Unleash Your STyle
Welcome to our Best Loafers For Men Guide.
In this article, you will find 10 of the best stylish, comfortable and quality loafers that you can buy for all budgets.
Whether you want something modern, contemporary, flashy or unique, we got you covered.
The Perfect Sping/Summer Shoe
The Loafer is an iconic type of shoe that is extremely versatile and stylish.
Being a slip-on shoe also means it’s easy to put on an off and can be very comfortable.
Loafers are not just summer shoes, but really have their place in both spring and autumn.
They certainly shine in the summer and is one of the best shoes to produce with an unlined, soft construction.
With how fashion evolves, there are even more winter-appropriate loafers if that’s a thing.
What Types Of Loafers Are There?
In their core, you could identify 6 main types of loafers:
- Penny Loafers: With their distinctive strap on the vamp, these are evergreen classics
- Tassel Loafers: With a tassel on the top, they are synonymous with style and Italian flair
- Kiltie Loafers: If you add a “kiltie” on any of the other styles you can call them Kiltie Loafers
- Horse-bit Loafers: Popularized by Gucci, these have a metallic detail on the top
- Belgian Loafers: A simple slip-on with an apron and oftentimes a small tassel
- Wholecut Loafers: The most simple looking slip-on with no details and made from a single piece of leather
Of course, there are variations of all of the above such as full strap loafers, butterfly loafers and some might even say any slip on or lazyman oxfords qualify as one.
Today, we are keeping it simple though.
I do recommend going through my extensive Types of Dress Shoes Ultimate Guide to find out more about them.
Does Construction Matter?
As long as you do not buy Cemented Loafers, the construction does not matter so much.
However, I do urge you to consider the purpose of your shoes first.
If you are looking for a minimal break in, a summer shoe or something more affordable for example you could opt for unlined loafers, blake stitched or bologna.
For a more robust construction or use in rain or other elements you should take a rubber sole and a Goodyear Welted Loafer.
Make an educated decision by reading about the Different Types of Shoe Construction.
Best Budget Loafers
When you speak about budget and entry level shoes, it is hard to look further than Meermin.
An entry level budget brand around the $200 mark that offers Goodyear Welted Shoes.
Meermin makes their shoes in China, uses decent leather and are overall solid shoes.
A great thing is that there is a huge variety of styles, colors, leathers and lasts to choose from.
However, their break in period and customer service is notoriously bad and I always recommend spending $100-150 more for a better experience.
If you have to be more strict with your budget and can get a good fit it is hard to not recommend Meermin at just $195.
Avoid their Linea Maestro line which is not worth the money premium.
Alternatives include Skolyx, Myrqvist, Berwick and I recommend looking at Justin Fitzpatrick’s seasonal clearance sales.
Brands to avoid include anything Suitsupply, Morjas and many other cheap knock-offs.
Best Blake Loafers
However, if you are a person that often has foot pain and requires support and a soft footbed, you might want to reconsider.
The Italians and French make the best blake loafers in the world in my opinion.
Aubercy, Altan Bottier, Caulaincourt, Santoni and the list goes on.
My recent favorite however is Enzo Bonafe from Bologna, Italy.
A brand that offers fantastic quality, flexibility, value for money and most importantly tradition and working with great people.
At around $500 they are certainly not cheap, but they are shoes you will keep for the rest of your life.
I highly recommend checking out Enzo Bonafe and if you want to commission a pair I am an authorized retailer.
Best Belgian Loafers
Continuing from the previous section, I would select Caulaincourt for the Best Belgian Loafers.
I personally own a pair and had a great experience with Caulaincourt.
Very stylish, neatly constructed and rather comfortable for a summer getaway!
They go for a fair price and you can even pick them up with a bit of a discount during clearance.
You can read my Review Here and find out how much I enjoyed my Unlined Suede Belgians.
If you are willing to go very high end and have a big budget you can look at Stefano Bemer or Paolo Scafora.
Best Patina Loafers
There are many contenders for the best patina shoes but they mainly come from France and Portugal.
Especially the French have a big heritage when it comes to handpainted patinas.
If you are looking for an excellent balance of quality and value, you should look no further than Carlos Santos.
At less than $350 you can get a Goodyear Welted beautiful Penny Loafer and customize it at the color of your choice.
Through the Carlos Santos Patina Service for The Noble Shoe you can get your made to order pair in about 8 weeks.
We also often do Group Made To Orders that include special models with unusual features such as an Austerity Brogue Design.
For a little more, you can also customize your loafers via my friends at Septieme Largeur.
Caulaincourt and Altan Bottier are also excellent options, or you can go for the special collaborations of Justin Fitzpatrick and Greg Park.
Best Classic Loafers
When you think about the word classic, your mind goes probably to the UK.
The shoemaking hub of Northampton in particular which houses many of the most important brands in the world.
One of them is Crockett & Jones and it is hard to come up with a more iconic loafer than the Cavendish.
Excellent all around with beautiful leather and multiple leather and color choices.
It is a bit more pricey at over $600 (over $900 for shell cordovan) but well worth the cost.
I really like the Crockett & Jones Cavendish in Dark Brown Suede as it’s a versatile classic with an elegant toe shape that matches most outfits.
Crockett & Jones has actually a plethora of fantastic loafers to choose from and one of my favorites is the Boston in Scotchgrain.
Recently, they moved towards a more casual summer collection with models such as the Seaton.
The Noble Shoe is an authorized international retailer of Crockett & Jones and can source most shoes at a great price.
If your budget is unlimited you might want to take a look at the John Lobb Lopez but I am not a fan of the value.
Unique Design Loafers
It is not easy to innovate when it comes to classic styles.
Adding broguing, fancy soles or buckles can either elevate or destroy the shoe.
It is hard to talk about innovation and design without referring to Norman Vilalta.
He somehow managed to turn a classic tassel loafer into a patina grain, elegant shoe with a commando sole nonetheless.
They are pricier than many alternatives but if design and good construction means a lot to you, take a look at them.
You might also be aware that The Noble Shoe has made a Seasonal Capsule Collection with Norman.
For other unique designs, I would look at the twists from Justin Fitzpatrick, custom GMTOs by Carlos Santos, Paolo Scafora and smaller, niche brands.
Best Hand-welted Loafers
It takes much more time to make them but if you have a love and passion for shoes I recommend trying one.
Cheaper brands such as Meermin can offer a more affordable price at the $350-$400 mark but are not worth the money.
If your budget is at $400 I can recommend at least Yearn Shoemaker from China.
Vass Budapest offers probably the best value at less than $500 but has a limited stock and availability.
We cycle back to Enzo Bonafe who offers an excellent value and quality at the $700-$800 mark.
Best Norwegian Stitched Loafers
My favorite shoemaker in the world with stunning patinas and a Chained Norwegian Stitch like no other.
I still don’t know how he does it since such shoes do not look as bulky and are incredibly elegant and eye catching.
You will be at least $1400 out of pocket though.
Commission your unique Paolo Scafora MTO via The Noble Shoe at any time.
My friend Antonio Meccariello or Mario Bemer can also make you something special.
Best Handmade Loafers
The term handmade is one that we abuse daily.
When we talk about genuinely handmade shoes there is no machine involved other than the sewing machine at minimum.
This is Bespoke Shoe territory but there are a few brands out there.
Stefano Bemer’s Tradizione Line for example or Acme Shoemaker are a few examples.
But at $2000 and $1500 they will of course not come cheap.
I think for a $500 price deficit the Acme shoes are fantastic and one of the best you can buy.
Best High-End Loafers
The category above already covers high-end loafers.
What if you are looking for a high end shoe however but don’t necessarily want to go the handmade route?
I would recommend looking at Antonio Meccariello, Aubercy and Gaziano & Girling.
I have a special connection to Aubercy (Interview Here) and it is my pleasure to speak about them.
For Gaziano & Girling I recommend scouting their Instagram Page to figure out what you like the most.
Prices will be steep and anywhere between $1500-$2000 though.
Best Exotic Loafers
How can you speak about exotic leathers and not talk about Altan Bottier.
Few brands in the world do exotics as well as them and when you throw patina in the mix they are on top.
They source their exotics from the best Hermes Tannery and the cost is astronomical but so is the result.
My favorite loafers of all time have been these Nubuck Alligator Penny Loafers.
They are just spectacular and I can only think of a few brands that can match them.
Graziat Taipei and Paolo Scafora (I have a pair incoming) are the ones that I can think of.
If you convince master Meccariello to make you one it is also an option.
Expect to pay no less than $5000 for such a pair and I recommend reading my Exotics Guide.
What About “X” Brand?
There is no such thing as a “Best” for any kind.
It all comes down to taste, budget and your notion of value and aesthetics.
Many brands have been omitted that you should probably check out.
Here are a few:
- TLB Mallorca Artista
- Cobbler Union (On Sale)
- Saint Crispin’s
- Zonkey Boot
Let this article be a guideline for you and remember that as long as you make an educated decision you will enjoy your shoes regardless.
Don’t be afraid to try quality Blake Stitched shoes and always look for honest reviews and client testimonials.
If you are unsure, leave a comment here and I will try to help you!
Spring and Summer are not that far away right now.
It was the perfect time to speak about the Best Loafers and hopefully that’s what we did today.
If you check previous articles you will see a lot of brands making a regular comeback.
This is because they are established, good quality shoes that will never go out of fashion or let you down.
I know I am waiting for better weather so I can wear my loafers again at least!
Let me know if there’s any glaring omission or your general thoughts about this list.
I will see you next week!
Thank you for reading,