Don’t like tying up your laces? A classic pair of Oxfords or Derbys have their place in any man’s wardrobe, but there’s nothing quite like slipping on a pair of leather loafers. Loafers are stylish and ultra-comfortable at the same time, bridging the gap between casual and formal like no other shoes.
Loafers look great with jeans, with slacks, and even with a suit. We’re huge fans of loafers, which is why we’ve set out to build the most detailed website in the world explaining the different types of loafers, the best men’s loafers, and other answers fans of leather slip-on footwear want to know.
Our guides to the best men’s loafers cover tassle loafers, penny loafers, affordable loafers and more. We even have detailed guides to the best loafers in every color, from black loafers to brown ones. Browse by price, by style, by color, and even by construction.
View our guides to loafers from leading brands like Allen Edmonds, as well as more affordable brands like Cole Haan and Bass. If you’re searching for a pair of leather slip-on shoes and want to learn before you buy, you’re in the right place.
Start by reading our guide to the best men’s leather loafers, or by reading our reviews of the best loafers under $100, the best loafers under $200, and the best high-end loafers for men.
What are loafers?
Loafers are leather shoes without laces. Loafers were originally designed for King George VI of England, who ruled the British Empire from 1936 until his death in 1952. King George VI wanted a casual, comfortable slipper that he could wear inside, instead of having to wear formal, tied leather shoes.
Interestingly, although they were designed at the request of the King of England, loafers caught on in the USA long before they became popular in the UK. In the 1930s, American shoe companies started manufacturing loafers as a casual slip-on shoe for men. Loafers were usually worn on the weekend and outside office hours, since they were viewed as too casual for the workplace.
As the 20th century went on, loafers went from being a casual shoe to a favorite shoe of businessmen. After the late 1960s, loafers become shoes that bridged the gap between casual and formal, looking great with a pair of jeans and equally as stylish in the office with a nicely tailored suit.
Loafers really became mainstream in 1966, when Italian fashion brand Gucci created the horse-bit loafer. Today, a wide variety of loafers are available, from simple penny loafers to more formal tassel loafers and horse-bit loafers. There are also Venetian loafers, which have an extremely simple, minimalist design that’s made them a popular type of shoe.
The growing popularity of loafers also spawned the driving shoe — a type of moccasin that’s made using soft leather and usually has a very light sole designed for use inside a car. We have a guide to driving shoes here that explains the difference between driving shoes and traditional loafers.
Loafers are some of the most versatile men’s shoes. They look great in almost every setting, from a bar to an office. Because they’re so versatile, we think every man should have at least one pair of loafers in his shoe collection.
Read our loafer guides
Need help finding the best pair of loafers to buy? We have detailed, unbiased and helpful guides to the best loafers for men at every price point and in every color.
Our guide to the best men’s black leather loafers reviews three black leather loafers: one available for under $100, another for $100 to $200, and another for $200+.
Our guide to the best men’s brown leather loafers reviews three brown leather loafers: one available for under $100, another for $100 to $200, and another for $200+.