The Best Loafers to Instantly up Your Sartorial Prowess

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The loafer is a staple in any man’s wardrobe. Worn with dress socks and a sharp suit, they’re a go-to for Monday morning meetings; worn with chinos and a polo, they’re your essential country club vibe. However, loafers have also become a standard piece of footwear for hipsters in recent years, and these casual-meets-formal dress shoes can be seen just about everywhere these days.

The penny loafer, the most common type seen here, actually took that name from the little saddle slit in front. Once upon a time, prep school students would keep a penny there for payphone calls home. Today, that’s no longer necessary, but the name stuck. Regardless of the particular style, the best loafers still look great while kicking your feet up to make a call on the latest iPhone.

But before we breakdown the best loafers for men, let’s discuss finding the best pair for you:

  • Cost: As is the case whenever buying quality men’s shoes, it’s essential to make a budget and stick with it. As you’ll see in our list, you can spend anywhere from almost $90 to over $700 on a single pair of shoes. Before you dive in and fall in love with a pair that’s out of your price range, figure out where you fit.
  • Style: Where and how will you wear these shoes? If you’ll wear them to weddings and that’s it, it’s best to stick with something subtle and classy, like the Carminas. However, if this is a weekend summer shoe, you can’t go wrong with the Cole Haan loafers below.
  • Material: Pay attention to what each pair is made from. While suede makes for a beautiful shoe, it’s generally considered a pain to care for and is toast in wet weather. If you live in SoCal, you could probably get away with suede. But if you’re looking for a quality shoe that can handle more than just one season, opt for sturdy leather.

Once you know what type of loafer you’re looking for, keep scrolling to find some of the best men’s loafers for 2021.

1. G.H. Bass Larson Weejuns

BEST OVERALL

You can’t have a group of shoes and call them loafers if you don’t include the OG pair that started it all — in America, anyway. G.H. Bass put the now-iconic penny loafer on the map back in 1936 with its simple yet sophisticated, Weejun. The loafer style was originally designed to be worn by Norwegian farmers. Once adopted by Americans, the penny loafer took over as style easily when by men and women both young and old. When G.H. Bass launched its style, it was donned the Weejun, which is said to be a nod to the Norwegians who started it all. It was popular in the 1930s, 1950s, 1990s and remains popular today. If you buy one loafer, make it a Weejun.

gh bass weejun, best loafers for men Courtesy of G.H. Bass

  

2. Johnston & Murphy Hayes Tassel Loafers

BEST TASSEL LOAFERS

The tassel loafer will never go out of style, making it a great shoe to add to your growing loafer collection. This handsewn loafer contains a full-grain leather upper and outsole with a sheepskin lining. They will pair well with a black pair of slacks and a nice collared shirt.

Johnston Murpht Tassel Loafers, best loafers 2021 Courtesy of Dillard's
  

3. Gucci Horsebit Leather Loafer

BEST SPLURGE

Gucci is a brand known for its well-crafted leather, and this loafer by the iconic Italian brand exceeds that. The shoe is a new iteration of a traditional loafer as its heel was designed to be worn folded down. Not only does this give you a slip-on shoe, but it takes your look up a notch.

Gucci Horsebit loafers, best loafers for men Courtesy of Gucci
  

4. Banana Republic Dellbrook Italian Leather Loafer

BEST BUDGET

Every man should have at least one pair of decent dress shoes in their wardrobe. If not, you should strongly consider buying these Italian loafers from the Banana Republic. These tastefully crafted loafers have a minimalistic design that will pair well with any suit that you might wear. They come with padded insoles that provide you with comfort and arch support while wearing them. If you aren’t a traditional black loafer person, opt for the shoe in tan.

Banana Republic Dellbrook Loafer Courtesy of Banana Republic
  

5. Cole Haan 2.Zerogrand Suede Venetian Loafers

BEST CASUAL

Suede loafers can be a pain to take care of because they don’t mesh well with wet weather. So be sure to leave these bad boys at home on a rainy day. The chestnut loafers are a great shoe to have because they can match with anything in your closet. Not to mention, the suede canvas allows your feet to breathe and is very comfortable to wear.

Cole Haan 2.Zerogrand Suede Loafers Courtesy of Saksoff5th.com
  

6. SeaVees Hawthorne Slip-On

BEST SNEAKER

Half loafer and half sneaker, these slip-on shoes are the best of both worlds. The versatile shoe was designed with comfort and style in mind allowing you to dress it up or down depending on your mood. It has an oiled leather upper and a rubber outsole to minimize skids when walking. The leather canvas of the shoe will wear over time, giving it character and adding personality to the loafer. No matter your age, this is a great shoe to own.

SeaVees Hawthorne loafers Courtesy Huckberry.com
  

7. Tod’s Gommino Suede Driving Loafer

BEST DRIVING LOAFER

Though far from cheap, for a genuinely casual take on the penny, a “Sunday driver” take, opt for these driving shoes from Tod’s. Yes, technically, they are “driving shoes,” but they look and act just like pennies, so we’re tossing them in the round-up. The studded rubber sole that wraps around the heel for extra grip sets these shoes apart from your typical penny. The idea is to give premium control while you’re shifting into third on your way to brunch. And as a brunch shoe should be, these loafers are light and comfortable but can also pair with just about anything. For a classy summer look, rock with a plain blue tee, a pair of dark blue jeans and your coolest sunglasses.

best men's loafers Courtesy of Mr. Porter

  

8. Vince Camuto Esmail Penny Loafer

RUNNER UP

In need of an everyday loafer to slip on when heading into the office? Then consider getting a pair of Penny loafers from Vince Camuto. The penny loafer is one of the most popular loafer styles among men because it resembles moccasins. It’s a classic shoe that can be viewed as both a casual or dress shoe. They pair well with a polo and a pair of jeans or a well-fitted suit.

Vince Camuto loafer Courtesy DSW.com
  

9. Mulo Suede Loafers

BEST SUEDE LOAFER

However, not every occasion calls for a pair of sneakers, no matter how cool they look. If you’re in a position where you need a dressier set of shoes, these suede loafers from Mulo will do the trick. The rich, caramel brown color matches well with pretty much everything, while their suede construction is very breathable on your feet. The outsole has good traction, so no need to worry about slipping and sliding around like you might in a pair of hard-bottomed loafers.

Mulo Suede Loafers Mr. Porter

  

10. Prada Monolith Lug-Sole Loafer

MOST HIGH FASHION

Prada’s Monolith loafer has been a fashion must-have among men and women fashion enthusiasts. The chunky black shoe has a nineties style, meaning any outfit you wear with it will have a vintage aesthetic to it. While the shoe is one of the most expensive pairs on the list, it’s a great investment piece because it’ll last you for years and will never go out of style.

Prada Men's Monolith Lug Sole loafer Courtesy Neiman Marcus
  

11. Steve Madden Lawrence Black Leather Loafer

BEST HIGH FASHION DUPE

Do you love the Prada Monolith loafer but aren’t feeling the price of them? No worries, Steve Madden is known for making dupes fashion’s “it” items. While this shoe may lack the Prada logo, it doesn’t lack in style. It has a chunky design that is very popular right now within footwear. The slip-on shoe is durable and comfortable to wear for daily use.

Steve Madden Lawrence Black loafer Courtesy Steve Madden
  

12. Kurt Geiger London Hugh Eagle Head Quilted Suede Loafers

BEST EMBELESHMENT 

Kurt Geiger London is well known for its lavish and over-the-top designs, and these loafers do not disappoint. The black suede loafer features the brand’s eagle-head charm at the vamp of the shoe. These loafers would make the perfect prom or wedding day shoe for someone who wants something classy but edgy.

Kurt Geiger London Hugh Eagle Head Quilted Suede Loafers Courtesy of Dillard's
  

13. Rone Thirty Six

BEST NEWCOMER

Every shoe on our list has been, up to now, fairly conventional. If you want the showstopper, the shoe that you wear for the sake of being different and extraordinary, this is it. Allow us to introduce you to Rone and its Thirty Six loafer in purple suede. Excuse us, python-embossed purple suede. Unless they’re literally wearing the same shoe, there is a 0% chance anyone else will be rocking a shoe even remotely similar to this one. It’s bold, brave and badass. Plus, it was designed by the professional skater Tony Ferguson. All of which is to say, if you feel like pulling them on and skating to the corner for the hell of it, you most certainly can.

Rone Thirty Six, best men's loafers Courtesy of Rone

  

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