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The 13 Best Loafers to Buy This Spring

From pennies to tassels to horsebits and beyond, an essential guide to the shoe of summer.

Loafers by Tod's, Church's and George Cleverley Tod's, Church's, Mr Porter

From bright spring days through the long evenings of high summer, the loafer is a warm-weather MVP. Combining the lightweight ease of a casual slip-on with the elegance of traditional welted shoes, a good loafer holds the rare distinction of being a genuine all-rounder. Particularly now that dress codes have relaxed and show no sign of turning back, loafers have a renewed relevance in a man’s footwear wardrobe.

The most versatile among loafers is the classic penny. A rounded toe and a chunky hand-sewn apron make for a relaxed, casual piece that’s conservative enough to pair with tailored trousers but equally at home with chinos or even shorts. With no laces to tie and no occasion unsuitable, a good penny loafer will quickly become the mainstay of a warm-weather wardrobe. And that’s no bad thing—loafers will only increase in comfort and appeal with regular wear.

Tassel loafers are a more eye-catching alternative. Historically favored by a certain breed of East Coast lawyer (even being cited in a dis by Ronald Reagan), the tassel has largely shed its political associations and reconnected to its Ivy roots. In black calf, the tassel loafer is a serious dress shoe, but in chocolate suede, it’s softened into something more playful; less a straight face than a raised eyebrow.

The horsebit loafer is the rebel of the family. The Gucci model made famous by Wall Street traders is iconic, extravagant, and a little aggressive, though more recently other makers have started to offer designs that suggest calmer confidence.

Our picks for those styles, and every other essential loafer, below.

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