Classy men know when to switch up their shoes.
There are times when the classic oxford or brogue makes all the difference to the outfit. Others call for something casual like a sneaker or pair of boots.
And some moments demand the versatility and stylishness of a well-made loafer.
Loafers have made a memorable impact on men’s fashion. And they will continue to do so because of their many qualities.
Because the loafer does not overly fit the heel, it is easier to get on and off. This style choice founded over a century ago has made this shoe a favorable choice for men who want a more comfortable shoe.
This shoe does not require lacing, making it a preferred choice for people on the go. It also acts as an advantage to people with flexibility and agility issues. Many loafers are constructed for walking and standing and are therefore comfortable.
Today, the men’s shoe market has different types of loafers for men. The top styles include:
1. Penny Loafers
The penny loafer is a formal style loafer that is a great substitute for laced dress shoes. The penny loafer is known for a strap across the upper part of the body. The shoe got its name because people carried a penny in the strap for emergency phone calls.
Penny loafers are low, laceless, and slip on and off easily. This shoe is popular among working men, students, and anyone who’s not afraid of rocking a formal-style loafer.
Penny loafers can be worn any time of year since they are comfortable, breathable, and come in various colors. They are best for pairing with suits and other formal clothing.
2. Horsebit Loafers
A horsebit or bit loafer is a laceless loafer that traditionally, has a piece of metal running across the vamp horizontally. Gucci popularized this style in the 1960s, and so some people refer to it as the Gucci loafer.
Horsebit loafers are ideal for formal pairings, thanks to their simple and classy design. This shoe style often comes in leather and suede, rocking multiple colors, with a low heel and a subtle piece of metal.
Penny loafers are ideal for suits, chinos, and other formal wear. Some people wear them with socks, but the best styling calls for no-show socks.
3. Tassel Loafers
Tassel loafers have no laces but instead have decorative leather tassels hanging from the vamp. This style is also formal, and the shoes often have a leather or suede exterior with minimal decorating.
Tassel loafers often have two decorative tassels. Some also have a single lace running horizontally, where the tassels are attached. Others have perforations similar to brogues but keep the style formal.
Similarly, this loafer style is ideal for formal pairings. However, it can also work well for smart-casual looks featuring polo shirts and dark-colored jeans.
4. Belgian Loafer
Belgian loafers are known for their small bow near the top of the vamp. Additionally, they have a light leather sole with a vamp that points towards the ankle. This style of loafer is a combination of a slipper and a formal loafer.
These shoes are comfortable because of their light material. Additionally, people love them because they easily adapt to wardrobes. They are ideal for formal and informal situations. You can wear them with dress pants, jeans, chinos, and khakis.
They come in multiple colors and go beyond leather fabrics. Additionally, they work well with socks.
5. Kiltie Loafer
This distinctive and elusive rustic loafer style has spiky strips of leather on the vamp. Sometimes it can have decorative laces, buckles, or tassels. Additionally, they can be ideal for formal and informal settings.
The most common decorative element is a line of tassels and a shoelace. It also has a buckle on the side and can sometimes have a metallic decorative element like a bit loafer. This type of loafer is traditional and often comes in leather and suede.
You can wear these loafers with skinny jeans, chinos, and pants that taper at the bottom. You can also wear them with shorts, and some wide-legged pants.
6. Driving Shoes
These are a famous loafer style that almost every man owns. The driving shoe features a simple and plain vamp. It can also have laces that sit on the vamp or go around the shoe and knot at the vamp.
The most distinctive feature, however, is the sole. It is rubber, extending up to the back of the heel, with studs to increase traction and grip on the pedal. These moccasin-style shoes are ideal for driving.
The exterior can be leather or suede, depending on the construction. However, the sole is always rubber. This shoe is also built for comfort and is ideal for walking too.
7. Slipper Loafers
The slipper loafer is a causal-style loafer with a unique design that only covers the front of the foot, leaving the heel exposed. It is the epitome of slip-on style, combining a loafer and slipper stylishly.
This loafer style often has a decorative element borrowed from other loafer styles. The vamp can be plain or with metal, tassel, or rope decorative elements. However, the most common is the metal part.
This is a purely causal-style shoe ideal for pairing with pants that taper at the bottom. In addition, going sockless is the ideal styling demand for this shoe.
8. Boat Shoes
Boat shoes are similar to driving shoes; only they are designed for going on boats. Boat shoes are colorful with lots of decorative lace that goes all around the shoe and knotting at the vamp. Some boat shoes also come with functional laces.
They are typically canvas or leather, and the sole is non-marking rubber, ideal for grip on a boat. Additionally, the sole has a siping pattern cut into the sole to provide a better grip on wet surfaces.
Traditionally boat shoes had a white rubber sole, but new designs see browns, tans, and black.
9. Monk Strap Loafer
A monk strap is a dress shoe-style loafer with multiple buckles and straps. While it is less formal than laced shoes, it is an ideal alternative for comfort and convenience. The monk strap loafer can be plain or decorative.
It covers a little more upper foot than other loafers, making it ideal for wearing full-length socks. However, going sockless is just as stylish. Because of their design, these shoes are a favored formal-style option.
Therefore, it pairs nicely with suits, preferably with pants that taper at the bottom but do not cuff the ankle. They often come in leather, in blacks and browns.
And finally, the espadrille is a roped soles shoe, often made from canvas. It is an ideal summer favorite that flaunts comfort and style. They can be flat or heeled, and the flexible sole makes them suitable for walking.
Because of the canvas upper, these shoes come in multiple colors. Additionally, you can wear them with almost anything, including shorts, jeans, and sweatpants.
What kind of loafers are there?
There are over five types of loafers. The penny loafer, monk strap, and driving shoes are most common. However, there are more options for different applications.
For example, boat shoes are a type of loafer designed for walking on boat decks without leaving markings but maintaining a good grip. Some loafers like monk straps and penny loafers are solely for a formal setting, while others like slipper loafers and espadrilles are better for casual styling.
Which type of loafer is best?
The best type of loafer depends on the setting and clothes. For example, if you wear a suit, then penny loafers, monk straps, and other formal-style loafers are ideal. However, the causal style calls for less formal loafers such as slipper loafers.
Additionally, if you are driving, then driving shoes are best. The same applies to boats. Also, consider if you want something lightweight and ideal for running errands.
Are loafers in Style?
Loafers are always in style! These versatile and comfortable shoes are favored in men’s wardrobes as alternatives for dress shoes and sneakers. You can find various kinds of loafers to meet your every demand.
Do not be afraid to go for a stylish loafer instead of sneakers or dress shoes. Try them once, and you will realize just how comfortable and stylish you can be. Explore your options, and do not forget to share the list with your fellow modern men.