About the Author: Adam Terry is a thirtysomething salesman in the heating and manufacturing industry. He enjoys bourbon, boots, sneakers, denim, and working on his
dad bod father figure.
Today we’re taking a look at the Astorflex Patnoflex travel loafer from Huckberry. For guys that travel frequently, you know how dull and time consuming the airport security checks can be. If you do it often enough (and haven’t invested in TSA PreCheck or Global Entry), choosing your shoes is a real decision you have to think through before you leave the house. Should I wear some sneakers, boat mocs, slippers, mules, or loafers? Do any of these have a metal shank that will set off the machine? Will the gate agents judge me for my tie-dye Crocs?
Even if you’re not a frequent flier, maybe you’re looking for something new to spice up your shoe rotation this Summer. Astorflex, the relatively well known brand that’s been in business for well over a hundred years, may have something for you. They’re frequently listed here on Dappered as great options for those of us on a budget yet still quality-focused, as their styles are typically made in Italy, affordable, stylish, and above all else, comfortable. They also focus on environmentally responsible construction, which is something I think we can all get behind. Maybe now you’re in the market for a lightweight, flexible, and comfortable travel loafer and these might be it.
The Adam Review Scale of Excellence (A.R.S.E.)
- 5 – Excellent! No issues and highly recommended.
- 4 – Good. Above average, but not perfect.
- 3 – Average. Minor issues, might be good at the right price.
- 2 – Fair. Below average due to defects, flaws, or imperfections.
- 1 – Poor. Significant issues, not worth purchasing at any price.
- Brand: Astorflex
- Style: Casual, Venetian-style loafer
- Size: 43 EU, 10 US
- Last: N/A
- Construction: Stitchdown
- Upper: Roughout suede
- Sole: Vegetable tanned leather with rubber heel toplift
- Details: Vegetable tanned leather insoles (removable)
- Extras: N/A
- Country of Origin: Italy
- Price: $198 USD through Huckberry
Not Boat mocs.
Italian sports cars for your feet.
My pair of Patnoflex Travel loafers were ordered through Huckberry on a Monday afternoon. They shipped out the next day via UPS Next Day Air Saver and arrived on Wednesday morning. That’s crazy fast, regardless of where your office or warehouse is located (they’re in Ohio).
FYI: Huckberry offers free returns on most orders within the U.S. within 30 days of delivery. Like most other retailers, all goods must be in like new/resellable condition and shoes must be completely clean with no signs of wear (creases, sole wear, etc.). Final sale items are excluded.
Score: 5/5 Stars – Easy online ordering, lightning fast shipping, and simple return policy.
Soft, supple, and buttery smooth suede.
This pair arrived in a simple Astorflex shoe box. Inside, the pair was wrapped in a single layer of brown, recycled construction paper and each shoe arrived stuffed with tissue paper. They were kind enough to include a combination brochure and care booklet, as well as a single fabric shoe bag that is large enough to pack both loafers in. Since loafers don’t need shoelaces, we have no major complaints here.
Score: 5/5 Stars – Unboxing was solid, no issues or complaints.
Fresh out of the box, you’ll be amazed at just how light these travel loafers are. These are much lighter than any other loafers or boat mocs that I’ve tried in the past. The “rough out” suede upper is buttery smooth, incredibly supple, and feels great on foot, thanks in part to the top grain of the hide being the lining that you normally feel inside a shoe. This color of suede is called militare as it straddles the line between a medium, chestnut brown and an olive green. Suede is famously difficult to photograph, as it seems to change color under various lighting conditions, but these do honestly look lighter in person than how they appear on the Huckberry website.
Thankfully, this shade is incredibly versatile and will pair well with most other Earth toned shades. Examples include olive green linen shirts, brown leather belts, khaki chino shorts, and tortoise frame sunglasses. Style wise, these lightweight and minimalist loafers are best worn in a variety of “smart casual” outfits where you’re dressing up your casual wear items for a slightly more formal and nicer look. While I wouldn’t personally pair these loafers with a casual suit, as they’re a bit too informal and not structured enough for my taste, I could definitely see them getting some heavy use on casual Fridays at the office when I throw on a polo and crisp jeans.
Slick leather soles, but this loafer comes equipped with a honeycomb-like
rubber heel topper to act as a braking system.
Design wise, the Patnoflex travel loafers are closer to a Venetian loafer than a boat moc. The plain toe vamps have no penny slots, tassels, or other embellishments, which helps to tone down their look and make them a bit more casual for your weekend and travel needs. Construction wise, the stitching is neat and tidy throughout and all of the panels on this pair seem to match in texture. My one annoyance is with the heel tab out back. It’s too small to actually be useful (you can’t fit a finger in there) and it keeps catching the hem of my jeans as I walk around the house. Granted, I feel like a lot of guys would wear these with shorts anyways.
Super simple and smart looks, but some won’t see the heel tab as brilliant.
It’s too small to fit a finger in, and it kept catching on the hem of my jeans.
(YMMV depending on trouser length, weight, fabric, etc.)
Peering inside, you’ll find a removable leather insole insert that’s backed with a small layer of neon orange comfort foam. Underneath, you’ll see a denser layer of grey cushioning that’s glued and nailed to the leather outsole. As I mentioned earlier, these shoes are incredibly lightweight and very simple, which helps keep them flexible. The rough out suede upper is flared out and stitched down to this leather outsole, hence the term stitchdown construction. This outsole is a single, THICK slab of vegetable tanned leather. The outsole is essentially the frame of the shoe as everything else is either stitched or glued to it, so it must be robust. Yet, it also needs to be flexible enough to be comfortable. No one wants to wear shoes with MDF boards glued to the bottom, do they? So, the lightweight construction helps keep everything flexible. Note that this particular pair has leather soles that are thicker than most other leather soles I’ve seen, including the ones on my Alden Leisure Handsewn loafers. Incredible. Also, it’s important to note that these leather soles are slippery for the first wear – like a greased piglet on the deck of the USS Kennedy. Thankfully, Astorflex has factored this into the design and built a leather heel stack with a honeycomb-like rubber heel topper to act as a braking system.
Score: 4/5 Stars – Lightweight, simple, but surprisingly comfortable. Annoying heel tab.
In terms of fit and sizing, I recommend trying your true-to-size Brannock measurement. Note that Astorflex does not offer half sizes, so if you’re in between sizes, I recommend sizing down. I tried this pair in 43 EU (10 US) and without socks, which is how I would probably wear them, they fit very well. These loafers do start out feeling quite snug, but as they’re essentially unlined, the leather uppers will stretch to accommodate your feet in time. Note that if you plan to wear these with socks or prefer a looser fit, you may want to size up.
Flexible like a slipper, and might just be as comfortable as one too.
For size reference, I am a 10.5 D/E on a Brannock device and usually take a 10 D in most roomy dress shoes, including Alden’s Barrie last and Grant Stone’s Leo last. I take a 10.5 E in Allen Edmonds 65 last, as that last runs too narrow for me. I also take a 10.5 in Converse/Vans and an 11 in most athletic sneakers from Adidas or Nike. Have a size question? Email us!
Comfort is always subjective, but I find these to be incredibly comfortable. The lightweight, unlined leather uppers are soft and supple and feel amazing on foot. The removable vegetable tanned leather insoles are backed with a bit of foam for some shock absorption, and provide just the right amount of support and cushioning on top of the leather outsoles. Make no mistake, these are minimalist loafers that are designed to be lightweight and flexible. I could definitely see taking these on a trip to the coast or a weekend jaunt to the mountains, but taking these as your only pair of shoes for a week at Disney World would be sadistic torture.
Score: 4/5 Stars – Docking a star for Astorflex choosing to make these only in whole sizes, but overall fit and comfort is fine.
Wrapping things up, I was honestly surprised at just how comfortable and versatile these Astorflex Patnoflex travel loafers are. The leather is soft and supple, the insole is comfortable out of the box, and the mid-brown color pairs well with a ton of clothing options. For me, I find these to be more stylish than camp mocs and more presentable than slip-on sneakers. While this aesthetic may not be for everyone, if you’re looking for a lightweight and comfortable pair of shoes to pair with your “smart casual” Summer wear, I can certainly recommend these. Cheers!
Avg. Score: 4.5/5 – Definitely recommended – cooler than camp mocs, better than Sperrys.