10 Best Looking Loafers Reviewed
Across the shoe buying spectrum, the true significance of comfort, professional sleek style, and easy to manage shoe-wear is relatable to all. A pair of high-quality loafers unbeatably finds itself at the top of each of these lists. Quite frankly a pair of the best loafers proves themselves to be ideal for the business person, the gardener, or those healing from a wide array of injuries especially foot, heel, and ankle injuries.
We understand shoe shopping while on the go can be exciting, yet all the while tediously time consuming to find the perfect pair of shoes for your lifestyle and budget. Loafers can be a very smart purchase of shoes, especially if you are in a field of work that requires standing for long hours on the job such as a nurse, or line worker. We have great news for you, when it comes to shopping for a set of loafers we have researched diligently to create a list of the best loafers in today’s market according to value, price, and comfort for your specific lifestyle.
- Crocs Santa Cruz
- Slip-resistant, non-marking outsole
- Franco Sarto Bocca
- Downturned Apron-toe Seam
- Joansam Lace-up
- Breathable lining
All this has been done while keeping your best in mind taking into consideration factors like; the highest standards according to customer reviews, important shoe features, and removing any confusion about the cold hard facts about loafers, discovering what truly makes the best loafer as opposed to one that is low in quality.
10 Best Loafers
1. Crocs Santa Cruz
The most significant and notable features is the contoured comfortable insole bed that is designed to stimulate massage as you walk, this is gentle yet massages all of the right trigger points in your foot offering phenomenal blood stimulation.
Croslite, a unique combination of elements in Crocs shoe making designed to provide soft feeling, lightweight comfort, arch support, non-marking soles, and odor resistant shoes.
Cost and Value
The cost of these loafers is considered low to average. They offer a phenomenal value for price due to the contoured insoles, croslite material, and the usage of canvas for the upper footbed. All of which make up the perfect loafers.
- Contoured insole
- Broad variety of colors
- Arch support
- Very lightweight
- Contoured insole
- Canvas may tear rapidly
- Canvas lacks good ventilation
2. Franco Sarto Bocca
These loafers are snug to around the foot, creating a sense of protection and hugging shoe around the entire foot, with a roomy toe box they feel as though you are wearing a comfortable sneaker. This allows you the momentum needed to move quickly and efficiently.
The foot bed and insole of these loafers conform to your feet overtime, with a short break in period of about two weeks, they may feel extra tight to slip into but trust that over time you will have a shoe that is perfect to slip in or out of, as the break in of this shoe provides a nice adjustment in the amount of give and softening needed, but not becoming to lax or stretched out.
Cost and Value
Typically the cost for a pair of classy Franco Sarto' affordable and average, while the value is high you know this is a great purchase. They are considered timeless by many, you may find yourself in these shoes for up to six years with lasting quality and comfort. They are designed with leather and imported for your satisfaction of usage. An incredibly sturdy rubber heel that measures 1.25" means you can have them on your feet daily without easy wear and tear.
- Usually can be found at a good sales price
- Lasting comfort
- Soft professional color
- Snug fit with great break in adjustment space
- Roomy toe box
- Before break in they are hard to slip on
- They are sized one size small
3. Cole Haan Tassel
Hand antiqued real leather is a statement in itself, for this to occur a company must have employees on hand that polish each shoe coating with color, polish, and care to create a unique shoe each time. This company designed these loafers with dignity and pride.
These loafers run true to size, it is not unheard of for a pair of loafers to run small, large or any size in between at this point, good sizing is what creates the best loafer. This aspect is especially helpful when ordering online.
Cost and Value
The cost of these loafers are high, in turn the value is also very high. They have been created to be the best loafers, that are durable, classy in design, and made with an authentic approach from a top notch well known company. Satisfaction is a guarantee.
- Hold their shine, easy to clean
- Shoe design stays consistent through company over many years
- Reasonable pricing for high quality shoe
- Long lasting leather
- Professional work shoe attire
- Outsole and heel wear down rapidly
- Lack of arch support
4. RockPort Classic Lite
The outsole of these loafers are made with a special polyurethane material allowing for special shock absorption, this material is meant to reduce foot fatigue throughout wear.
Built with a specially designed EVA footbed which conforms to the unique shape of your foot, allowing for the best comfort of your personal fit.
Cost and Value
The cost of these fashionable loafers are average, but indeed worth the price for the value. These have made it onto the best list due to their lightweight comfort for a particularly fancy version of the loafer. They are long lasting and can withstand a heavy usage
- Ideal for long hours
- Vibrant color
- Casual and formal appearance
- High comfort level right out of the box
- Long lasting shoe
- Stretch to a larger size after long term usage
- Discoloration as a result of rain or getting wet
5. Kenneth Cole Reaction
Loafers that can be worn daily throughout any experience is considered great loafer. The soft rubber outsole provides comfort unlike most other loafers.
Easy slip on/off
Made with dual elastic goring bands and a padded upper collar they ensure an easy transition from slip on to slip off, as well as room for the foot to move while you walk.
Cost and Value
The cost for these loafers are low with the value being great. The shoe will provide probably the best comfort out of any of the loafers on this list, and are great for casual outings. They are well worth the money for those who are active in their daily life.
- Soft comfortable outsole
- Padded collar
- Fashionable for casual and formal attire
- Easy to slip on and off
- Affordable price for the quality of these loafers
- The outsole wears down rapidly due to soft rubber
6. Ferro Aldo Fashion
These are crafted with a unique upper top-stitch, they are great for fancy events, and special occasions. If you look at their design it a cross between a classic and vintage styled plaid shoe.
While walking in these loafers you won’t have an issue with insole comfort as these are easily compared to a Dr.Scholl's insole, allowing you to sensation floating on air while walking.
Cost and Value
The cost of these loafers are low-cost affordable. For a nice pair of dress loafers, that can be worn on any special occasion you will find yourself with good reason upon making this purchase. They offer a unique style of a classic dress loafer. With comfort like a Dr.Scholls footbed you will be pleased buying these best loafers.
- Unique top-stitch design
- True to size
- Does not crease easily in the toe box
- Lightweight dress shoe
- The look of this loafer is comparable to a high priced fashion loafer, while cost is low
- Distasteful smell
- Not everyday shoes
7. Joansam Lace-up
What shoe better than a summer loafer that will not make your feet hot. For these summer loafers the airflow is probably the most notable aspects. These are hand made from cowhide leather with large open skin space on the upper foot, allowing maximum breathability.
The outsole of these loafers are designed with a unique bubble textured rubber, this makes for an upbeat bouncy experience while walking in them.
Cost and Value
The cost of these loafers are unbeatable, while the quality of value is also remarkable. The high quality material that makes these shoes breathable is also what makes the value worth what it is asked for a pair of these summer loafers. It is also great because at this price you are able to buy multiple pairs in many different colors.
- Roomy toe box
- Comfortable wear out of the box
- A large variety of colors to choose from
- Made out of high quality breathable cowhide material
- Very comfortable fit
- There is no insole liner which may cause color to rub off on bottoms of feet
- Sizing does run too large
8. Journey West Vintage
Perhaps the most elegant featured loafer on our list they are made out of beautiful red velvety material, this leaves you feeling like royalty while slipping them on your feet.
This loafer is pressed at the toe front with an elegant vintage embroidered design. This is so unique that it was the only pair like it that we found while researching. Style is high class for these fancy loafers.
Cost and Value
These loafers are a smart downright good buy, they are in the range of average and for the quality of material they are produced from, comfortable fit, and beautiful design they are well worth the asking price.
- True to size and comfortable out of the box
- Available in red or blue
- The velvet material offers an array of blues or reds caught by the eye depending on lighting and angle of shoe.
- These loafers will spark conversations
- The rubber sole holds up well due to great quality of the material
- Can feel narrow to a person with wide feet
9. Ugg Milana
This shoe is made with thick stitching at the seams, this will uphold the shoe in the long run and provides a very stylish desired look. This stitching is used among quality designer wear proving that UGG is a top quality brand to purchase from.
This style of loafer has an under sole that is made up of molded rubber, the purpose of this is to provide traction during usage. The molded rubber makes these loafers ideal for the outdoors or higher activity levels.
Cost and Value
The cost of this shoe is quite low compared to the quality of the materials used. UGG is known for providing customers with top quality leather, usually allowing a customer to wear the shoe for many years. They value the time and effort put into the shoe build as you can see with the thicker stitching. Over all these UGG loafers are a great purchase and smart buy.
- Outsole is made out of durable and molded rubber for traction
- Long term comfort when worn for long periods of time
- Will mold to fit your foot
- Easy to manage
- Arch and plantar support in footbed
- If they are tight upon purchase, you will need to break them in
- Sized small
10. Gucci Brushed Leather Horsebit
The comfort of these loafers is so immense that you don’t have to wear socks with them. They are a dress shoe that feels and fits like a slipper.
The leather that is used to create these designer loafers is top notch, they are made in Italy as a part of a collection from 1953. This provides for a long lasting and very durable shoe.
Cost and Value
The cost of these loafers is considered high, with that being said they do reflect this in value. They are made as part of a 1953 designer collection. They are made with the highest quality leather that is hard to find anywhere other than the Gucci line, hand brushed and created in Italy. They are notable for their silver metal horse-bit detail on the upper foot region reflecting superior style and class.
Shopping for a pair of loafers in today’s shoe market can be immensely detailed. While searching for and actually purchasing which style and brand is the best loafer for your lifestyle we understand you want to do it just right and see all of the best options. That is why the creation of this list of the top loafers can be so helpful in your journey. Here we have stated some of the main concerns when purchasing your next pair of loafers, and we have kept your best interest in mind. The top concerns have proven to be comfort levels, the ability to slip on and off with ease, and also the asking price reflecting what the actual value is for the shoe. In hopes of helping you ease into your next purchase of the best loafers for your lifestyle we have included a wide range of styles, comfort levels, and the ideal usage for each of the top loafers on the market today!
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Loafers
What a loafer really is
We’ve highlighted some of the highest quality and best-loved loafers out there, and considered a variety of new styles, alongside classic loafers. But when it comes to choosing a pair, what should you look for? Let’s talk a little bit about how to evaluate loafers, and choose a pair that suits your needs.
When looking for fashion inspiration, you’ll see people of varying degrees of style wearing loafers, with all different ensembles. Some of these individuals may stick with the business look, while others may be wearing their loafers with jeans. Here, we’ll talk about some essential criteria that you should consider when you’re ready to start shopping for a pair.
First, let’s start by discussing what a loafer is. Although there are many legends about how loafers came to be, we find the most compelling and believable tale to be that the loafer originated as an English house shoe, and later underwent a metamorphosis when it became an American trend. As a result, there are several specific styles of loafer we’ll discuss.
The main characteristics that mark a loafer are:
- A low fit beneath the ankle
- No laces or fastening mechanism
- Little to no heel
- Minimal decoration
- Sole constructed separately from the shoe
Within the loafer family, there are several styles, each suited to a different look and occasion.
The Penny Loafer
The penny loafer is arguably the most versatile style of loafer, marked by the strip of leather across the vamp (upper front of the shoe). It can be dressed up, or down, and runs the spectrum from a polished casual look, to business casual. These can be paired with chinos, jeans, or a tailored short.
The Belgian Loafer
A lesser-known style of loafer, the Belgian is constructed by a specific process in which the shoes are sewn inside out. Like the penny loafer, these shoes are ideal to polish off a smart, casual look, such as a button down or polo shirt.
The Tassel Loafer
While the simple elegance of the loafer is in part due to the lack of ornamentation, there are two loafer styles with a single embellishment to them; one of those is the tassel loafer. With this style, a decorative tassel is attached to the top vamp of the shoe. This style of loafer is designed with a more rounded toe. The tassel loafer is an ideal choice for a dressy casual look, such as paired with a blazer.
The Horsebit Loafer
The horsebit style of loafer is the most formal style here, originally created by Gucci. Although the casual nature of the shoe means they’re not suitable for, say, a black tie event, they’ll easily complement dressy and business attire. Make sure the ornamentation of the shoe is subdued and elegant, never gaudy.
Now that you understand the different types of loafers out there, let’s talk about some other considerations when shopping. The most important things to consider when choosing a pair will be the style and purpose of the loafers, the construction and material, how comfortable they are, and your budget.
When choosing a loafer for yourself, it’s important to consider what purpose the shoe will need to serve. Will it be a shoe for the office, or for lounging with friends? Are you an outdoor adventurer who needs a loafer that looks nice but accommodates your activities? Loafers are some of the most versatile shoes out there, so you may be able to find one or two pairs that meet all of your fashion needs. Consider where you’ll need your loafers to go.
The classic loafer is generally made of leather or suede, in a neutral color, with minimal embellishment. However, rules were made to be broken, and now, loafers come in every variation, and in many different materials.
While leather and suede are the classic materials, and always good choices, there are many other choices available. Athletic loafers offer breathability, while materials like canvas and fabric are flexible and casual. The material of the lining inside the shoe should also be considered. Leather lining is breathable and will stretch a bit to fit to your foot. Many loafers now are made with memory foam, which also molds to the wearer’s foot over time, creating a custom fit. Moisture-wicking microfiber is sometimes used in loafer lining and can be a great option for those concerned about sweat or odor. Again, assess what you’ll be asking of your footwear. If you’re more active, for example, breathability might be a top concern.
Suede loafers should typically be reserved for the lighter seasons, and are ideal in spring and summer. Polished leather has a more formal look, and is ideal for business purposes.
The highest quality loafers are often made from cordovan leather, which comes from the rump of the horse, and carries a distinctive patina and sheen. As you’d expect though, cordovan leather will cost you.
Comfort & Fit
Loafers should be comfortable, and relatively easy to slip on and off. While a new shoe may stretch a bit as it’s worn, a loafer that’s uncomfortable out of the box is not likely to ever be a winner. Most loafers offer some degree of arch support, so flat-footed folks may have trouble finding a comfortable pair. Some styles may have a removable insole, which can allow you to customize the fit by selecting a different insole. As with other shoes, look for wide or narrow styles if your feet require them.
Based on the style of the loafer and the purpose intended, consider if you’ll be wearing socks with your shoes when trying them on. If you’d like the option to wear them with or without socks, wear a thin sock when trying the shoes on before purchase.
Just as loafers come in many materials, they come in a variety of styles as well. Classic styles, which we’ve discussed, include penny loafers, tassel loafers, and horsebit loafers. Modern twists include canvas slippers, athletic styles, patterned, shearling styles, and even heeled loafers. Since they are an incredibly versatile shoe, the style is entirely a matter of preference and lifestyle. Choose the loafer that works the best for you!
If you’re going for a classic look, keep a few guidelines in mind. The loafer should be worn with clothes that have a fairly tailored fit. Loafers intended for more formal purposes should have a low heel, and high vamp, meaning the front of the shoe comes relatively far up the foot.
The cost of a good shoe is always a matter of consideration. The most affordable loafers generally start around $30, and go up from there. While a well-made leather pair or a designer label will cost you significantly more, a nice pair of classic loafers can be snagged for around $50 to $100, such as those from Calvin Klein or Nunn Bush. More casual loafers, such as styles from Crocs and Sperry, are very affordable in the range of $20 to $60. An iconic Gucci pair will set you back around $750.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What’s the difference between a loafer and a moccasin?
A: Moccasins are indeed very similar to loafers. Both are low-cut shoes which slip on and off with ease, and which are traditionally made of leather or suede. However, moccasins are definitely a casual shoe, while a loafer can fall anywhere on the spectrum. Moccasins also have a tendency toward embellishment, while loafers are prized for their restrained elegance.
A traditional moccasin does not include a separate sole; rather, the sole of the shoe is the same leather or suede used for the rest of it. A loafer, on the other hand, has a substantial sole which is constructed separately.
Q: Are Italian loafers preferable to American-made loafers?
A: Not necessarily. While Italian leather is generally high quality and luxurious, Italian loafers can be too delicate for many American men’s suits. The loafer should balance the outfit, complementing it, while not being overwhelmed. An American loafer is often a heavier shoe which can achieve this perfect balance.
Q: How do you fit a loafer?
A: There’s nothing quite as bad as an uncomfortable pair of shoes. Loafers, in particular, are made to be a comfortable shoe, which still looks nice enough for a range of occasions. Most loafers will have some degree of arch, so if you are flat footed or require a high arch, look for loafers made with those considerations in mind. Keep in mind also that the material the shoe is made of can dictate whether the fit stays the same, or relaxes a bit as it’s worn.
When shopping, choose a loafer with a standard fit, neither tight nor loose. They should be relatively easy to slip on and off, and not require the use of a shoehorn or other assistance. However, they should also be snug enough as not to slip around and cause blistering or rubbing.
Q: What’s the most versatile loafer to own?
A: This depends entirely on one’s personal style and the occasions which you need the loafer for. However, if you’re at a complete loss as to what your first loafer purchase should be, a leather loafer in a neutral color such as brown or black is a solid choice.
For one with a casual lifestyle, a brown suede is solid summer or spring staple.
Q: How do you style a loafer?
A: A Loafer’s value lies largely in how well it transitions. It’s the perfect shoe to wear to the office, and then out afterward…without feeling like you’re still at the office. With the range of styles and the incredible versatility of the shoe, a pair of loafers are the chameleons of the shoe world. They can be paired with a suit, jeans, chinos, or even a skirt or dress.
In the summer, a suede pair can be worn without socks for a smart, casual look akin to that of boat shoes. The most casual loafers are great paired with shorts, for that carefree summer look.
Dress socks will take a nice pair of leather loafers to a business-appropriate level. If you’re new to loafers, a neutral pair in black or brown will serve you well. A demure sock is the best choice for a traditional setting, while a whimsical sock can add interest, in the right situation. When you’re comfortable with choosing and styling loafers, a bold color or pattern can set off a classic outfit.
Q: Are loafers ideal for walking?
A: A loafer can be a great walking shoe, if it fits well and is broken in. Many loafer enthusiasts report excellent traction and cushioning in their shoes, making them a great choice for situations that require standing or walking, but where style is still a factor. Most brands of loafer have a removable sole, which can be removed to customize the shoe’s fit for the wearer.
Q: How do you clean and maintain a loafer?
A: Proper care of your loafer will depend on the type and material of the shoe. Leather shoes should be conditioned and polished to make the most of their lifespan. Leather cleaners should be used sparingly, as they can dry out the leather. Canvas or cloth loafers are often washable and quick-drying. When purchasing, be sure to check the material and care requirements so that you commit to a shoe that’s manageable for you.
If you’re buying leather loafers, do yourself a favor: walk past those flimsy leathers, and spend a little more. Quality leather isn’t cheap, but when properly cared for, it can last decades. When you’re buying a classic loafer, it’s an investment. Regardless of the style you choose, a high-quality loafer is timeless and stylish, and can carry you through many different situations.
Q: What is the ideal balance of price and quality when buying a loafer?
A: Clearly, a $1,000 cordovan loafer from Gucci will be excellent quality and style. But that’s not within everyone’s budget. Although you may not want to spend all your savings on a pricey pair of loafers, you do want to wear something comfortable, stylish, and dependable. So what price range should you buy in?
As always, your personal taste and budget has the final say in this matter. However, Gucci is a fantastic standard for choosing loafers. Their loafer offer a wide variety of style, and range from $250 to over $1,000, with many to choose from in the $400 -$700 range. Go classic, and you won’t go wrong!