Today, loafers and slip-on shoes are recognised as an easy-going, transitional style that offer a great alternative to lace-up shoes. Versatile enough to work with both classic and casual looks, they look as great with a suit as they do near the sea, it’s easy to see why they are one of our top men’s shoe styles throughout the year!
The History of the Loafer
The loafer has come a long way since it was first developed in the 19th Century. An early plain moccasin version was first developed in England as a country house shoe for the landed gentry and the Royal family.
With the addition of the distinctive strip of leather across the saddle with a diamond cut-out, the style has grown in popularity to become a significant part of men’s shoe wardrobes all over the world. Another variation on the basic style, the tassel loafer, emerged in the 1950s.
A Shoe for all Occasions
Leather is the best choice of material for a structured and formal look, so standard colour rules tend to apply – brown or tan for versatility, black for more formal attire. Loafers can also complement a more relaxed look, especially if your preferred mode of wear is the currently popular ‘sans socks’! Suede is particularly suitable in the summer months when the lighter material pays dividends.
At Loake we offer a variety of different loafer styles, shapes, materials and colours, so there should be no difficulty finding a pair that suits your personal style…
One of Loake’s longest running styles, this original tassel loafer design dates back to the 1960’s and was quickly adopted as the footwear of choice by the youth culture of the time and was particularly popular within Mod fashion. Brighton uses a narrower last (E Width Fitting) than most of our shoes, so you may find you require a half size larger in this style.
Brighton is made in England and available in the classic Oxblood polished leather, or Black.
Another long-running classic Loake style, this versatile penny loafer is available in three seasonal suede colours, as well as a black polished leather version to suit both formal and more relaxed looks. Made on our ‘019’ loafer last, Eton is short in the toe and rounded and can sometimes necessitate a half size larger, however the saddle sits further forward than other loafers which can often accommodated a slightly wider foot. Eton is Made in England.
A newer edition to the range, Russell is a sleek tassel loafer design made on the Loake ‘College’ last featuring a standard-length, pointed round toe shape and Goodyear welted leather sole.
A premium loafer from the 1880 range, Russell is Made in England using soft calf leathers for a softer feel upon the foot.
A classic apron penny loafer, made in black polished leather, the ‘356’ is a great choice for those looking for a smart business shoe, with added sneaker-like technologies for extra comfort. With shock absorbent memory foam flexible insoles and added arch support, the ‘356’ also features Goodyear Welted rubber soles for greater durability and longevity.
Created on our ‘Saddle’ last, this loafer features a standard-length toe shape with a relatively narrow rounded point and is available in Black and Dark Brown Suede colourways.
Unlike the above Goodyear Welted models, Nicholson is an apron moccasin loafer shoe featuring a half rubber sole and contrasting stitching. Made on our ‘Joker’ last, Nicholson typically fits true to size with a rounded toe shape.
A more lightweight construction, Nicholson offers greater flexibility and comfort from the first wear and is a great loafer choice for the warmer months. Nicholson is available in Brown Suede, Polo Suede and Navy Suede.
Hero Image courtesy of @loakenordic