Ten Pairs of Worthy Loafers for 2012
They’re not as dead as the Fedora, but you don’t see many guys walking around in loafers. Most of us are usually in lace ups, boots, or sneakers. But when lace ups are too business like, boots are too thick, and sneakers are too easy, the loafer excels.
Keep your loafers relatively slim, trim, and the toes round. Leave the squared off stuff to the club goers, and the stumpy battle ships to the retirement home. Strike the right balance and a good pair of loafers will help you communicate that you’re not taking wherever you’re at too seriously, all while maintaining a slick upgraded look.
Florsheim Dividend Single Monk Strap – $79.95 ($90 – $110)
Brown suede or black leather in a single monk strap style. Great looking, simple, rounded toe that’s not stumpy. These aren’t available through the Florsheim website, but if you go through DSW, you can use the code SHIPR for free shipping, and the code INDULGE might still work to take $10 off the order. You do have to join their email list to use those codes. Wear these with everything from jeans to cords to flannel trousers or even a suit with some texture. Great for getting through an airport.
Mercanti Fiorentini Double Monk Strap – $139.95 (ships free w/ SHIPR)
The well loved affordable double monk strap is back. The “cognac” color appears to be more of a true brown this time, but maybe it’s just the new photos. Like the suedes from Florsheim above, Try the code INDULGE to save $20. Free shipping with the code SHIPR too. Full review over here. Made in Italy and decent quality for the price.
Mercanti Fiorentini Penny Loafers – $139.95 (ships free w/ SHIPR)
Proof that a penny loafer doesn’t have to be some stumpy old thing. Trimmed down just a touch, but not to the point where it looks freaky. Simple. Apron stitching along the toe that doesn’t square off. Like the double monks, made in Italy for the DSW house brand.
Florsheim Willett $102.32 w/ code LINK20 ($170)
A slip-on with wingtip details. Great medallion on the front of the toe, nice sweeping lines, and a silhouette that’s pretty trim by Florsheim standards (as shown at the top of this post.) Already on sale and ships free even after the 20% off code LINK20 is applied. Part of Florsheim’s upgraded “Imperial” collection. Made in China, but plenty soft and comfortable. Know that they seem to run a half size large. Maybe.
You’ll pay for the T.B.N.Y. styling, but if you prefer a sleek loafer that doesn’t get overly modern at the toe, then this is one of the few options you’ve got. Sizes are a bit limited. Made in Italy. Ships and returns free.
Eduardo G. Florence Tassled Loafers – $139.97 w/ code ALJAN2 ($375)
Be not afraid of the tassel. Especially when the rest of the shoe looks like that. Made in Portugal, French Calf uppers, and allegedly pretty narrow. So be aware if you’re wide in the feet. The code ALJAN2 will knock 30% off purchases of $150 or more (as well as 20% off purchases over $100, and 25% off purchases of $125 – $150) and that drops these down to under $140. Can’t hang with the truck-nutz-esque tassels? Tassel free are over here.
Cole Haan Folsom – $100.80 ($168)
These are a bit of a freak. $168 is asking way too much and even $100 is pushing it a little. The first thing you notice when you take them out of the box is how light they are. They’re a barely there kind of shoe. But the grey suede is soft, and the weird blue sole has decent cushioning. Bombproof? Hardly. But they’ve got a look about them that would go awfully well with a laid back summer evening. Ships and returns free from Endless.
Johnston & Murphy Tislon – $116.29 w/ code ALJAN2 ($225)
Or… you could go with these. There’s some burnishing at the toe and heel, but they’re made in Italy, and should have some more beef to them than the Cole Haan option. “Waxed” suede.
The split toe style don’t always look right. This one gets it. Not too stumpy and far from spear like. Italian calfskin and made in Mexico. Full price through Nordstrom but at least they ship and return free. Various sizes at various reduced price points at the various Amazon sites of Endless and, uh… Amazon.
Sebago Kerry Tassel – $67.50 ($135)
Takes some guts to pull of since they’ve got the tassels, but the quality of the craftsmanship is unheard of for under $70. Made in the Dominican Republic, hand sewn, leather soles, and the uppers are made from some of the most comfortable and flexible leather you’ll ever get your feet into. Totally casual, but tons of character. Plenty of sizes but only available in a wider E width. Size down if you’re a standard D.
Are you a believer in the power of the loafer? Got a favorite not mentioned here? Leave it all in the comments…