Loafers 101: Key To All You Need To Know


Loafer shoes for men

The world is advancing at an unmitigable pace. There’s not one moment to lose lest you’ll fall behind. There’s no time to time for trifles such as tying laces! Walk pace to pace with this world with loafer shoes. No matter how hard the road ahead is, tread a mile in style. Loafers are lace-less shoes that are based on a moccasin construction. (What is
moccasin you ask? It is a shoe made up of deerskin or other soft leather consisting of a sole. The sole is soft and
flexible and the upper side is adorned.)

traditional loafers

Loafers are the kinds of shoes that can be easily slipped on and off. Though they were designed as indoor shoes, they have evolved to the point that they can be worn anytime, anywhere. Stylish as well as comfortable, they really are the shoes to relax and ‘loaf’ around in. They are very flexible in terms of style
variations. They are made up of a variety of materials, in different colors and designs.

Origin And History

Wildsmith Shoes, called the Wildsmith loafer introduced one of the first designs. No one knows about the exact origins but the most credible stories are that of an English king and a Norwegian shoemaker. In the first story, King George VI is involved. He desired casual, indoor shoes for his everyday use. Allegedly, he commissioned London’s Matthew and Rebecca Wildsmith and left the creation of the shoes to them. The Wildsmiths had already built a business making and repairing shoes for the Kong’s household cavalry, hence, they were chosen. The design created by them went forward and became the Wildsmith Loafer.

history of loafer shoes

The other story dictates that the loafers came from Norway by a shoemaker with the name of Nils Gregoriusson Tveranger. It is also said that he originally made shoes to accommodate Norway’s colder weather. In fact, he had created a pair of moccasins. Tveranger then went on to combine two styles together, the moccasin-style and a more conventional outdoor shoe, they came to be known as Aurland Shoes. It was only after he began to export across to America and Europe that they became loafer.

The first Aurland shoes were also designed with laces and an adorned upper side similar to another shoe known as the brogue shoe. They came in colors until 1960 when they were started being painted black. Around the mid-1950s influences in the continents of Europe and America brought an image to light which was lower cut slip-on, which started being paired with shoes.

design of loafer shoes

They were in widespread use by the 1980s. They were revived at the start of the 21 st century. Their popularity was at peak during the mid to late 1960s and again during the 1980s to early 1990s. The revival design was a more rugged version, closer to the original concept.


The most prominent feature of the loafers is the lack of lace. They are easy to slip on and off even while standing.


Other features include –
°Exposed ankles
°Separate sole
°Low heel
°Moccasin-like upper vamp

In some loafers, an extra piece of leather is included known as the saddle. It is fitted across the vamp top for extra style and a better fit. In contrast to moccasins, loafers have a sole and heel that are separate.

Style Variations

*The Wildsmith Loafer
Wildsmith loafer is the most common style in areas such as the UK. The of loafer in areas such as the UK. Normally, it features a serrated seam and reinforced toe along with vertical stitching on the toe. Standing out and polished to a nice shine, the serrated seam and toe stitching give this shoe a prominent definition.

*Aurland loafer
Developed in Aurland, Norway, originally, this variety of loafer features a raised seam on the upper similar to that of a moccasin. The shoe is less subject to expansion in consequence of a narrow-cut saddle which gives adds definition to the top of the shoe.

*Penny Loafer
The American take on this footwear design is the stylish penny loafer. A saddle sewn across the upper makes it easily recognizable. Its name credits to the cut-out large enough to hold a penny in the saddle. Fun fact- the inventor of the penny loafer was fond of keeping pennies in his shoes so that he always had money to make a phone call.

*Kilted Loafer
You can easily recognize this one by a flap that is secured over the top of the vamp using leather strings or tassels. In addition to this, some of them sport a bit of broguing.

*Italian loafer
The Italian ‘sprezzatura’ look is heavily dependent upon the loafer to finish off the casual but intricate styling. The original design by Aldo Gucci in the 1950s is perhaps the best example of an Italian-style loafer. It was a means of making this particular style more acceptable on formal occasions. He replaced the tasseled saddle with a gold horse bit otherwise it had ended up being a lot like a tassel loafer.

*Belgian loafer
Rather new by comparison is the Belgian loafer. For decorative purposes, it features a small bow on the top. In the factory, the shoes are sewn inside out. It is done in order to present a finer looking seam on the
finished product.

Ranging from the uber-fancy to the simply plain, there are numerous other loafer styles. There is not necessarily one particular design or variation that stands out above all others as the defining one because loafers are intended to be casual, everyday footwear.

Versatility Of Loafers

The shoe was probably designed to be formal and though some people wear it in formal settings, they are not considered formal due to its lack of laces and origin.

On some extreme occasions, they can be paired with a pantsuit for a formal event but your best bet is to consider
their casual footwear. A simple loafer, black and well polished, is perhaps the best suited for formal wear. The only shortcomings of loafers are- with three-piece suits generally loafers are off-limits and one should never wear loafers with a tuxedo or white tie ensemble.

versatility of loafers shoes

In a casual setting, loafers work well with different types of trousers. Looking for casual footwear that works with any
kind of outfit? Loafers are the shoes for you. They come in different styles and colors and are made with both leather
and synthetic material.

Be it a formal or casual occasion, this versatile footwear is always ready to walk with you wherever you go.