In my humble opinion, a loafer really is the best shoe. A real platonic ideal of footwear. They’re easy to style, easy to slip on, and, with a variety of options, there’s always a new way to wear them or refresh your wardrobe.
Yet loafers have fallen in popularity over the years when it comes to menswear. With the rise of the hype economy around sneakers, a good pair of loafers have taken a backseat. Which is unfortunate, because a loafer versus a sneaker–or boot, sandal, or even clog–offers more versatility and style options.
Whether you’re looking to throw on a pair for a walk on the beach or slip on a pair for more formal occasions like a wedding, these are some of the best loafers on the market today.
What To Look For In Men’s Loafers
- Material: Loafers are typically made from leather or suede. Leather is a more durable material, while suede is more breathable and stylish.
- Color: Black and brown are classic loafer colors that can be dressed up or down. If you want something more unique, you could try a lighter color like tan or navy, or a patterned loafer.
- Style: There are three main styles of loafers: penny loafers, tassel loafers, and horsebit loafers. Penny loafers have a small leather tab across the vamp, while tassel loafers have a decorative tassel. Horsebit loafers have a metal bit across the vamp.
- Construction: Loafers are typically made using either Blake stitching or Goodyear welting. Blake stitching is a simpler and less expensive construction method, while Goodyear welting is more durable.
- Fit: Loafers should fit snugly but not too tightly. You should be able to wiggle your toes comfortably.
The Best Men’s Loafers
Fort Worth Brown Sabah
For a decade now, Sabah has been producing some of the best loafers on the market. Handmade in Turkey, these loafers are built to last, while getting a much-loved patina after a few wears. Sabah uses an incredibly supple leather that molds to the foot and can easily be worn all year ‘round, making it a loafer that’s just begging to be your perennial travel companion from destination weddings to weekend beach getaways.Buy Now $210
For a business-casual option, Amberjack’s loafer bridges the gap between style and comfort. The design pairs well with chinos and dresses up your outfit without looking too formal. But the real one-two punch of this shoe is the dual-function athletic outsole and heat-activated insole, making for all-day comfort without any fatigue after a few hours of wear.Buy Now $189
Stubbs & Wootton Cheetah Loafer
Stubbs & Wootton’s star continues to rise and part of their success is their ability to seamlessly partner with just about anyone. From wallpaper brands like Scalamandre to the Monopoly man himself, Stubbs & Wootton’s classic loafer design is the best backdrop for subtle, often cheeky, motifs. Their loafers are extremely popular for weddings and it’s easy to see why – they’re clever without being ostentatious and classy without being formal. A winning combination in anyone’s book.Buy Now $650
GH Bass 1936 Logan Flat Strap Weejun
Billed as the original pennyloafer, GH Bass’ Weejuns have remained the most popular line from the brand. Worn by the likes of Grace Kelly and Paul Newman alike, the simple loafer’s provenance has elevated Bass to a cult status. While that’s one aspect of the shoe that’s interesting and all, they’re also just a well-constructed loafer that has a minimal silhouette, making them ideal for everyday wear without much fuss.Buy Now $175
Blackstock & Weber Mason Horsebit Loafer
If you’re looking for a loafer with a lot of style, Blackstock & Weber might be your top pick. Many of the brand’s offerings have a thick sole, giving them a slightly fashion-forward look, while their classic construction makes them a great choice for anyone, no matter your personal style. The horsebit detailing on their Mason loafer is great for those who like a little bit of eyecandy without veering into flamboyant territory.Buy Now $375
Belgian Shoes Mr. Casual All Calf Loafer
The ultimate shoe for those in the IYKYK crowd, the Belgian has a lot of cachet for Palm Beach goers and Upper East Side residents alike. With their old world charm and classic European look, these loafers are a bit formal but still extremely versatile for the right gentleman. The Mr. Casual is a personal favorite with the calf leather option being ideal for longterm, all-season wear.
Artemis Design Co. Loafers
Even if you don’t know the brand, you’ve undoubtedly come across a photo or two of Artemis Design Co.’s loafers on your Instagram feed. Utilizing old kilim and carpets, these handmade loafers come in a variety of colors, patterns, and even textures, making for a great conversation starter and an even better shoe.Buy Now $288