The classic loafer has long been identified as a staple of ultra-preppy attire, and while the shoe has repeatedly risen and fallen in popularity over the years, perhaps it’s time to acknowledge that this particular piece of footwear is actually a timeless and flattering shoe that never really goes out of style.
Loafers are both sophisticated and comfortable; they’re a more elegant and put-together alternative to your favorite sneakers, and feel a touch more mature than a simple ballet flat. While there are always classic styles to choose from, like drivers and penny loafers, there are now plenty of other iterations of the shoe, whether you’re looking for a trendy lug sole platform or a playful embellished slipper. Leather and suede loafers never go out of style, but now you can also select options including patent leather, knits and dressier velvets.
Like any good wardrobe staple, loafers are a dependable shoe during tricky transitional times of year, when a winter boot is too much but sandal season is still a ways away. These slip-on styles are ideal for any time of year, though, whether you want a feminine pointed-toe silhouette, a minimalist driver, a menswear-inspired penny loafer or a bejeweled slipper. Below, see the best stylish loafers to shop right now.
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Proenza Schouler Leather Loafers
Lug soled loafers soared in popularity a few years ago, and they’re not going away anytime soon. This classic black leather pair is fun interpretation of the preppy penny loafer, with white stitching and a chunky platform.
Birdies Starling in Black Velvet
Birdies are incredibly comfortable, and they also happen to be Meghan Markle-approved. This classic black velvet slipper is a modern take on the smoking shoe, and you can dress them up or down, depending on the occasion.
Bally Janelle Leather Loafers
These pink leather loafers have a gold buckle and a low heel, with a collapsable back so you can wear them as a slide-in slipper, too.
Tod's Gommino Suede Loafers
You can’t talk about loafers without acknowledging the importance and influence of Tod’s. These iconic loafers come in so many different materials and colorways, but this beige suede pair is so chic, with tonal laces and subtle gold hardware.
Prada Triangle Logo Loafer
Prada’s lug sole loafers were a major part of the shoe silhouette’s resurgence, spotted on street style favorites including Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber and Bella Hadid. The versatile polished leather shoes have a chunky, ridged sole and heel, and you can also wear them with a low sock or tights.
Reformation Agathea Chunky Loafer
Not only are these adorable platform loafers a stylish and sophisticated choice, but they’re also sustainably-made. They come in a few colorways, but the shiny nude shade is a nice alternative to basic black, while still complementing all your favorite outfits.
Stuart Weitzman Goldie Loafer
Make an elegant statement in these pearl-embellished black leather loafers.
Gucci Brixton Horsebit Convertible Loafer
Gucci’s Brixton horse-bit loafers are nothing short of iconic, and it’s no wonder they’ve been a favorite of the high-fashion set and prepsters for years. This updated version has a collapsable heel, so you can wear them as slip-ins, too.
Rothy's The Driver
Rothy’s knit drivers are incredibly comfortable and machine-washable, plus the eco-friendly shoe is made out of plastic water bottles.
Cos Square Toe Leather Loafers
These black leather loafers have a square toe and stacked leather heel, for a fashionable, business-casual aesthetic.
M. Gemi The Elsa
M. Gemi’s interpretation of the lug sole trend is a feminine take on the menswear-inspired look, with contrasting colorways, a chunky heel and croc-embossed paneling.
Vivaia Pointed-Toe Bow Loafers
These unapologetically feminine blue loafers have a pointed toe, pretty bow accent and streamlined, flattering silhouette. Pair them with a floaty summer dress or slightly cropped jeans.
Franco Sarto Franco Carolynn Loafer
For a versatile and reasonably-priced shoe, try these faux-patent leather loafers, complete with a tassel, lug sole and brown detailing.