What Are Loafers? The Ultimate Guide to Loafers

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When it comes to everyday shoes, loafers are in a league of their own.

They represent practicality meets style with their versatile silhouette and sleek appearance.

Jake Gyllenhaal, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Lil Nas X in loafers and Gucci suitsJake Gyllenhaal, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Lil Nas X in loafers and Gucci suits at the 10th Annual LACMA Art + Film Gala 2021 held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on November 6, 2021, in Los Angeles, California (Credit: Avalon / WENN)

These are the shoes that will take you from a day at the office to dinner with friends.

Whatever your fashion style is, your closet isn’t complete without a trusty pair of loafers in your shoe collection.

The beauty of loafers is that they’re not a one-size-fits-all shoe. There are different styles of loafers to choose from, allowing you to find the pair that you’ll reach for every day.

Paris Jackson wears animal print Weejuns penny loafers from G.H. Bass & Co. with yellow socks and denimParis Jackson wears animal print Weejuns penny loafers from G.H. Bass & Co. with yellow socks and denim (Credit: Juergen Teller / WENN)

Whether you have a capsule closet or hundreds of shoes, loafers are an essential type of footwear that you can wear every season.

Why loafers remain popular

Typically made of leather, loafers are versatile shoes that are easy to dress up or down.

Considered essential workwear for both men and women, their minimalistic design and sleek silhouette have been popular for generations.

1. Grey Nubuck Driving Loafer / 2. Clean-Cut Spanish Loafer / 3. Sophisticated Desk-to-Dinner Loafer / 4. Classic Platform Loafer1. Grey Nubuck Driving Loafer / 2. Clean-Cut Spanish Loafer / 3. Sophisticated Desk-to-Dinner Loafer / 4. Classic Platform Loafer

These shoes give you comfort without compromising on style. They’re an outdoor shoe that offers you all the comfort of an indoor shoe.

Part of the appeal of loafers is their comfort. You don’t have to worry about doing up laces or zips. It’s as simple as slipping your foot in and out of the shoe.

They can often be just as comfortable as your favorite slippers. While these shoes are fuss-free, they still maintain the timeless look of more formal shoes, such as oxfords.

Olivia Palermo wears Fratelli Rossetti loafers with a floral Giambattista Valli skirt and jacket, Lucy Hale wears black Miu Miu platform loafers with a skirt and cardigan, and Kristen Stewart wears Hereu side-buckle detail loafers with jeansOlivia Palermo wears Fratelli Rossetti loafers with a floral Giambattista Valli skirt and jacket, Lucy Hale wears black Miu Miu platform loafers with a skirt and cardigan, and Kristen Stewart wears Hereu side-buckle detail loafers with jeans (Credit: MEGA / WENN)

Loafers generally have an exposed ankle with a separate sole and low heel, complete with a moccasin-like upper vamp.

Shoes that offer a snugger fit typically have an extra piece of leather, known as a ‘saddle’ at the top of the vamp.

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