Red Moose's Guide to Loafers
If you're looking for a perfect mix of style and comfort, look no further than the loafer. This perfect blend has made it one of the more popular shoes dating back to the 19th century and has stood the test of time because it can achieve both qualities without sacrificing one for the other.
If you've ever wondered when loafers are appropriate (and when they're not), what they go best with, and how to find the perfect pair for you, you're in the right place, as Red Moose presents our guide to loafers.
How Is a Loafer Defined?
The easiest way to define a loafer is that it's a slip-on shoe (no laces to tie) that has an opening that generally comes closer to the toes than other types of shoes.
It's thought of first as a casual shoe, but there are dress-shoe versions that you can use when you need them if you really prefer the loafer style. They are also versatile enough to be worn by men, women, and children.
The Style and Fit of Loafers for Men
Loafers can be worn at any time of year but are more popular in warmer months due to their thinner nature than sturdier shoes or boots, if you're dealing with wintry weather. Style also dictates going with a lighter color in the spring and summer and a deeper one in cold-weather months.
Socks or No Socks?
The question of socks always come up with loafers as well, especially for men. Women are used to not wearing socks with shoes, but it's a rarity for men. Really, either way is fine with loafers, but the no-sock look is definitely more casual. You'll also want to wear socks in the winter months more for comfort than anything else, especially if you're in a cold-weather climate.
No socks, of course, should only be used in casual situations. If you're dressing for work or attending a formal event, loafers are fine to wear, but you'll need socks. You can also choose a more formal loafer that has a horse bits—the metal bar that goes across the front of dressier loafers that resembles the look of an Oxford shoe.
What Are Loafer Liners?
If you want to achieve the bare-foot look but don't like the feel of doing so, loafer liners are like invisible socks that provide a barrier between the shoe and your foot.
Caring for Loafers
This is where we come in. You'll want to keep your loafers protected from water, especially if you're going barefoot in them. Red Moose Water and Stain Repellant Spray will work for a loafer made of leather or suede. For a perfect shine along with the tools to keep your leather shoes clean and scuff-free, take a look at our 3-Piece Shoe Shine Brush Kit, and if you have loafers made of suede, we recommend our Suede and Nubuck Care Kit.