Need a quick, easy way to get dressed in the morning and get going? A loafer, which has no laces and just slips on your feet, is a great option. They can look elegant enough to wear to work, which flip-flops can’t. These shoes come with no heel or sometimes a low heel. Many of the shoes on our list have slip-resistant rubber soles.
You’ll probably be able to find a loafer to wear with just about any outfit in your wardrobe. Generally they’re pretty simple shoes, without a lot of extra detailing or fuss. And so, they tend to be pretty reasonable in terms of price. Having a number of pairs to match your outfits doesn’t drain your wallet too much.
Due to the easy construction, these shoes can be extremely comfortable, even doubling as slippers. Some of them have heels to bend down to make into mules, which for some are even easier to slip on. We have brands on the list that are up to the task of a whole day spent on your feet, and others that are better for casual wear.
Top Loafers for Women Comparison Chart
|1. VenusCelia Women’s Natural Comfort Walking Flat Loafer||Casual||$$$$|
|2. Jabasic Women’s Slip-on Loafers Flat Casual Driving Shoes||Professional||$$|
|3. LabatoStyle Women’s Casual Leather Loafers Driving Moccasins Flats Shoes||Casual||$$$|
|4. Driver Club USA Women’s Genuine Leather Made in Brazil Greenwich Loafer||Professional||$$|
|5. Marc Joseph New York Women’s East Village Loafer||Unisex||$$$|
|6. Kunsto Women’s Leather Casual Loafer Shoes||Casual||$$$$|
|7. Shibever Women’s Leather Loafers Moccasins Wild Driving Casual Flats Oxfords Breathable Shoes||Professional||$$$|
|8. Keesky Women’s Leather Casual Cut Out Loafers Flat Slip-on Shoes||Casual||$$$$|
|9. Toms Women’s Classic Casual Shoe||Casual||$$|
|10. Clark’s Women’s Ashland Bubble Slip-on||Professional||$$$|
|11. Franco Sarto Women’s Carolynn Loafer Flat||Professional||$$$$|
|12. Harence Women’s Soft Comfort Leather Loafers Slip On Driving Walking Flats Shoes||Professional||$$|
Loafers for Women Buying Guide
In this guide, you’ll find a loafer that works for your feet and at your pricepoint. Many of the shoes look alike, but some are more supportive than others. Several are better at accommodating wide feet, and others with narrow. Do you need a pair that can be dressed up for work? Find out which ones are more appropriate.
What are loafers?
Loafers slip-on shoes that don’t need laces. They are easy to take on and off, without looking sloppy like flip-flops. They also provide more protection and support than flip-flops do.
Typically they have low to no heel, making them easy to wear for long periods of time. Some of them can be converted into mules by folding down the heel.
Loafers were based on moccasins, which are also an easy-to-wear, slip-on shoe. The generation after WWI went to Norway and brought back the leather shoes Norwegian cattle farmers wore.
An American firm produced their own version, called “The Loafer”. Subsequently, all shoes of this type became known as loafers – to “loaf around” in.
In the 1930s another US company, G.H. Bass, created a version with a small cutout across the vamp, calling it the Weejun (after Norwegian). Kids in the ‘50s used to put a coin in each slit, and as you probably guessed, that’s a penny loafer. Back then the cost of a pay phone call was two cents, so with a penny in each shoe, you’d be able to call home.
Sneakers weren’t worn outside of playing sports really before the 1980s, so a loafer was an easy shoe that could be worn with more casual outfits. It provided a comfortable alternative to more formal heels for women.
The shoes could be manufactured in all kinds of different materials and textures and colors. There’s undoubtedly a loafer to fit in any woman’s wardrobe, no matter what she does or how old she is.
Loafers, especially penny loafers, have been worn by icons like Audrey Hepburn, James Dean and Michael Jackson. They’ve never really gone out of fashion (except in the ‘70s). Currently, they are a staple of many women’s wardrobes.
How to pick your loafer
In addition to the penny loafer style, you’ll see these shoes with different decorations at the top. Other types of loafer might have tassels at the top, or a bar decoration, or come in plain. The style is up to you.
Tassels and ornamentation look a bit more elegant. You might not want to wear these when you’re dressing down. Since you probably have different occasions in your life that require more or less dressy shoes, more than one loafer is a good idea.
In our product descriptions, you’ll see that some of the shoes are definitely on the casual end of the spectrum. They’re less constructed, often with fewer visible seams. They’re less stiff, and usually the material stretches more easily. If you’re looking for a loafer that you can slide on before you run errands or pick the kids up, these might be an excellent option.
However, if you’re looking for something you can wear to work, or a dressier occasion, you’ll want a penny loafer or tasseled version. These normally also have a bit more support than the casual selections.
In addition to coming in a number of different styles for the top of the shoe, loafers are made in a whole rainbow of colors and patterns. Some brands offer fewer options, but that bright red shoe or snakeskin print you want is available from one of these manufacturers!
Most of the clothing you’d wear to a traditional office environment requires conservative colors like black, gray, or navy blue shoes. Choose your pennies and tassels accordingly.
But if you’re meeting with friends, why not have something more fun on your feet? Since loafers are more casual shoes in general, they look great in a pop of color. You can even wear white ones after Labor Day!
Loafers are available in a variety of finishes, too. If you like patent leather, you’ll find those in our guide. Suede and other genuine leather lovers can find options they like. There are vegan, synthetic, and canvas choices as well.
All these options are up to you. The synthetic or faux leather options tend to be cheaper than the genuine calfskin versions. Dressier events typically require a more constructed loafer, so consider what event you need the shoe for too.
Since they’re so easy to take on and off, loafers make a great traveling shoe. You can remove them easily in the airport security line, and then slide them back on to make a dash for your gate. Wear socks if you’re traveling, so you don’t have to put your bare feet down on the airport floor. Who knows what is on people’s suitcases!
How to wear your loafer
Many casual outfits look great with this style of shoe. Shorts and pants are often best. However, depending on the type of loafer you pick, skirts and dresses can be worn with them too. Usually a more constructed style goes with skirts and dresses. If you wear tights, a more casual style loafer can look good too.
Socks are optional. You can wear loafers without them, keeping in mind that socks help shoes last longer. Bare feet cause shoes to wear out more quickly. If you’re going to wear socks, choose either a no-show style or trouser socks, which come up higher on the leg. Ankle socks look too girly for grown women.
Business casual and trouser suits can be paired with a penny or tassel style for a more professional work or academic setting. The more casual versions don’t lend themselves to the office, unless yours is casual enough that flip-flops are acceptable.
Although many people think of penny loafers as the quintessential preppy shoe, you don’t have to wear preppy outfits with your loafers if that’s not your style. The more casual ones pair well with a bohemian or other, more relaxed style.
Since many of the shoes are in the less expensive range, you can buy several kinds to go with multiple wardrobe items. Your bright red moccasin-style loafers won’t go with your trouser suit, but they’d look adorable with a striped top and cropped pants. Save your dark gray pennies for your business suit.
Prints or textures on the loafer can also add some interest to your outfit. It’s a good idea to have several anyway, so that you can rotate your shoes. Any shoe, including a loafer, shouldn’t be worn on consecutive days. Rather, let them dry and air out before you put them on again.
Some people prefer not to wear leather, for moral or other reasons. For them, the faux leather options can be a good bet. Another material used in loafers is canvas. This fabric also comes in some vegan options. Vegan shoes, in addition to not being made of animal hide, can’t have glue that’s derived from animals.
Types of Leather
The “leatherette” options are often cheaper than genuine leather, but with faux leather you do get what you pay for. One option is called “PU leather”. It’s made by coating a fabric with polyurethane and then applying a leather-like finish. No animals are used in the making of the fabric, so it can be a good alternative for vegans (subject to what kind of glue is used).
There’s also a PVC leather, which is similar to the polyurethane but uses polyvinylchloride (PVC) instead of polyurethane. Other fillers and stabilizers are used to coat the material.
Bi-cast leather is similar to PU leather. The fabric used as a base is the low-quality remainder of the hides that have been used for genuine leather. This type of leather was originally designed for glossy shoes. (Sometimes bi-cast is known as PU leather, and it’s the same procedure for both.)
Ground up leather scraps in combination with binding materials is known as bonded leather. Because this fabric generally doesn’t require any toxic chemicals or additional fabrics, it’s relatively environmentally friendly.
Bi-cast and bonded leathers tend to lose their laminate as they age, and start peeling. PU and PVC leathers often crack and peel over time as well. On the other hand, faux leathers usually repel water much better than actual leather.
Genuine leather can be soft and durable, and it’s breathable too. It usually does not have the chemical smell that can be apparent with some faux leathers. Suede is another breathable fabric when made with genuine hide. It’s rubbed to make a velvety nap finish.
Patent leather is genuine leather coated with plastic to form a shiny, glossy finish. This type of leather is also more water repellent than the uncoated leather.
Using genuine skin for the lining of the shoe is helpful, because it breathes and lets the air flow. Other lining materials don’t wick moisture as well, so you could end up with sweaty feet. Unpleasant!
A loafer should be easy to slide on and off. Any kind of lacing will make it more difficult, so it needs to be a slip-on style.
Most loafers tend to fit like other shoes from the same manufacturer. If you own a pair of Franco Sarto shoes, for example, that size should fit pretty well. However, the loafers are subject to some sizing caveats that we note in the product descriptions below.
Length & Width Sizing
If you don’t already own that brand of shoe when you’re buying online, you might consider checking your size in a store. Also, many brands have shoe sizing charts. You can measure your foot at home and compare it to the chart. You’ll see what size you are in that particular manufacturer. Otherwise, plan to use the return/exchange program to make changes if you need to.
Most shoes, especially from European manufacturers, come in a standard medium width (B). Not all manufacturers will go beyond a B width, but some do. We’ve noted in the description whether the shoe is available in additional widths.
When you’re viewing shoes online, use the zoom capabilities to check them out. See what the shoe looks like from different angles. Does the stitching look tight and even? Sometimes you can spot the lower quality materials from the pictures.
Be aware that the colors may not be true to life. It depends on how the photos were shot and under what kind of lighting. Your shoes could look a bit different once you get them home in natural light.
When you do get them home, don’t take off all the tags and throw out the boxes just yet. Put them on and walk around a bit. Some of these shoes take some breaking in. But if the shoe is way too small, you can just exchange it for a larger size.
When you have a pair of shoes in your hands, it’s a good idea to try them on with the socks you think you’d wear with them. Or if you’re not planning to wear socks, in your bare feet.
Make sure your shoes are long enough for your feet – you need a ½ inch of space between your big toe and the front of the shoe. Hammertoes, where your toes are bent under your feet, are a common problem resulting from shoes that are too small.
Care of your loafers
All shoes can be stuffed with tissue paper if you won’t be using them for any length of time. Newspaper works when the shoes are wet as well. Or you can use shoe trees to help them keep their shape when you’re not wearing them.
Keep your leather shoes clean by wiping off dirt with a soft cloth. If there’s a finish to the leather, you can use mild soap and a damp cloth to wash them. If they’re unfinished, use saddle soap and let them dry naturally. You can also buy leather care products and follow their instructions.
Do the shoes have water or salt stains? Wipe the stains with a mixture of two parts water to one part vinegar until they disappear.
Then polish them with leather polish. After they’re dry you can buff them, which will give the shoes a good shine. Spray conditioners are available to give them additional protection. Keep them in shoe bags when you’re not using them so they don’t get dusty or exposed to sunlight.
Care for Suede
Suede shoes need periodic brushing. They’re a bit harder to keep clean, but you can use a suede brush on dirt. The stiff metal part takes care of stains, and the rubber/plastic end of the brush is best for smudges and scuffs. If you get anything greasy on your suede shoes, you won’t be happy! But you can try putting some talcum or baking powder on the stain and then brushing the next day.
Suede shoes also react well to a spray-on protectant. Whether your loafers are leather or suede, you’ll need to recondition periodically.
Patent leather shoes get scuffed up quickly, but fortunately they’re pretty easy to take care of. You can simply rub them with a clean cloth dipped in olive oil and leave it on for twenty minutes, then wipe off.
You can also rub with Vaseline or mineral oil until the scuff disappears. If they’re just dusty or slightly dirty, wipe with a damp cloth. Of course, there are cleaning products specially designed for patent leather you can pick up at the store or order online.
Lighter colored patent leather shoes may pick up a different color, if they’re stored next to a highly colored item. If you keep your patent leather shoes in a shoe bag, you won’t have to worry about it.
Faux Leather Care
With faux leather shoes, caring for them is similar to what you do with leather ones, but not exactly the same. Use a soft brush to wash with mild soap and water for any stains. Don’t drench them with water, though. Dry them (using a circular motion) with a cloth, and then hang them to dry.
Faux leather can fall apart if put in either a washing machine or a dryer. Avoid leaving them in direct sunlight as they’re drying, because this can ruin the material too. Make sure they’re completely dry before you wear them again.
If you want to use a protectant spray, use one that’s specifically intended for artificial leather. What works on the real deal won’t protect your faux leather.
Canvas shoes can be washed by hand with mild soap and sponge or old toothbrush. Don’t dunk your shoes in the bucket! Rinse with warm water and use a towel to squeeze out as much water as you can. Stuff them with paper to keep their shape, and then leave to dry in sunlight or indirect heat. You can use a washing machine, but that sometimes damages the glue.
It’s not necessary to go all-out buying pricy loafers. You can get shoes with great color and fit without paying too much for them. If you do prefer real leather, you will spend a bit more than someone who opts for a faux skin.
Best Loafers for Women Reviews
VenusCelia Women’s Natural Comfort Walking Flat Loafer
Made of polyurethane leather, these shoes come at a very reasonable price point, and plenty of colors. The design includes a little bar ornament at the top. They are very casual in appearance. With anti-slip rubber outsoles, there’s also a memory foam insole to keep your feet cushioned.
They are available in medium width only. The loafers are wide enough for many with wide feet, and the leather does stretch. Walkers have been very happy with these shoes. Some noted that they were so soft and light they felt like slippers.
However, there have been issues with sizes. Some find theirs too small, others too large, and still yet others who ordered different colors and got shoes that fit differently.
- Buyers found these Venuscelia loafers extremely comfortable
- They perform well in wet conditions
- The sizing appears inconsistent, so be prepared to use that return feature
Jabasic Women’s Slip-on Loafers Flat Casual Driving Shoes
All kinds of colors and designs can be found with this brand. They have perforated uppers; uppers with decorative bars; and some with decorative sequins. The soles are made of anti-slip rubber, and there’s a leather lining as well as a memory foam insole. They are only available in medium width, and for a very reasonable price.
These shoes don’t have a lot of support in them. They’re very flexible, and lightweight too.
Many buyers found they ran large, though some thought the fit was just right. They’re slightly wide, but not quite wide enough for those who normally wear a wide width. Some noted that they didn’t breathe as well, and led to hot feet.
- They’re comfortable for short walks
- Jabasic sells these at a good price
- The loafers are not breathable, so feet may sweat, especially those prone to hot feet
LabatoStyle Women’s Casual Leather Loafers Driving Moccasins Flats Shoes
These synthetic shoes come in some fun colors and medium width only. Their product description includes a sizing chart that includes length and width. The price is very reasonable, and the rubber soles prevent slipping. The company recommends sizing up a size if your feet are wide, and also ventilating the shoes when you first get them to let the smell dissipate.
These are better suited for driving than long walks or standing in all day. There’s not much support, but they run large enough that you could add an insert. The material is very soft.
- The shoes are comfortable and soft
- LabatoStyle provides brighter colors than a few of the other brands
- This loafer is more like a driving shoe, with more grip and less support than other versions available
Driver Club USA Women’s Genuine Leather Made in Brazil Greenwich Loafer
With a padded footbed and genuine leather, these penny loafers are very comfortable. They’re available in a variety of colors, but medium width only. The soles are rubber. Buyers commented on how well made they are, though they do come at a moderately high price.
Some found them a bit wide, others narrow, but most were happy with the fit. Those who need to stand or walk for long periods of time thought the shoe held up well. They’re good looking on your feet as well.
Not a lot of breaking in is required for them; most wore them right out of the box. A few found a bad smell upon opening the box, but not all reviewers had that experience.
- Driver Club USA supplies plenty of colors to choose from
- The loafers are supportive and comfortable when worn for long periods of time
- Buyers praised the high quality of the shoe
- A bad smell was an experience for some
- The sizing may not be as consistent as other brands
Marc Joseph New York Women’s East Village Loafer
Buyers love these penny loafers, but be aware that their price ranges from very reasonable to quite hefty! They come in many different colors and textures, from suede to pebbled leather to patent leather.
They are genuine leather and come in medium width only. In addition to a rubber sole, they have a low heel, about 1/2”. The lining is genuine leather as well, which provides breathability.
Most purchasers found they run true to size, and are very comfortable. They’re more constructed than many of the other shoes on the list, so they can be dressed up more easily. Compared to their competitors, they’ve got more support for your feet.
These have a break-in period for the leather to relax a bit. Some buyers found the soles left black marks on their floors.
- There is a wide variety of colors and textures
- These loafers are comfortable and supportive
- Marc Joseph provides a somewhat dressier casual shoe that can go to the office
- Not all sizes/colors are expensive, but some can be
- The soles on these may not be non-marking
Kunsto Women’s Leather Casual Loafer Shoes
Available in a variety of colors, and some with decorative cutouts in the uppers, these shoes are very inexpensive and popular with buyers. The company provides a foot measurement guide to get the size right, with medium widths only. There is a side tie to adjust the fit if you need it, but otherwise these are slip-ons.
The anti-slip sole is rubber and flexible. In addition, you can bend down the heels to make them into a mule. They’re very comfortable, with soft thin leather uppers.
Many reviewers thought they were a bit large, so you may want to go ½ size down. Those with medium width feet found they run a bit wide. Some buyers discovered that the color dye bled onto their feet.
- Buyers found the Kunsto very comfortable
- These loafers give wide feet more room
- Some of the colors bleed into socks and feet
- They may stretch more than expected
Shibever Women’s Leather Loafers Moccasins Wild Driving Casual Flats Oxfords Breathable Shoes
These faux leather loafers are more casual than some of the others on the list, and were selected as Amazon’s Choice. They have a rubber sole to avoid slipping, and come in medium width only. The price point is very reasonable. Though the color selection isn’t vast, there are a number of options to choose from. The uppers are stretchy.
They’re quite comfortable, and several buyers noted how grippy the soles were: good for boat decks and other wet surfaces. They tend to wear out more quickly than others on our list, but at this price, those who love the shoe continue to buy it.
The soft upper material stretched out too much for some and others had issues keeping the shoes on their feet because the material wasn’t quite stiff enough.
- Their grippy rubber sole protects against slips, especially on boat decks
- The soft faux leather is very comfortable
- With the Shibever shoes, the lifetime is not very long
- Some buyers complained that the color didn’t resemble the Amazon product description
Keesky Women’s Leather Casual Cut Out Loafers Flat Slip-on Shoes
At a reasonable price point, these shoes come in a number of colors and a couple of different details at the top of the shoe. The material is split leather with rubber soles to prevent slipping. They’re advertised as “Chinese size” , but a sizing chart is provided. The soles are flexible enough that you can roll them up into a ball.
There’s not much arch support, but the insole can be easily removed to put in an insert to take care of this. They’re lightweight, and those with wide feet found they worked pretty well even in the medium width. Buyers found them comfortable to walk in.
- They’re lightweight and comfortable
- The Keesky loafers have flexible soles for traveling
- The width was a problem for some
- These shoes do not provide much support
Toms Women’s Classic Casual Shoe
These canvas slipons are available in a number of colors and in medium width. There are a couple of patterned options too. They’re more expensive than others on the list, but not unnaturally so. Plus, the company provides a pair of shoes to someone who needs them every time you purchase a pair “One for One”). A few of the colors are vegan.
Most buyers found they do stretch a bit. Since they’re fairly true to size, they’re a bit snug when they first arrive. Afterward they stretch out to your size.
Others thought they were too narrow, so they may be more suitable for those with narrow feet.
- The loafers are very comfortable
- The company provides a pair of shoes for someone in need when you buy a pair from them
- There are fun color options
- Some buyers thought the Toms shoes run narrow
Clark’s Women’s Ashland Bubble Slip-on
More expensive than many other options on the list (but not ridiculously so), these loafers come in a selection of darker, more conservative colors. They are available in wide width, as well as medium. There’s a tassel detail at the top, and a slight heel.
Buyers found them comfortable for standing for long periods of time. The lining breathes, so feet don’t sweat much. They’ve got arch support, which a lot of flat loafers don’t have. Most reviewers thought them comfortable right out of the box, without needing a break-in period.
The wide width does work well for those with wide feet, as the medium width has a narrow toe box. Sizing is a bit inconsistent, with some advising they’re true to size. Others found them too long, with their heels sliding out of the shoe. Several purchasers had issues with poor quality on the tassels.
- These loafers are very comfortable, especially in the sole
- Those with wide feet will likely find the wide width from Clark’s a good option
- Inconsistent sizing is a problem
- Many buyers had issues with the tassel breaking off
Franco Sarto Women’s Carolynn Loafer Flat
Of man-made material, these loafers have a slight platform and heel. The footbed is padded, and the sole is flexible too. These are moderately priced, and a bit more expensive than some of the other shoes on this list. The color availability is somewhat limited. All the colors have a patent-leather look finish to them. They come in medium widths, and are good for vegans.
Though many buyers found them comfortable, some had to break them in. They run large, including in the heel area. Some heard a little squeaking noise due to the manmade material. Others mentioned that they don’t breathe well so you may have a hot foot problem!
- This brand can be dressed up or down
- They are comfortable once you find the right size
- The material doesn’t breathe well
- If you don’t like a shiny finish, you’re out of luck with these Franco Sarto loafers
Harence Women’s Soft Comfort Leather Loafers Slip On Driving Walking Flats Shoes
With plenty of colors to choose from, these shoes are offered at a very reasonable price. The material is PU leather for the upper, and durable rubber for the soles. They are only available in medium width. They’re flexible enough to roll into a ball.
Buyers found these tend to run small, though a few thought they were true to size. The uppers do stretch. Some reported that the quality wasn’t good, with insoles that weren’t firmly in place where they should have been. These aren’t the shoes you want to try to wear for long periods of time, or expect to last very long.
However, many thought the price point was right.
- There are a number of hues to match your wardrobe
- Harence shoes are very flexible
- The quality of these loafers is spotty
Conclusion & Final Loafer Recommendations
No matter your favorite color or style, you can find it in our guide to loafers. These shoes range from casual to dressier, so you can find one to wear on most (non-formal) occasions. Do you like a specific style, like a penny or a tasselled loafer? You’ll find one here.
If you’re a vegan, there are shoes made of synthetic or canvas materials from Labato Style, Toms, and Franco Sarto. If you prefer genuine leather, you’ve got that too, in the Driver Club USA and Marc Joseph brands.
Are you in need of a shoe that won’t slip on wet surfaces? Try the Shibever brand with its very grippy rubber sole.
Due to the way a loafer is made, many of them stretch out. Those with narrow feet might have a more limited selection than others. None of the loafers come in a narrow width, but some buyers found the Toms and the Harence brands worked for their narrow feet, as well as the medium width Clark’s.
The only brand that comes in a wide width is Clark’s. However, several of the brands seem to work well for wider feet, once the shoes are a bit stretched out. You might also try Venuscelia, Kunsto and Keesky, which come in medium width, but have more room for wider feet.
Many of these brands come in a penny loafer style, if preppy is your thing. Some of the penny loafers have nice material as well (and are more expensive). That makes them a bit easier to dress up for work than the more casual shoes on the list, like Jabasic, LabatoStyle, and Kunsto. If you can bend down the heel, you know you’ve got a more casual shoe.
If you need a sturdier loafer for walking or working in all day, the Venuscelia, Driver Club USA, Marc Joseph, Keesky, and Clark’s will provide you with better value than the other options.
Have a stylish time in your new loafers!
FAQ About Loafers for Women
What can I wear with my loafers?
Because this tends to be a more casual shoe, you probably don’t want to wear them with semiformal or formal dress. They can still look cute with a skirt or dress, but they’re probably best with pants.
Unless you’re into bohemian style or a relaxed, unconstructed look. Either of which would be nice with a casual loafer, no matter what kind of bottoms you’re wearing. Depending on your taste, you could wear them with shorts as well.
If you’re wearing socks (or need to wear socks) you’re better off wearing them with trousers. Unless you’re trying to cosplay as a schoolgirl, ankle socks with shorts or a skirt don’t work! You could wear them with tights too, as well as no-show socks.
Where can I wear my loafers?
Depending on the brand you buy, you might have a dressier or more casual style. The moccasin styles that are very flexible and don’t have a lot of stitching or construction to them won’t be professional enough for most employers. The penny loafer style looks good with business casual, or even slightly more professional workwear.
If you prefer the more casual style, stick to casual occasions for your loafer: hanging out with your friends, running errands, and so forth.
Are loafers the same as oxfords?
Sometimes oxfords are referred to as loafers, but they usually are lace-up and more formal shoes than a loafer. Loafers are designed to slip on and off easily, and can look much more casual, depending on the style.
Are loafers also driving shoes?
While you could say that all driving shoes are loafers (slipons with little to no heel), not all loafers are driving shoes! In our product guide, the LabatoStyle loafers are most like driving shoes.
Driving shoes need grippy but flexible rubber soles so your feet don’t slide off the pedal. The soles must also be thin with little to no cushioning, so that the pedals can provide feedback to your feet. (Drivers are typically used more for stick shifts/manual transmissions.) They’re in a slip-on style as well.
Many of the loafers in our guide come with anti-slip soles. Some have a small stacked heel or more cushioning/support than you would find in a driving shoe.
What material should I get for my loafers?
This partly depends on your budget. Genuine calfskin is more expensive than the faux leather versions available. It breathes better than synthetic material, though the canvas shoes should breathe pretty well too.
If you’re not concerned about longevity, you might choose one of the less expensive faux leather options. Some of these come in fun colors and textures, so you could wear them for the season and then get a different pair next year.
The faux leathers are usually more water-repellent than genuine leather. If you’re in a wet area the faux could be preferable. However, patent leather is pretty waterproof too, especially for anyone who likes a shiny shoe.
Some people just like the look and/or feel of either patent leather or suede. If that’s you, fortunately you have options to choose from.
What kind of decoration is best with these shoes?
Loafers come in all kinds of colors and textures and designs. The penny loafer design is classic, but it’s also very preppy, which doesn’t work for everyone. Others might prefer a plain moccasin style, more minimal and less fuss.
You can find perforated styles (which provide more airflow to your feet too), uppers with tassels and bits and bars.
It’s all a matter of personal taste. The ones with a tassel or penny or bar decorations, depending on the material, might look a little dressier than a plain shoe.
Do loafers have support?
This style of shoe can have some support. In practice you normally find support with the more expensive options, and not the cheaper or more casual selections.
In many cases you’ll be able to remove the insole and put in your own inserts if you wear them. You can buy inserts too, if the shoes are too flat for you to be comfortable in.
Are loafers better for my feet than high heels?
A loafer does not stretch your foot in an unnatural way like high heels do. However, flat shoes can aggravate plantar fasciitis and flat feet. For these conditions, you might want to put in an insert. Alternatively, choose one of the versions with a slight heel so your foot isn’t completely flat. A shoe with more support will help you avoid foot pain as well.
Loafers usually don’t come with a pointy toe. Most of them are rounded or slightly squared. This is good news for your feet! Pointy toes cause more foot issues. Loafers give your toes space to spread out, which is healthy for them.
Should I wear loafers or ballet flats if I need flat shoes?
There’s no denying both styles look cute when they’re on. Ballet flats are even more iconic than penny loafers. You might have a preference as to which one you think looks better, or at least looks better on your feet.
Loafers are a bit better for your feet than ballet flats, though. They tend to have more support, and more cushioning. Of course, loafers vary as to how much of each they provide. Some of them have a very low heel, which can help prevent or alleviate issues buyers often might have with flat shoes, such as plantar fasciitis.
Ballet flats tend to be completely flat, with no support and little cushioning. They’re particularly bad for those with flat feet. Buyers with fallen arches should look toward a loafer for an easy slip-on style.
My heel keeps slipping out of the shoe. How can I stop this?
Having a heel that’s too loose could be due to several different factors. One is that the shoe is simply too big, so you may need to go down a size. Many loafers are made of material that’s very stretchy, so even if it feels snug at first, it will probably loosen in a short amount of time.
Similarly, if the shoe is too wide for your foot, it’s likely the result of a shoe that’s too small or too stretched out. You might want to look at options that run small and/or narrow, or size down.
It might also be due to the construction of the shoe. Some loafers have few seams, and not much support in the heel area. Check out one of the loafers that has more of a shape to it. You can try heel pads as well.