Looking for a pair of loafers to add to your shoe collection? Here are the best loafers you can buy right now.
Like a classic sport watch, a good pair of loafers is one of the easiest ways to elevate both casual and smart looks. In fact, the swift slip-on action of broken-in loafers probably make them the easiest of all, certainly the quickest.
Loafers are one of those men’s quintessentials that actually speed up the process of getting dressed. Imagine if clip-on ties were acceptable. Unlike clip-ons though, these leveled-up moccasins always make you look like a put-together, well-adjusted adult.
There’s a style for every type of guy and every type of occasion, from simple American penny loafers to sleek Italian horsebits.
Short on time? Here are our top three picks for the best men’s loafers you can buy right now:
Read on for more info and the complete list…
The 6 Best Men’s Loafers
Each of these brands has distinct offerings at a range of price points.
Jay Butler Cromwell
Jay Butler was founded as recently as 2014, but you’d swear they’ve been in the loafer game for decades. Their Millbank Bit Loafer is the go-to alternative to Guccis among the discerning set, and their brown Cromwell Penny Loafer has become an instant classic.
Their penny loafer is built with the slick attention-to-detail as a centuries-old Italian shoemaker, but their design template is traditionally American.
The full leather soles are thin and pliable, the heels are of moderate height (shorter than a European dress loafer, more pronounced than a boat shoe), and there’s significant top-foot exposure.
This unique combination makes Jay Butlers exceedingly versatile. You can wear their loafers with a suit or with relaxed jeans. Since they’re a fraction of the price of loafers from an Italian heritage brand, you can fearlessly use them as an everyday shoe.
The loafer uppers are hand-sewn full-grain cow leather. They’re built by cordwainers in Leon, Mexico who have specialized in moccasin-making for generations. The word “artisan” gets thrown around a lot these days, but Jay Butlers actually fit the bill.
I know a lot of shoe buffs are understandably loyal to the Goodyear welt, but the Blake stitching in Jay Butler penny loafers are characteristically close cut, which makes these easy to break in.
Idrese is a direct-to-consumer brand that flexes their creative muscle to sell high-quality shoes at mid-tier prices. The founders visited over 30 different independent European workshops looking for the best price-to-quality ratio.
Their Andre Loafer features the iconic metal hardware of a conventional European horsebit, but is even smoother and more aerodynamic. The uppers are soft full-grain Italian and the outsole has a stacked heel, way more formal than you’ll find in a penny loafer.
This fashion-forward riff pairs well with bold suits and fitted jeans. They’d actually look pretty handsome with slim khakis too, if you opt for the honey version which boasts an eye-catching golden tan hue.
The 360 degree Goodyear welt ensures you can keep these uppers for as long as cobblers are willing to resole them. These loafers are built in the same Spanish workshop that bigger brands, like Louis Vuitton and Ferragamo, also employ.
Another cool option with Idrese is their 3D custom platform, so you can build in your own custom features including width, and material.
M.Gemi Volo Due
Founded by veteran shoe professionals, M.Gemi sought to bring Italian craftsmanship to the mid-market by cutting the middlemen. Specifically, they focused on the traditions of Marche, Italy, which is known for time-honored leather crafts.
Hand-made and hand burnished in Toscana, the Volo Due is M.Gemi’s original leather loafer. It features a traditional style lip that covers most of the foot, for a long, dapper silhouette.
Details like the classic full saddle across the top and into the sides, as well as the protruding backstitch, give the shoe dimension and character. For a fun throwback, the Volo even has a hand-stitched penny keeper.
If you own a tweed suit, enjoy wearing suit separates casually, or prefer warmer tones overall, the Volo Due is the loafer for you. M.Gemi’s black Filare loafer is a simpler shoe inspired by the penny loafer, but elevated with details like the bow saddle.
Meanwhile their Sacca loafer is the swingin’ swanky option, with a suede construction and multiple bright colors options.
M.Gemi shoes are made with a Blake stitched construction and a notable depth of color thanks to that italian burnishing.
Wolf & Shepherd Monaco
Founded in 2014, Wolf & Shepherd is known for infusing dress shoes with athletic footwear technology for better comfort. Justin Schneider, a performance shoe designer, started the Los Angeles-based company after several years of research and experimentation.
If comfort is the most important thing in a loafer to you, then the luxurious Wolf & Shepherd Monaco is your guy.
It’s unlined for softness, but the leather-lined footbed features their FloatFoam, a proprietary memory foam blend designed for reactive cushioning.
The upper is water-repellent suede for a relaxed but sophisticated look that’s far less fragile than regular suede. Other details include side stitching details and a foldable heel counter.
Unlike most suede shoes, you can wear these as an everyday city shoe thanks to the combination of performance comfort and protected suede. It has an effortless man-of-leisure aesthetic, perfect for sockless days or those days when your suit is feeling a little too stuffy.
Beckett Simonon Bernard
Beckett Simonon is efficiently high-value because they produce small-batch runs based on customer orders. This means that it may take up to two months to receive your order, but you can rest assured that you’re getting premium full-grain leather built with ethical labor, and that all inventory gets used.
They’ve got some of the best loafers in their price bracket. Their popular Lamberts feature a distinctly higher profile than regular loafers, and their Beaumonts infuse the original horsebit design with the more relaxed sides of a penny loafer.
A standout design is Becket Simonon’s Bernard shoes. It takes an unconventionally contemporary approach to the traditional tassel loafer.
Often considered a musty old style that’s worn with a school uniform, the Bernard Tassel Loafers boast the sleek, clean lines of an Italian sports car. It’s tidy and monochromatic, with a belt stitch around the collar, and a boosted stitch around the vamp that stops before it hits the edge of the shoe.
Over time, this loafer will develop exquisite patina. And since the leather is so durably high-quality, you can easily buff out marks and scuffs using leather conditioners.
Beckett Simonon was also founded with a focus on sustainability, which includes mindful sourcing and ethical manufacturing. Given the affordable prices and high standards, these loafers are worth their long wait time.
G.H. Bass Larson Weejuns
G.H. Bass is the original American loafer brand. They’ve been around since 1876, and introduced the first slip-ons as we know them in 1936. The moniker “penny loafer” comes from stories of boys keeping a penny in the shoe slot of their Bass shoes.
This heritage brand still offers the original Larson Weejuns loafer from the 30s. “Weejuns” is a cheeky hypocorism for “Norwegian,” in honor of the loafer’s lineage.
A best-seller after all these decades, the archetypal loafer features moc stitching and the original beefroll-style stitch on the penny keeper. It’s unlined and is built with genuine leather throughout.
Opt for Larson Weejuns as an effective budget option, or out of reverence to the brand that launched a shoe movement.
The Larson Weejuns may be too textbook for some guys. However, it’s this understated and classic quality that makes them so easy to wear. They aren’t too formal for ripped jeans, and they can easily be the quiet handsome partner to a snazzy bowtie.
Basically, if you’re short on time or money, the Larson Weejuns are a highly-esteemed yet accessible option, approved by Steve McQueen, JFK, and Paul Newman.
Loafers are a real life hack.
The reason they’re such a staple is because they check all the boxes: comfortable, stylish, and most importantly, easy. Depending on which brand you go for, they can check the affordable box too.
Rarely does the phrase “you can’t go wrong” actually apply literally. Fortunately, it does for loafers.