Loafers are lace-less and low-top shoes. These shoes have a specialty, which is known as the fastening system. The fastening system means that when we wear loafer shoes, they do not come out of our feet when other lace-less shoes come out of the feet while walking. It is a characteristic of these shoes that it remains in a grip with our feet and even when lace-less they do not come out of the feet. Loafers are also called slip-on shoes and there are different types of loafers for men.
Wearing loafers is far better than wearing rubbery slippers because loafers look more stylish and they are equally comfortable.
So it was the basic introduction of loafers but there are different types of loafers, out of which the 6 best and most popular loafers are following –
6 Different Types Of Loafers –
01. Penny Loafers
Penny loafers are one of the most versatile loafers invented in the world so far.
These shoes are typically made from leather and due to this, they look very attractive and neat.
These shoes were invented first when a shoemaker named G.H. Bass made a unique type of shoe called “Weejun”.
Weejun was a shoe with a leather strap on the upper part of it.
Weejuns were very popular in America at that time.
Later weejun loafers started to be recognized as penny loafers.
But why are these loafers called penny loafers and how did they get this name?
Well, At that time there were no mobile phones and no internet to connect with people but their telephones were kept in some shops and calling booths in which we had to put pennies to call someone.
This is the reason why people used to keep pennies with them.
When these shoes were launched, people started keeping pennies for emergencies in the saddle of these loafers.
Thus, the name of these shoes became penny loafers and they became very popular.
In that era, penny loafers were very popular among people, especially among teenagers, and students, because It was very fun and helpful for them to hide pennies in their shoes.
After this, the importance of penny loafers diminished when mobile phones were discovered.
Currently, these shoes are well-liked but the reason is their appearance and functionality.
You can wear penny loafers with formal and casual both types of outfits.
The identity of these shoes is a leather strap on the top of them.
There is a half-moon shaped cut on the strap of these shoes, which is called the penny keeper.
Penny loafers are also known as penny slip-on shoes because they look like a slip-on.
02. Horsebit Loafers
Loafers that have a metal strap at the front, are called horse-bit loafers.
These loafers were developed by Guccio Gucci, who is the founder of Italy’s most famous and best-selling brand Gucci.
That is why horse-bit loafers are also known as Gucci loafers.
Although nowadays horse-bit loafers made by all manufacturers are known as Gucci loafers at that time only the loafers made by Gucci were called Gucci loafers.
Now there is also a reason behind naming these loafers “horse-bit”.
The reason is the metal piece on the front of these loafers, which is also a significant identity of these shoes, basically it a similar shape to a horse’s snaffle bit (on a bridle).
This is the reason why these shoes are called horse-bit loafers.
The strap of metal on these loafers is called horse-bit.
Well, horse-bit loafers were used to be worn with casual outfits but in 1970 these shoes began to be worn with suits like other formal shoes.
At that time, this look was very popular and trendy.
Horse-bit loafers are one of the few selected shoes that have no side effects of time.
These loafers are still as popular today as they were before.
By the way, you can wear horse-bit loafers in many ways according to your choice but they look great with Chinos.
You can wear them with polos and dress shirts both and that is why horse-bit loafers are one of the most versatile loafers.
Moccasin is not a type of loafers but it is a different type of shoes in itself.
But still, I include moccasins in this list because even if they have several characteristics from loafers but generally people address moccasins as loafers because they look similar to them.
Although there are many differences between moccasins and loafers, only a few people know about them.
Moccasin Vs Loafer –
There are the following differences between moccasins and loafers –
(a) Moccasins were originally made from deerskin leather or soft leather while loafers were originally made from normal leather or suede.
(b) Predominantly, Moccasins have no heels though now they also come in inch heels, on the other hand, loafers may or may not have heels.
(c) In moccasins, the sole and side of the shoe are made of a single piece of leather while loafers are made of different leather pieces.
So these are some basic differences between Moccasins and Loafers.
The word “Moccasin” indicates such shoes which are made from deerskin leather.
There are also many types of moccasins like driving moccasins, work boot moccasins, etc.
These shoes have a rubbery sole and some of the moccasins also have a vamp.
Well, these shoes have a very old and wide history but for a normal guy, there is no need to go that deeper into the history of moccasins.
04. Tassel Loafers
These shoes have decorative knotted or frayed leather laces hanging on the vamp, which are called tassels.
So, these shoes are called tassel loafers due to those hanging tassels.
The invention of tassel loafers was first in the USA when a popular shoemaker Alden created tassel loafers.
Although it was just a claim by Alden (the shoemaker) and there is no proper evidence of it.
It is a matter of 1950 when these shoes were found only in two colors.
At that time Brooks brothers introduced some better styles of these loafers.
After a few years, tassel loafers collected a lot of significance and popularity in the world.
The richest people of that time like business tycoons, bankers, etc used to wear tassel loafers.
These loafers are still in trend and you can wear them with jeans, chinos, etc.
It is still a topic of debate that tassel loafers can be worn with a suit or not but I think that you should not wear these shoes with formal attire because you already have better options like horse-bit and penny loafers.
Yes, if you want then you can wear tassel loafers for a business casual look.
05. Driving Loafers
The shoes, which have a lot of tiny rubbery pebbles on the sole and they reach the tip of the heel are called driving loafers.
These shoes were first created by the owner of an Italy based company called car shoe (His name was Gianni Motile).
These shoes are called driving loafers because they were made mainly for driving.
At that time these shoes were only worn by rich people.
That’s because a common man can not afford expensive leather shoes just for driving.
Today these shoes are very popular for their dapper look.
Driving loafers are very comfortable because they have a moccasin structure and they look like slip-on shoes.
The pebbled base provides us extra grip.
You can pair these loafers with jeans, chinos, shorts, and joggers for a stylish casual appearance.
You can also wear these loafers with casual slim-cut suits but do not wear them with formal attire because they are not formal at all.
Well, there are a lot of colors available in driving loafers and you can pick any color according to your choice.
Please do not wear them for long because they are worn for driving and hangouts only.
You can wear them for an evening walk and also for college.
06. Espadrille Loafers
Espadrille loafers are made from canvas or cotton fabric. So these are completely casual loafers.
These shoes were first built in the fourteenth century in France (Occitania) and Spain.
The upper part which is made of the canvas and the vamp was also found in Traditional Espadrilles.
Apart from this, laces were also found in espadrilles at that time.
Around the twentieth century, there was a huge contribution of urban workers and pleasant footwear behind the popularization of Espadrille loafers.
In 1940, Espadrille loafers became very popular in America.
At that time, there was a detailed and complex manufacturing process behind making espadrilles, but nowadays machines have made this task straightforward.
The specialty of espadrille loafers is a single canvas upper and jute sole.
Espadrilles are popular even today because they are very lightweight, breathable, and durable.
You can pair these loafers with jeans, Chinos, and shorts.
They are very fashionable, stylish, and easy to wear.
These are some loafers that are very popular nowadays but there are many different types of loafers in addition to them like boat loafers, pump loafers, kiltie loafers, slipper loafers, Belgian loafers, etc.
The loafer is a shoe that once you start getting to know them properly you will not need other shoes than them.
Loafers have a lot of variety and there are all types of shoes.
So if you want to know more about them then you can read about them here.
Also let me know in the comments, which is your favorite type of loafers?
If you have any questions regarding fashion and grooming then frankly ask in the comment section.