The 7 Best Men’s Loafers, From Formal to Casual | Cool Material (2024)

In my humble opinion, a loafer really is the best shoe. A real platonic ideal of footwear. They’re easy to style, easy to slip on, and, with a variety of options, there’s always a new way to wear them or refresh your wardrobe.

Yet loafers have fallen in popularity over the years when it comes to menswear. With the rise of the hype economy around sneakers, a good pair of loafers have taken a backseat. Which is unfortunate, because a loafer versus a sneaker–or boot, sandal, or even clog–offers more versatility and style options.

Whether you’re looking to throw on a pair for a walk on the beach or slip on a pair for more formal occasions like a wedding, these are some of the best loafers on the market today.

What To Look For In Men's Loafers
  • Material:

    Leather is a more durable material, while suede is more breathable and stylish.

  • Color:

    Black and brown are classic loafer colors that can be dressed up or down. If you want something more unique, you could try a lighter color like tan or navy, or a patterned loafer.

  • Style:

    There are three main styles of loafers: penny loafers, tassel loafers, and horsebit loafers. Penny loafers have a small leather tab across the vamp, while tassel loafers have a decorative tassel. Horsebit loafers have a metal bit across the vamp.

  • Construction:

    Loafers are typically made using either Blake stitching or Goodyear welting. Blake stitching is a simpler and less expensive construction method, while Goodyear welting is more durable.

  • Fit:

    Loafers should fit snugly but not too tightly--you should be able to wiggle your toes comfortably.

The 7 Best Men’s Loafers, From Formal to Casual | Cool Material (1)

Fort Worth Brown Sabah

For a decade now, Sabah has been producing some of the best loafers on the market. Handmade in Turkey, these loafers are built to last, while getting a much-loved patina after a few wears. Sabah uses an incredibly supple leather that molds to the foot and can easily be worn all year ‘round, making it a loafer that’s just begging to be your perennial travel companion from destination weddings to weekend beach getaways.

Buy: $210

The 7 Best Men’s Loafers, From Formal to Casual | Cool Material (2)

Amberjack Loafer

For a business-casual option, Amberjack’s loafer bridges the gap between style and comfort. The design pairs well with chinos and dresses up your outfit without looking too formal. But the real one-two punch of this shoe is the dual-function athletic outsole and heat-activated insole, making for all-day comfort without any fatigue after a few hours of wear.

Buy: $179

The 7 Best Men’s Loafers, From Formal to Casual | Cool Material (3)

Stubbs & Wootton Cheetah Loafer

Stubbs & Wootton’s star continues to rise and part of their success is their ability to seamlessly partner with just about anyone. From wallpaper brands like Scalamandre to the Monopoly man himself, Stubbs & Wootton’s classic loafer design is the best backdrop for subtle, often cheeky, motifs. Their loafers are extremely popular for weddings and it’s easy to see why – they’re clever without being ostentatious and classy without being formal. A winning combination in anyone’s book.

Buy: $650

The 7 Best Men’s Loafers, From Formal to Casual | Cool Material (4)

GH Bass 1936 Logan Flat Strap

WeejunBilled as the original penny loafer, GH Bass’ Weejuns have remained the most popular line from the brand. Worn by the likes of Grace Kelly and Paul Newman alike, the simple loafer’s provenance has elevated Bass to a cult status. While that’s one aspect of the shoe that’s interesting and all, they’re also just a well-constructed loafer that has a minimal silhouette, making them ideal for everyday wear without much fuss.

Buy: $175

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Blackstock & Weber Mason Horsebit Loafer

If you’re looking for a loafer with a lot of style, Blackstock & Weber might be your top pick. Many of the brand’s offerings have a thick sole, giving them a slightly fashion-forward look, while their classic construction makes them a great choice for anyone, no matter your personal style. The horsebit detailing on their Mason loafer is great for those who like a little bit of eyecandy without veering into flamboyant territory.

Buy: $395

The 7 Best Men’s Loafers, From Formal to Casual | Cool Material (6)

Belgian Shoes Mr. Casual All Calf Loafer

The ultimate shoe for those in the IYKYK crowd, the Belgian has a lot of cachet for Palm Beach goers and Upper East Side residents alike. With their old world charm and classic European look, these loafers are a bit formal but still extremely versatile for the right gentleman. The Mr. Casual is a personal favorite with the calf leather option being ideal for longterm, all-season wear.

Buy: $675

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Artemis Design Co. Loafers

Even if you don’t know the brand, you’ve undoubtedly come across a photo or two of Artemis Design Co.’s loafers on your Instagram feed. Utilizing old kilim and carpets, these handmade loafers come in a variety of colors, patterns, and even textures, making for a great conversation starter and an even better shoe.

Buy: $268

  • Shoes
The 7 Best Men’s Loafers, From Formal to Casual | Cool Material (2024)


Which company has best loafers? ›

List of the Best Loafer Shoes for Men in India
Best Loafers for Men in IndiaAmazon Rating
FAUSTO Men's Textured Casual Classic Slip-Ons Driving Loafer Shoes4.3/5
Bello Synthetic Leather Loafer Shoes4.0/5
Server Mens Loafer S35 Casual Men's Loafer Shoe4.2/5
Clarks Mens Loafer Shoes4.1/5
6 more rows
Feb 14, 2024

Which loafer is most formal? ›

Horsebit Or Gucci Loafers. Gucci loafers are the most formal. The snaffle, or metal bar, in the center of the vamp is what makes a Gucci loafer. It was actually designed to look like a horse's bit by the great Italian designer Aldo Gucci in 1963.

What are casual loafers called? ›

The style which is most commonly seen, known as a loafer, slippers, or penny loafers in American culture, has a moccasin construction. One of the first designs was introduced in London by Wildsmith Shoes, called the Wildsmith Loafer.

Are loafers still in style for men? ›

Loafers are never out of style. Loafers are classic versatile and cool, and there are plenty of little tweaks that brands can make to them so that they feel especially fresh like adding some thick sole or with a flat penny.

What is the best material for loafers? ›

Traditionally, loafers come in regular leather or suede. Suede is usually considered more casual, but that doesn't mean you can't wear them with a dressier outfit. Suede versions also often come in more color varieties if you want to stray from the classic black or brown look.

Who is the No 1 shoes company in USA? ›

Nike is the most popular sneaker brand in the United States, followed by Adidas and New Balance. To no one's surprise Nike is the leading sneaker brand in all our measured brand KPIs. It is rivaled only by Adidas in brand awareness, while New Balance and Skechers jointly rank third in brand ownership share.

Which shoes is best for both formal and casual? ›

It is always a good idea to have a quality pair brown or black leather shoes in your closet. Its versatility will be appropriate for both formal and casual occasions. However, don't be afraid to experiment with color.

What brand is known for loafers? ›

With an emphasis on craftsmanship, labels like Church's, G.H. Bass, and Grenson also join Gucci on the list of need-to-know brands that are dominating in the loafer department, from the chunky styles to the slim suede and leather driving loafers.

Which color loafers go with everything? ›

Also, a little tip, if you are unsure of what color loafer to go for, the safest bet is black. Black loafers are versatile and will look good with any outfit. Don't let this discourage you from matching bright-colored loafers.

Should men wear socks with loafers? ›

In most business and professional environments, it isn't appropriate to show your bare ankle. In these instances, you'll always want to pair your loafers with dress socks. Loafers are designed to fit snuggly, so dress socks will be thin enough to comfortably fit while also tying together your look.

What loafers to wear with suit? ›

Penny loafers are a bit more formal, while tassel loafers can be worn both formally and informally. If you're unsure which to go with, we recommend choosing penny loafers. They pair well with any type of suit and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

Do you wear socks with casual loafers? ›

At the office or for a casual evening out, it's always more comfortable to wear socks with loafers to keep your feet from freezing in rain or when temperatures drop. In winter or mid-season, the loafer-sock combo will be a formidable fashion ally.

Are loafers still cool? ›

Loafers, in all their forms, are a timeless wardrobe essential. This season, however, chunky lug-sole styles are the undeniable standout, pairing well with everything from modern workwear to warming winter dresses.

What pants to wear with loafers? ›

A slim or straight-leg cut often works best with loafers, creating a clean, streamlined look. Opt for Dark Wash: Dark wash jeans exude a more polished appearance, making them an excellent choice when pairing with loafers. They effortlessly transition from day to night.

When should men wear loafers? ›

Opt for casual elegance by wearing loafers with chinos or jeans for outings with friends or casual workdays. Transition seamlessly to semi-formal events by pairing them with tailored trousers. Loafers also work well for relaxed gatherings, date nights, and even certain business-casual settings.

Which shoe company has the best reputation? ›

13 Best Shoes Brands Rankings:
  • Nike. This athletic apparel and footwear titan needs no introduction, dominating sports and shoe culture through revolutionary technology and endorsem*nt deals with superstar athletes across every sport. ...
  • Adidas. ...
  • New Balance. ...
  • Converse. ...
  • Vans. ...
  • Crocs. ...
  • Birkenstock. ...
  • Clarks Originals.
Dec 19, 2023

What brand of loafers does the queen wear? ›

With her black patent Anello & Davide loafers, distinctive black Launer handbag and black or white gloves, Elizabeth II knew what worked and used that knowledge. The queen was once described as “power dressing in extremis” for using vibrant shades to make herself stand out from the crowd.

Who made loafers famous? ›

Penny Loafers

The history of the loafers continues thanks to James Dean, Buddy Holly, and Elvis (and the fact that sneakers usually weren't allowed inside the classroom). The Penny Loafer became a trendsetter for teenage footwear. Bright, white socks completed the “Ivy League” look.

Why loafers are the best? ›

They're easy to slip on, easy to slip off. They look great sockless, which is useful on hot days. And they're just generally more lounge-y than a pair of lace-ups. If your style leans dressy, loafers can also work with everything from smart-casual all the way up to a suit.”


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