process of chemical treating animal skin to use for shoes. Leather shoes are enormous for people who need shoes that are durable and will last a long time.
Keep in mind that men’s loafer shoes can mix the two materials to create a super stylish look. You can have suede shoes with leather details, or vice versa.
What to Wear with Loafer Shoes
The best thing about loafers depends on which style you will give you with a variety of options. The Penny Loafers are great for everyday wear, and Oxfords are good for going to school or for a law-school-type vibe. Here are a few basic styles and what type of loafer you can wear for each.
If you need something casual for running errands, you should try the Driving Loafers. They are not meant to be worn to anything formal but are good for relaxing and making quick trips in the summer. They also feature rubber bottom shoes which help make them fall-resistant.
Semi-formal also includes a standard day at the office. Try out the Tassel Loafers to stay in trend and still look classy while maintaining optimal comfort.
Have you been looking for something formal but unsure where to start? Try out the Horsebit Loafers but stay away from Gucci. You can find classic, black, shiny loafers that work well with suits and ties. Gucci can stand out too much and draw attention away from where it should be. They also experiment with colors that clash with the formal look.
If you’re not looking for a specific style but color, go for something suede. Loafers can be made into many different shades, colors, and types. You don’t have to choose a dull color. Instead, head to your nearest shoe store to find the bold colors you love.
Who makes the best oxford shoes for men?
One famous style of loafer you will see is Oxford Loafers. They are different from the others because they feature laces. Many companies make Oxfords, and it can be challenging to name an overall best shoemaker when it comes to Oxfords. We recommend Oxfords by Thursday Boot Co.
How much do loafers cost?
The average pair of loafers cost around $65 for men’s loafers and $75 for women. However, designer shoes can go up to $900 or more.
What socks to wear?
There has been a massive debate on whether or not men should wear socks with loafers. The truth is, if you are at a formal event, you should wear dress socks with your loafers. If you are running errands, you should feel free to skip socks.
What are some good brands?
If you are looking for brands, try out Oliver Cabell, Santoni, or even Gucci. If you haven’t ever tried on loafers, you should first hit the shoe store to determine your exact size.
Loafers for men and women come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. They are the perfect shoes for everyday wear or even for formal events. The next time you go shopping, keep an eye out for these classic shoes and try a pair on.