Irrespective of whether you consider the origins of the contemporary loafer as the country house footwear for the landlords or the shoe of choice for the Norwegian farmer, the loafer is truly iconic footwear that skillfully blends flair and comfort in a timeless manner.
Though definitely the footwear in the likes of Derbies, Brogues and Oxfords are elegant but do they not appear to be all the same?
Contrary to the looks of this kind of shoe loafers are something that is distinctly flamboyant or maybe even a bit dandy and therefore considered by some to be difficult to be complemented by a good variety of outfits.
We highly recommend you to read the Loafers for Men Buying Guide at the end of this article to get in-depth knowledge about latest loafer footwear technologies and tips on making an informed decision about which product to buy for your needs 🙂
Top 10 Best Loafer Brands for Men in India
Although my favorite among all is Lee Cooper but you must check all of them to make your buying decision.
#1. Lee Cooper
Lee Cooper stands tall as one of the best brands here in India when it comes to loafer shoes.
The loafer designs sold in the country by the brand are not only beautiful but classy as well.
The shoes stand out by virtue of their comfortable material which looks fashionable and very chic at the same time.
Not only that Lee Cooper loafers are reputed for their durability and the great quality of the soles and other shoe material.
The brand not only offers state-of-the-art features and a great design but also quality standards that are highly strict and stringent.
Customer outreach and support similarly for Lee Cooper is best in the Indian industry.
Notable loafers from the brand are:
#2. Bacca Bucci
Bacca Bucci has made quite a name for itself for the quality loafers it produces from materials that are of the highest quality.
The loafers sold by the fashion house are comfortable with a good fit, are really light and are friendly towards the skin as well.
The designs are simply outstanding and the patterns really stylish. You can find loafers to suit all types of outfits ranging from formal to more casual attire.
But what makes Bacca Bucci really stand out as a brand is the high affordability it offers.
The brand features both leather and suede loafers in its catalog and the quality is really exceptional more so if you consider its relatively cheap price.
Some of the most popular loafers from the brand include:
Mocas is a designer accessories brand that is particularly popular among youngsters. If you are finicky about quality then this brand was intended just for you.
The loafers from the Mocas house are like really light besides scoring high on comfort too. There are a number of casual, driving and penny loafers as sold by the brand.
These loafers are cool and trendy enough to strike the right chord with the audience.
Mocas loafers stand out from the crowd of loafer shoes you are likely to find out there by virtue of their flexibility as well as durability.
The loafers range from the brand uses a number of diverse materials and designs.
These loafers are so comfortable yet stylish that they would easily suit you even if you are going outdoors or for long trips.
The best-received loafer shoes from the brand include:
This is one of the most notable names as a creator of footwear of premium quality. In fact, a Clarks shoe should be the part of the shoe rack of any man.
Their loafers come in a wide variety of elegant and trendy designs and there is something that anyone can relate to when it comes to the personality exhibited.
Clarks is your brand if you are looking for a loafer that offers an unmatched combination of style and comfort.
You can wear their shoes almost in place including your college or to your office. A pair of Clark's loafers also fit along rather nicely for vacations and trips.
What really makes their loafers stand out is the use of technology and craftsmanship for achieving the end of comfort, protectio, and even design and an immaculate finish.
The most popular Clarks loafers include:
Puma is one manufacturer of loafers for men that enjoys high levels of popularity among the Indian masses.
It has something for every taste as well as every budget especially when it comes to its wide loafer range.
The Puma look stands out by its style and appeal and they offer a wide variety of footwear.
They use materials only of the highest quality that has fueled Puma’s position as one of the country’s leading footwear brands.
The shoes are particularly comfortable especially the soles that let the feet breathe. It prevents foot odor as it does not trap the feet.
Their loafers are a good choice for someone looking for one due to these facts.
Puma also collaborates with some of the really big design brands out there like Mihara Yasuhiro and Alexander McQueen. Innovation and fast designs are the true characteristics of Puma.
Some of the better Puma loafers out there in the market are as follows:
#6. Hush Puppies
Hush Puppies is an immensely popular brand when it comes to shoes in India. In fact, their loafers are one of the most sold varieties of shoes in their lineup.
Their loafers come with an unbeatable combination of style and comfort.
Though admittedly Hush Puppies may at times be on the higher side as far as price is concerned it is definitely worth getting a pair of them.
Their loafers let men make a lasting and favorable impression with the versatility of outfits you can wear them with including some pretty formal attire.
Hush Puppies loafers are made with high-quality materials that are really classy in both feels as well as appearance.
The loafers of the brand are flexible and come with sturdy soles that provide the right balance of durability and relaxed comfort.
The really good Hush Puppies loafers out there include:
Revoke is a fashion brand that is well known for its imaginative designs, quality of material and exquisite craftsmanship.
Their loafers are a good example of the creative spark infused with the desire for perfection.
The loafers from this brand stand out by the virtue of their superior structure, shape, techniques, and processes.
The soles of their loafers are soft, flexible yet very comfortable without in any way compromising on durability. The design is one that is resistant to wear and tear.
The soles of the shoes have a good grip on the ground and can bear your weight without deformation.
The materials used are of the high quality and provides the feet with the superior ventilation and comfort it truly needs.
The shoes are particularly designed to ensure a firm yet comfortable fit even when you are out for long periods.
Some of the better shoes available in the market are:
Woodland is definitely one of the best brands that there is here in India for loafer shoes. They are well respected even famed for the high-quality world-class shoes that it produces.
The loafers from Woodland are like really comfy to the extent of being suitable to be worn throughout the day without in any way compromising on their trendiness.
It has a wide range of loafer shoes that you can choose from in a wide variety of materials be it leather, synthetic or even suede.
With a woodland loafer, you are sure to leave an impression. They are priced sometimes high but the quality and comfort that the shoes afford justify the price.
The best loafers from the brand include:
#9. Red Tape
If it is happy feet that you are after and that too in style and grace, then Red Tape loafers are what you are going to need.
Available in really a wide range of materials that include fabric and canvas apart from the usual suede and leather, the loafers from this stylish brand look really good and the feeling is that you are wearing a superior pair of shoes.
It is comfortable enough to be suitable for daily use without compromising on durability.
Red Tape loafers can easily blend along with a wide range of outfits that include denim, chinos, and even ankle length pants.
Red Tape loafers are what you need if you are looking with a cool pair of shoes that ooze out style.
Some of the really popular loafers from the brand are:
If you are looking for a pair of loafers that’s truly of international quality then United Colors of Benetton is what you are looking for.
Truly stylish loafer designs are one characteristic of this type of shoes by the brand.
Made from loafers made of material of the finest quality, these shoes are designed making full use of advanced technologies and employ really comfortable soles that can provide comfort to the feet throughout the day.
Their range of loafers come in a wide variety of textures, color, and patterns. A staple part of shopping malls, Benneton’s loafers are stylish, chic and trendy.
One can wear a loafer from the brand throughout the day without having to feel pain and having tired feet.
The best United Colors of Benetton loafers include:
Buyer's Guide - How to Purchase Loafer's for Men
Some experts consider the loafers to be more versatile than the other three shoe types mentioned. They with their characteristic slip-on styles are more practical by virtue of being laceless.
In addition, you have a wide range of options to choose from whether they be horsebit loafers on the luxurious end of the scale or the traditional penny variant. You are sure to find in the vast variety of loafers out there something that complements your taste.
Whether To opt For Leather or Suede Loafers
Before we right into the different types of loafers you can consider for purchasing we will do well to dwell on the importance given to the choice of material for the loafer shoe.
Like most other shoes that might be said to be smart, loafers too come typically in one of the two followings constituting material viz. suede and leather. Each of the two materials brings with itself its own share of weaknesses and strengths.
The loafers made up of leather stand out with their gleaming and sleek finishing which make up for a great overall smart look which might mean smart casual separately tailored pieces for a full suit loafer shoe.
You do want to keep them in a well-maintained condition by ensuring that they are cleaned and polished on a regular basis.
Keep in mind that leather loafers are far sturdier than their suede counterparts and are far more durable as well lasting for several years which eventually results in the development of a unique patina.
However, as all shoe lovers must be aware of, suede loafers are meant exclusively for being worn in spring and summer months. The suede loafers come with a luxurious finish that is also delicate and needs to be protected from excessive moisture.
The typical suede loafer designs are more casual but that does not in any way mean that they cannot be suitably accompanied with tailored clothes. They are rather a better fit for the wardrobe during the warmer months of the year, a time when the footwear style can afford to be more relaxed than the winter or autumn months.
Key Types of Loafer Shoes
The main types of loafer shoes that you are likely to come across in the market are as follows:
The Penny Loafer
If you are looking for a preppy footwear solution that’s irrepressibly smart, then the penny loafer just has to find its way into your shoe racks with the same attractive as a century before when it was first conceived and introduced by shoemakers.
The penny loafer has plenty of American political and movie industry associations, but it is nevertheless surprising that this loafer variant was first conceived in the country of Norway. A Norwegian going by the name of Nils Gregoriussen Tveranger studied the craft of making shoes in the US during his adolescence.
He will eventually return home to Norway and come up with the Aurland moccasin style of loafer shoes which supposedly owes its inspiration to indigenous Iroquois.
In the year 1934, a Wilton bootmaker in Maine going by the name of G.H. Bass & Co introduced a newly adapted version of the Aurland known as the Weejun. This shoe had a leather strip in its front side along with a detailed diamond cut out where one could also store a dime.
The shoemaker continues to thrive to this day and its creative director Gilad Yogev says the penny loafer is admired for its versatile uses and the fact that it can be suitably worn with a large number of outfits and can dressed down and up with ease.
He also stresses the fact that the company’s Weejuns have been accepted and followed by several trends and subcultures that would eventually follow through the years.
Penny loafers do indeed work along quite nicely with smart clothing like summer suiting too, the penny loafer compliments smart-casual and casual dresses the most. Things like T-shirts with chinos, varsity jackets, jumpers, and tailored shorts and even Oxford shirts.
The Tassel Loafer
While it is indeed true that the tassel loafer is very much a white-collar yuppie style statement, but one would do well to remember that a man going by the name of Paul Lukas first started this whole trend.
The man was an actor born in Hungary who even went on to win an Oscar after starring in several well-known features like Watch on the Rhine (1943) and earlier The Lady Vanishes (1938). The actor was famed for his distinct debonair ways.
According to shoe folklore in the 40s of the previous century, Lukas approached a number of shoemakers asking for a tasseled Oxford design style based on something he had come across in Europe.
In the year 1950, The Alden Shoe Company which was at the time one of the leading shoemakers of the US came out with the very first tasseled loafer. Two years later in the year 1952, the first batches of the shoes were rocketing off the shelves.
In the year 1957 Brooks Brothers, an outfitter for the members of high society started to sell an exclusive tasseled loafer which was characterized by its distinct raised stitching at the shoe’s back.
The tasseled loafer stood in sharp contrast to the traditional and comparatively sober penny loafer and the shoe variety addressed the needs of mid-century Americans who were looking for a show design which stood apart due to its elegance without in any way sacrificing on its practical aspects.
As things stand today the Cordovan is perhaps the most widely acclaimed tasseled loafer model.
What makes cordovan loafers stand apart from most leather shoes is the fact that it is made up of the rump of horses or rather its subcutaneous layer, unlike others which are typically made up of calfskin.
This makes the cordovan the least porous among the different types of leather shoes. It is durable and lustrous which to some extent justifies its rather high price.
The Horsebit Loafer
If you are looking for a style that’s distinctively blue-blooded among the different loafer shoe styles, then the horsebit loafer is the dress loafer you are looking for.
This loafer variant comes with a strap made of brass which is shaped akin to a snaffle of a horse and is inspired by equestrian wear which is of little surprise when you consider that horse racing and polo matches are what inspired the creation of the loafer variety in the first place.
The horsebit loafer has plenty of history backing it. In the years that followed World War I the founder of Gucci, Guccio Gucci was serving as a lift boy at the famed The Savoy Hotel in London picking up the nuances of the lifestyle that made them so distinct.
When he made his way back to Italy, he would in the year 1953 create the very first horsebit loafer which would eventually serve to make the company hit a high with something that nothing short of being iconic.
In fact, the design of the shoe was so notable in the history of modern fashion that the Horsebit loafer as envisioned by Gucci would be a permanent part of Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York’s Costume Institute in the 60s.
Not only that the horsebit has had dedicated exhibitions at Florence's Gucci Museo in the year 2013. The thing that made the horsebit so very appealing was its refined look that nicely blends along with formal suiting attire.
Slippers outside the house are well on their way to gaining acceptance of late. The original darling of very flamboyant men and of some aristocrats, slippers have made huge inroads into the hearts of the mainstream public in the recent past.
They are both sharp in addition to being comfortable and the design typically comes with a slip-on loafer with a leather sole that’s quite sturdy along with suede or velvet uppers and slight heel. It is a particularly sleek substitute to the standard dress shoes. It also serves to bring a touch of elegance to outfits that might be said to be more casual especially when they are accompanied by neutral and contemporary colors.