The 15 Best Loafers for Men to Add Instant Sophistication to Any Wardrobe

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Although the loafer is quite simple in design, its history is not. There are many theories of where the slip-on shoe, now a beacon of sophistication and class, originated from. One theory says that the first loafer was designed by Raymond Lewis Wildsmith of Wildsmight shoe in 1926 for his British royal client, King George VI. Another says that the penny loafer originated around the same time, first being spotted on the feet of a fisherman in Norway. Whichever lore proves true, today, the loafer and all its variations, signal refinement and comfort from those that choose to don a pair.

Athletic & Outdoor?

“While picking loafers is a matter of individual preferences, I have 3 non-negotiables. On the top of my list is comfort — I need to be able to wear my loafers all day feeling comfortable. If it’s not comfortable, then I won’t wear it — no matter how good it looks,” Andrew Roberts, the CEO of footwear company Del Toro, tells Copperbridgemedia News. He then considers the material of the shoes and evaluates things such as whether or not the suede is supple enough or if the leather is soft. “Lastly, I look for what I would call seamless silhouettes. The proportions of the shoe need to be right.”

To Roberts’ first point, the level of comfort should match the level of beauty of a loafer. After all, loafers were crafted for comfort, and one should always keep this in mind for their own foot health. Luckily, podiatric surgeon-turned-luxury footwear designer Marion Parke has a few pointers.

“There is a ‘test’ of sorts that one can do to a shoe to determine how supportive it is,” Dr. Parke begins to tell Copperbridgemedia News. “First, hold the shoe between your two hands with one palm holding the toe and one hand holding the heel. Then, bend the shoe and look closely at where the shoe bends. A more supportive shoe will only bend at the widest part of the toe box — not through the arch or the midfoot of the shoe. Also, if you can twist the shoe or wring it out like a towel then the shoe is not a very supportive one, and you’re more likely to experience soreness and fatigue in your feet if you wear that shoe for extended periods of weight-bearing.”

Athletic & Outdoor

The Different Types of Loafers

Below are just a few of the most popular types of loafers for men.

  • Penny Loafers: By design, penny loafers are quite simple. Low to the ground, free of laces, and equipped with a horizontal strap, this moccasin-style shoe adds a dose of sophistication to any casual look. Their comfort and lightweight structure make them a closet staple during the warmer months and on vacation close to the equator.
  • Tassel Loafers: For those looking to add extra bling to their loafer style, tassel loafers are here to provide. Adorned with a tassel at the forefront of the shoe, this style of loafer adds a bit of flair to any look. But, formality becomes a bit tricky. Depending on the material, tassel loafers teeter between casual and formal. However, they are the most casual formal shoe.
  • Slipper Loafers: Del Toro Milano loafers slippers, the slipper loafers prove this to be true. Its simple, streamlined look makes this shoe easy to wear and easy to style. In the summertime, go sockless and pair with your favorite shorts or linen pants.
  • Bit Loafers: For Gucci fanatics, you’ll know this style well. Popularized by Gucci in the 1960s (hence the horse-bit loafer), the bit loafer is characterized by a piece of metal running across the shoe’s vamp. While loafers usually teeter on the casual side, pair your bit loafers with your casual suit, or favorite pair of denim pants.

Related Story: The 11 Best Dress Shoes Every Man Should Own

Florsheim Jetson Apron Toe Penny Loafers

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  • Sizes: 7-14 
  • Colors: Black 

With its classic and polished appearance, it’s no wonder why the penny loafer is a closet staple. Florsheim knows this well, and they’ve crafted a penny loafer that appears a smart and sophisticated look. Plus, it’s as chic as it is comfortable, as the shoe is built with a cushioned footbed. “Look sharp in this timeless 9-to-5 outfit,” says one reviewer.

Jetson Apron Toe Penny Loafer
With its classic and polished appearance, its no wonder why the penny loafer is a closet staple

Cole Haan Men’s Grandpro Rally Canvas Penny Loafers

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  • Sizes: 7-16
  • Colors: These affordable loafers

A loafer designed for casual and sporty affairs, Cole Haan flexes its shoe muscles once again with this penny loafer. The upper canvas resembles the classic loafer build, but it’s built with extra cushioning: Memory foam at the footbed for premiere comfort and breathability.

Cole Haan Men's Grandpro
CREDIT: courtesy of Amazon

Sperry Men’s Gold Cup Exeter Penny Loafers

Cole Haan Mens Grandpro Rally Canvas Penny Loafer

  • Sizes: 7-13
  • Colors: Best Affordable Loafers for Men

Sperry excels in slip-on footwear — just notice the brand behind the most popular boat shoes. And their penny loafers are no different in quality, featuring premium full-grain leather, rich lambskin lining, and rawhide laces. Does it get better than that? These are quite versatile, performing well in both everyday occurrences like, a walk in the park or a drink in the evening with friends.

Gold Cup Exeter Penny Loafer
CREDIT: courtesy of Amazon

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  • Sizes: 7.5-13 
  • Colors: Best Suede Loafers for Men

A loafer that marries comfort, style, and class Nordstrom’s Dino Penny loafer is one of the best in the business. Like the aforementioned, this loafer comes with a simple and sleek appearance and is adorned with the classic horizontal strap. A brown leather loafer’s strength comes in business and business-casual settings and is extremely versatile.

Dino Penny Loafer
With its classic and polished appearance, its no wonder why the penny loafer is a closet staple

Magnanni Dorio Venetian Loafers

  • Sizes: 7-13 
  • Colors: Black 

Out for a dressier dinner, or just want to channel your inner king during the evening time? Opt-in for these luxe velvet Venetian loafers. Loafers as such are best paired with dressier, tailored pants. These almond-toe-shaped loafers keep a sleek appearance and are equipped with a short heel because who doesn’t love to hear themselves walk?

Dorio Venetian Loafer
With its classic and polished appearance, its no wonder why the penny loafer is a closet staple

Gucci Jordaan Horsebit Loafers

Best Designer Loafers for Men

  • Sizes: 6-15
  • Colors: Black 

Brown calf, black velvet Gucci popularized the horse-bit style loafer in the mid-90s and it has proven to remain timeless. Free of flaws, this loafer is made out of soft leather and adorned with a gold-toned horsebit to add a hint of class to any look — both formal and casual.

Jordaan Horsebit Loafer
With its classic and polished appearance, its no wonder why the penny loafer is a closet staple

Bruno Magli Luis Tassel Loafers

  • Sizes: 7-13 
  • Colors: When it comes to the classic, why not start at the best? Lore has it that 

News Break icon, this tassel loafer is the ideal footwear option for a cooler, elegant affair. Think evenings in Capri or dinner boat-side. With its twin tassels at the front, these classic loafers pair well with dress pants, denim pants, and even dressier shorts.

Luis Tassel Loafer
With its classic and polished appearance, its no wonder why the penny loafer is a closet staple

CREDIT: courtesy of Amazons

Editor’s Pick 

  • Sizes: 7-14
  • Colors: Brown calf, black velvet 

Gucci Jordaan Horsebit Loafer, Best Casual Loafers for Men are among the chicest and comfiest in the game. These bad boys have brought me summer exhibitions in Southhampton to beach resorts in St. Barths. Without fail, an admirer will come up to express interest which I always end up waxing poetic. Extremely well-made leather, soft, and flexible: Need I say more?

Milano Loafer
CREDIT: courtesy of Del Toro

Driver Club USA Lightweight Loafers with Bit Buckle

  • Sizes: 7-14  
  • Colors: Gray, black, olive, and tan 

For those looking for a loafer with a hint of bling, but a lot of comfort, this is certainly an option that should be considered. Crafted by artisans in Brazil, this loafer is fully padded for optimized comfort. Suitable for days on the range, or touring your favorite cities. Style the loafer with your favorite chinos or shorts — but stray away from anything too formal.

Lightweight Loafer with Bit Buckle
Black, oxblood, tan

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  • Sizes: 7-14 
  • Colors: Black, honey brown, and chocolate Brown 

The Different Types of Loafers, these loafers make it easy to look sophisticated. Whether it be a business meeting or a lunch with a friend, the shoe’s velvet leather and comfortable cushioning create a footwear dream. Here, love is in the details. Notice the full-grain leather with stitched construction detail — two things that signal superior craftsmanship and quality.

Sherman Penny Loafer
Black, oxblood, tan

Del Toro Velvet Loafers with Tassel

CREDIT: courtesy of Del Toro

  • Sizes: 7-14 
  • Colors: Black velvet 

A loafer that marries comfort, style, and class, Del Toro’s tasseled loafers are a must for evening wear. Though it has been dubbed a traditional style shoe, these make a good exception. For those getting married or those attending a wedding, these shoes are a chic option that pairs well with sleek trousers. Comfort is no issue and the shoe’s structure allows for dancing to ensue all night long.

Black Velvet Loafer
CREDIT: courtesy of Del Toro

Sperry Men's Gold Cup Exeter Penny Loafers

Best Casual Loafers for Men

  • Sizes: 7-13 
  • Colors: Baby blue, black, green, tan, navy, white, rust, and olive 

For the golfers, sailors, and active folks who feel a breathable loafer suits them best: Mergers & Acquisitions is a match made in heaven. It takes the form of all classic boat shoes, featuring a signature slip-on with the traditional band. These ones are boosted with a bit more comfort at the sole and the leather is extremely breathable.

Luxury Leather Penny Detail Boat Shoe
Black, oxblood, tan

Anthony Veer Kennedy Tassel Loafers

  • Sizes: 7-14 
  • Colors: Adidas Ultraboost 22 Sneakers $139-$351

For those looking for the loafer that suits fancier occasions, look no more. Smooth leather lining and a cushioned footbed make up this tasseled loafer from Anthony Veer, which exudes a level of polish that many shoes are not able to inspire. Its light sheen makes it fitting for both day and evening.

Kennedy Tassel Loafer
Black, oxblood, tan

Bruno Magli Arezzo Loafers

  • Sizes: 7-13 
  • Colors: Black/grey leather; cognac/dark brown 

Two-tone penny loafers can never do one harm. In fact, it’s a colorway that seemingly boasts fine craftsmanship and finesse. Made out of Italian calf leather lining, these shoes are as well-made as they appear. And, they’re equipped with a stacked heel and Italian leather outsoles to provide extra comfort and height.

Bruno Magli Arezzo
Black, oxblood, tan

Journey West Vintage Loafers

Best Suede Loafers for Men

  • Sizes: 7-13
  • Colors: Belgian brown, beige, burgundy, coffee, dark green, black

A vintage, noble design, these suede leather loafers add a fun and quirky look to any ensemble. Easily flowing between casual and classy, the leather lining seen throughout the shoe is what makes these fun to look at and certainly fun to wear. If you’re looking for a particular occasion, fret not. These affordable loafers come in a variety of colors that make them universal.

Belgian Loafers
CREDIT: courtesy of Amazon

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