The appeal of loafers is that they’re stylish and comfortable, but never before have they been quite so covetable as they are now. This is due to the fact that designers are paying just as much attention to this shoe style as they do the rest of their footwear collections, with fashion people lapping up the results. With their classic design and elevated appeal, loafers hit the flat-shoe sweet spot that ballet flats and trainers simply miss. They’re timeless and versatile, so it’s little wonder that they’re fast becoming one of the soundest sartorial investments any of us can make.
Like so many others, I can track my obsession with designer loafers back to 2014, when Gucci’s now-iconic Jordaan and Brixton loafers amassed what can only be described as a dedicated cult following. From fashion week to work to even wedding days, style devotees wore Gucci loafers anywhere and everywhere, and they remained high on the It-buy agenda for years. Now, as many of us have shifted our sartorial sensibilities towards comfort, other designers have been keen to cut themselves a slice of the loafer action.
We’ve seen loafers become increasingly prevalent on the runways, with everyone from Chanel to Prada and Chloé to Bottega Veneta showcasing modern iterations of the classic shoes. From bold styles with gold metal hardware shaped into their respective logos and monogrammed leather to more traditional takes, such as mock croc or patent finishes and tassel adornments, there are multiple designer loafers to suit every mood and aesthetic. This makes choosing the right pair for you a lengthier process—where do you start when contemplating such an important purchase? Well, right here.
Below, I, and my fellow Who What Wear editors, have charted the best designer loafers, including the styles currently trending amongst those in the know. Scroll on to discover the shoes you’ll legitimately wear for the rest of your life.
1. GUCCI JORDAAN LOAFER
Style Notes: With its sleek shape, glossy leather and elevated snaffle clasp, Gucci’s Jordaan might have been the OG designer loafer, but don’t assume it’s over and done with—the style remains incredibly sought-after today.
2. PRADA LOGO-PLAQUE LOAFER
Style Notes: One of last year’s defining designer buys, Prada loafers continue to be the loafer of choice for so many industry experts, complete with a stacked sole, iconic Prada plaque logo and shine only previously seen on police officers’ buffed boots.
3. TOD'S KATE LOAFER
Style Notes: Tod’s loafers have been gaining serious momentum lately. Though the brand typically subscribes to pared-back luxury, for its Kate loafer, it has taken the maximalist approach with a large but flat chain embellishment, which has swiftly become recognisable.
4. CHANEL QUILTED LOAFERS
Style Notes: If you’re already a devout fan of Chanel’s quilted flap bag (who isn’t?), then you’ll be pleased to learn that the brand has used it as divine inspiration for its loafers. Featuring the same iconic quilting and double C emblem, these loafers are something very special indeed.
5. CHURCH'S PEMBREY LOAFERS
Style Notes: We’ve long been fans of Church’s footwear, but its Pembrey loafer is perhaps our all-time favourite offering from the brand. This designer loafer isn’t shouty or statement like some of the others on our list—it’s quiet and understated and elegant and has an appeal that’s everlasting.
6. LOUIS VUITTON ACADEMY LOAFERS
Style Notes: Combining the gold-tone LV Dauphine signature clasp with the iconic monogram canvas, these Louis Vuitton loafers are a must for anyone who considers themselves to be a designer shoe collector.
MORE DESIGNER LOAFERS OUR EDITORS RATE