I’ll Say It: Loafers Are the New Sneakers

They're beloved for a reason.

loafers

@lauren_valenti

I’m a certified shoe person, which means shoes are essential pieces in my closet. Footwear is the greatest temptress in moments where my bank account looks like it was finally able to catch a breath. Somehow, the shoe style that I turn to over and over–or rather the one that consistently brings my wardrobe back to life no matter the season–is loafers. 

They’re less expected, yet more polished than sneakers. In winter, they look stylish with thick socks and long trousers. In spring, they have a fresh appeal when paired with a white ankle sock and highwater pants. In summer, they pair effortlessly with a mini skirt, tank, and some deodorizing spray. In fall, they’re a perfect match with denim or khakis.

I have twice as many loafers as I do sneakers and am looking to create more converts. Ahead, I've rounded up 22 pairs from some of my favorite brands. There’s a loafer for every one of your multitudes. 


The Classics

Weejuns
G.H. Bass & Co. Whitney Easy Weejuns $110
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American brand G.H. Bass has been making their Weejuns loafers for over 100 years. With most of their prices coming in around the $100 mark, these durable shoes are the heart and soul of the loafer world.

Winter Whitney Weejuns
G.H. Bass & Co. Winter Whitney Weejuns $110
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A variation on the above favorite, these loafers are modified explicitly for winter wear. They have non-slip soles, so you can keep doing your loafer thing through even the coldest days.

Adrian Tassle Loafer
Dr. Martens Adrian Tassle Loafer $130
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Fun fact: I share these loafers with my partner. It’s fun to see how dramatically different the loafers can look on them compared to how they look on me. We wear them all winter long without a worry about ice or snow.

The Sacca Donna Suede Loafer
M. Gemi The Sacca Donna Suede Loafer $248
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I’m proud to say I’m an owner of this pair of loafers, as well, and they’ve lasted me three years. They’re light enough for summer and transitional season wear, which is a delightful surprise for a suede loafer.

The Ellis Penny Loafer
Black Stock and Weber The Ellis Penny Loafer $295
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One of my favorite duo-tone penny loafer options comes from the Black-owned brand Blackstock & Weber. They have some styles out-of-stock at the moment, but this chestnut and white pair will look good with any outfit. 

Pembrey 2w Polished Fumè Loafer
Church's Pembrey 2w Polished Fumè Loafer $650
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I couldn’t include a loafer roundup without including legacy British brand Church’s. With a particular focus on handmade craftsmanship and construction, any pair from the brand will last you a hell of a long time. 

The Frances Loafer
Madewell The Frances Loafer $148
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For those who prefer a sleeker look, these Madewell loafers check off that box. The reviews rave about them being super comfortable and not quite as stuffy as other styles.

Equestrian Buckle Loafers
& Other Stories Equestrian Buckle Loafers $129
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These equestrian-style loafers are a great Gucci dupe with their almond-shape and bit buckle. Just a casual $800 cheaper.

Platform Party

Malo
Shop-Pêche Malo $96
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New York-based Shop-Pêche has been making adorable loafers up to size 8 for years, but for the big-footed folks of the world (that’s me), they just came out with their “Malo” loafer in both black and black-and-white. I snagged a pair before they sold out, but I highly recommend keeping an eye out for future re-orders.

Cosmo 2.0 Chain Loafer
Vagabond Shoemakers Cosmo 2.0 Chain Loafer $160
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These platform loafers are given a little extra “oomph” with chunky chain detailing.

Phoebe Lug Sole Loafers
Villa Rouge Phoebe Lug Sole Loafers $169
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These take the expression “chunky sole” to new heights. They have a more bold, utilitarian take on the classic loafer, with some clear endurance for winter months.

Walden Formal Shoes
Camper Walden Formal Shoes $168
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These rubber-soled Camper loafers are made with leather with a  slightly worn finish that gives them an incredibly unique look, especially in the red and yellow colorways. For those with a penchant for something classic, there’s always black.

Student Platform Loafer
Jeffrey Campbell Student Platform Loafer $170
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This is what they mean when they talk about “platforms with personality.” Out of the five available colorways, I’m particularly partial to the bold brown patent leather pair. 


Designer Chic

Maison Margiela Tabi Loafers
Maison Margiela Tabi Loafers $895
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I’ve had these Maison Margiela Tabi loafers in my bookmarks bar for almost a year and a half. What a time to be alive and covet shoes that make your feet look like hooves for nearly $1000? I suppose the world will never make sense, but then again, neither will I.

Horsebit Loafer
Gucci Horsebit Loafer $750
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The loafer to perhaps end all conversations of loafers is, arguably, the Gucci Horsebit Loafer. Good news: There are a zillion pairs available for resale on The RealReal. So, whatever shape, style, and size is your fancy; there’s sure to be a pair that fits your needs here

Jewel Oxford
Ganni Jewel Oxford $375
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Ganni has had an impressive run of loafers this season, ranging in colors and styles. But with many of its styles, the brand has consistently featured a chunky sole and a crystal-embellished button, like this lavender pair. If neutral colors are more your speed, check out this brown pair.

Brother Vellies Loafer
Brother Vellies Troubadour Loafer $615
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These beauties from brand Brother Vellies are the perfect statement loafer. Snakeskin is essentially a neutral for maximalists, and in a soft dandelion color, they’re wearable every day.

Stubbs & Wooton Bee Slipper
Stubbs & Wooton Bee Slipper $500
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Perhaps one of the most classic slipper-style loafer brands is Stubbs & Wooton. Though the prices are, well, pricey, they regularly host 50% off sales where you can snag a pair of needlepoint loafers for a fraction of the price.


Loafer-ish

Kitty Loafer Cognac Patent 82 Loafer
Labucq Kitty Loafer Cognac Patent 82 Loafer $420
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I’d be remiss if I didn’t add a heeled loafer to this party. This pair from Labucq is high-quality and comes in a variety of colors and patterns. They’re great for a loafer look that needs to be a little more elevated. Literally.

Dan Cow Loafer
Sebago Dan Cow Loafer $195
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Cow print is still alive and well, and I’m perfectly fine with it. This fun pair from American brand Sebago is a twist on a classic that can be worn in a million ways,

Curb-Chain Square-Toe Leather Loafers
Martine Rose Curb-Chain Square-Toe Leather Loafers $490
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I fell in love with Martine Rose loafers and their exaggerated square toe many seasons ago. I’ve kept a close eye on the colors and styles that come out and have been particularly taken with these petal pink ones.

Sierra Loafers
Vivaia Sierra Loafers $109
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I must admit that I’m very in love with these vegan, sustainable, and washable shoes from Vivaia. It’s like the tuxedo t-shirt of the loafer world. Is there anything more fun than that?

Loafer
Zou Xou Loafer $249
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These loafers from sustainable brand Zou Xou are handmade by Argentinian shoemakers using age-old techniques and produced in small quantities. They're the best and brightest of slow fashion, and so cute too.

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