SPY agents, tasked with intercepting communications between in-the-know assets and engaging in constant, tireless cultural reconnaissance, regularly file field reports on new and meaningful trends. Some of the trends they monitor will change how we live. Field Report captures those early leads to keep you informed on what might be the next big thing.
Our agents have noticed a surprising lack of loafers on the racks of our favorite vintage dealers and Grailed pages. Is this because the ubiquity of summer’s preppiest shoe is slipping? The intelligence suggests otherwise. The coming summer season is expected to go harder than ever before on style, which means that the hoarding of beat up loafers is not to downcycle them to the discount rack at Housing Works, but to recycle them back into the fold as the summer shoe of choice for the beach.
Beach Loafers—as they will further be known, keep your feet looking just a little dressed up for the sandy shores of anything from the lake in the Berkshires to the white sands of southern California. Reports indicate that while the beat up loafers may look terrible in the office, they become the big fish in a small pond on the beach, immediately elevating to the most stylish option in a sea of plastic flip flops. According to one anonymous source, “I was going to throw them out anyway, so who cares if they get all sandy or the leather gets soaked by salt water, right?” Right.
They’re practical too. Scouts from Venice Beach have spotted men in swim trunks and penny loafers bicycling and skateboarding in the revised footwear—previously unthinkable with bare feet or flimsy thong sandals. With the added heel holding the shoe up to the foot while walking, one’s range of motion and speed increases exponentially.
Projecting this trend throughout the summer, by August we expect a rising movement in beat-up loafers making their way back into the weekend looks going into the fall. Just the way that dirty white sneakers look better than brand-new ones, intelligence suggests that men adopting this trend will essentially fall in love with their repurposed loafers all over again, putting them back into (limited) rotation for convenience store runs or weekend walks as a way to keep the (now buffed by sand all summer and soft as hell) leather shoes that can go anywhere.
While new loafers are a way to immediately amp up any look, they can also be a bit expensive. Because this trend is a way to soft commit to the loafer lifestyle (you’ll take them off anyway to go into the water) we suggest buying a vintage pair and trying them on for size by jumping the stage of breaking new ones all the way down in the office before taking them to the beach. Here are a few of our favorites we’ve seen.