These days, we’re all possibly living in our best at-home slippers (or just slippers in general), but there are methods to shake up the routine with a few of the best loafers for men. That’s right: If you’re in the feel to dress up, we recommend slipping on some loafers. A shoe prepared for the guy on the go or the guy at home, these low, laceless slip-ons look great with just on anything. Made to be paired with selvage denim jeans, white T-shirts, oxford shirts, and more, they’re about as standard as it gets.
We mean that factually — loafers have a prosperous history that dates back almost a century, with roots in 20th-century Ivy League style. Even though today these slip-ons are tantamount to bourgeois leisure (and Wall Street bankers), they were formerly worn by fishermen in Norway, and the easy-to-wear silhouette made its way through Europe and ultimately to America in the 1930s.
Today’s loafers are contemporary, fresh, and everlasting. With that will in mind, we put together a guide to the best loafers for men in 2021. Shop away to your heart’s desire!
Best Loafers Overall: G.H. Bass Larson Weejuns:
In 1936, G.H. Bass was the first American brand to produce a local interpretation of the slip-on, Bass Weejuns, a pun on — you guessed it — “Norwegian.” They are also called the original penny loafer because legend has it that students would put a one-cent coin in the front gap of their shoes to utilize for payphones. Roughly a century later, these loafers are still G.H. Bass’ bestsellers and can be worn in retro or contemporary style. Wear them with rugged jeans and a gray tee for a rush of devil-may-care attitude, or pair them up with a khaki chino suit. To us, those sound like the best loafers on the whole … period.
Gucci Leather Bit Loafers
These immediately familiar best leather loafers have become a status symbol amongst investment bankers (and have stirred a mass of knockoffs), but they look just as sparkled outside of Wall Street. Prepared to be worn with your sharpest suit or your plain shirt-and-jeans combo, these Gucci loafers can straight away lift any fit for generations to come, and they’ll live up to your speculation.
Artemis Design Co. Sumak Kilim Loafers
Artemis Design Co., an Istanbul-based footwear upstart, has fairly achieved a cult following for their intricately designed, head-turning shoes. Case in point: These best luxury loafers are sourced from Turkish carpets and embroidered with red, white, and blueprints of animal iconography.
Allen Edmonds Lake Forest Penny Loafers
All set to invest in the best loafers for men in 2021? Certainly, you are — that’s why we’re here. Allen Edmonds takes the same thorough approach to these sleek black loafers as it does with its resilient dress shoes and boots. This means you can pair these handcrafted leather loafers with the whole lot from a navy cotton suit to slim black denim and a white oxford shirt.
Sperry Victura Penny Loafers
In general, our favorite loafers are much more relaxed than other dress shoes, but if you want a particularly cozy slip-on to wear while working from home, you can’t go wrong with these Sperry Victura Loafers, which combine the iconic penny loafer silhouette with a well-cushioned, spongy sole. Because these toe the line (pun intended) between elegant and casual, we suggest wearing them as part of a high-low combo of slim olive chinos, a white oxford shirt, and a navy blazer. Looking for that additional comfort? You might want to deem wearing no-show socks with them.
George Cleverley Albert Velvet Slippers
For the eventual luxury and refinement, it’s hard to go wrong with these handsome velvet loafers. They’ll completely accent your preferred evening wear or your sharpest summer suit, and the detail that they’re handmade in England is a pleasant bonus.
Nisolo Alejandro Slip-Ons
Nisolo makes its trendy loafers decently at one of the world’s best shoe factories, and it helps that these stylish slip-on shoes feature a laid-back silhouette and a design that’s just unusual enough to detach them from the pack.
Crockett and Jones Boston Loafers
Step right into a striking pair of most comfortable loafers made by this James Bond-approved British heritage footwear maker. While Bond needs something a little more useful than loafers, these sharp brown suede loafers are ideal for us mere mortals. Pair them with white jeans and a navy polo, accessorized with standard Aviator sunglasses.
Florsheim Berkley Moc Toe Penny Loafers
We’re completely in favor of classic loafers that are a bit gallant at the same time — take the dazzling burgundy colorway found on these Florsheim penny loafers, and at a great price to boot.
Yuketen Suede Penny Loafers
We’ll close things out by glancing at some of the best loafers for men in 2021. Yuketen makes the best men’s shoes and boots with a spectacular level of craftsmanship, quality, and value replicated in the price tag. And nonetheless, you’ll boast these loafers for years. Put them on at your cabin with olive camo pants and a white pocket tee while keeping warm during cold mornings. (Coffee is needed, of course.)
For the previous few years, an upsurge of support—combined with some serious sneaker-related weariness—pushed the loafer to the vanguard of the national conversation on footwear, and, man, this was inferred to be the loafer’s year.
Then a disturbing pandemic, global lockdown, and across-the-board WFH orders threw a blow in all that. The loafer’s swift rise was stymied by situations outside of its control. For months, even the style’s most passionate enthusiasts hunkered down at home, all but their comfiest slip-on abruptly demoted to the back of their overstuffed closets.
Although the loafer didn’t go anywhere. Instead, it uncomplainingly bided its time, waiting for just the right instant to resurface and build on the goodwill it created before the world shut down this past spring. And when it arrives at best loafers for men in 2021, we would like to pick up exactly where we left off.