No footwear rotation is fully complete without a pair of leather loafers. It’s the law, and while it may not be legally binding, it may as well be. One of the most popular styles in the history of mankind, the first pair was invented by legendary shoe company G.H. Bass. Released in 1936, it was dubbed the Bass Weejun, which was combination of the company’s name as well as as the second and third syllables of Norwegian – the place they were apparently inspired by.

    

Over the years, more and more brands started adopting the silhouette, and while they all added their own little details, the overall design would remain almost entirely the same. They all boasted a slip-on design that you could simply step into while on the go, and they were created with no buckles or laces to speak of. The heel was low and flat, and while suede versions now exist, the original ones were made out of nothing but the highest quality leather.

If for whatever reason you still don’t have some, you’ve landed in the right place. In this guide, we’ll be going through some of the best leather loafers for men out there. From brand new labels to establishments that have been around for over a century, stop what you’re doing and check them out right now.

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How to break in leather loafers

Like any form of fine footwear, leather loafers need to be broken in before they can be worn comfortably. We understand that you probably want to show them off as soon as you get them, but you’re putting yourself at risk of blisters, bruises, and cuts. One of the first things that you should do to break them in is to wear them for at least 10 minutes a day. It’s a short amount of time, for sure, but it’ll give the materials a chance to adapt to your feet without causing too much discomfort. Before you know it, they’ll fit like a glove.

You should also keep them away from the cold as lower temperatures can stiffen the materials. If this isn’t possible because you live somewhere like the United Kingdom (trust us, we know how you feel), fire up the hairdryer and warm them up that way. Shoe lotion is an easy way to soften up the leather as well. If you follow all of these steps, your leather loafers should be ready to go in just two to three weeks tops.

What to wear with leather loafers

The great thing about leather loafers for men is that they’re one of the most versatile styles that you can own. They were originally created to be worn by absolutely everyone, and this ethos remains true even after almost one hundred years. If you’re someone who rocks a suit and tie almost 24/7, loafers are an easy way to introduce an element of casualness to your outfit.

If you’re more involved in streetwear, they’re totally acceptable as well. Thanks to industry icons like Ronnie Fieg and Teddy Santis, sneakers aren’t the only things that you can wear with an oversized hoodie and cargo pants. Pair them with thick white socks and you’re good to go.

8 of the best leather loafers for men in 2024

Vinny's Townee Penny Loafers

To kick things off, we have the Townee Penny Loafer by Vinny’s. This is, without question, one of the most sought-after styles of leather loafers out there. The little strap across the top was originally designed to store coins, so the coolest kids in town could easily grab a quarter to use the payphone. Handmade in Portugal, this is painted in a lush cognac brown and boasts a beautiful croc skin effect. It looks and feels unbelievably luxurious, and definitely deserves a spot in your everyday rotation.

Vinny's Yardee Moccasin Loafer

So nice we’ve shouted them out twice, Vinny’s Yardee Moccasin Loafer is another pair that should be on your radar. Featuring an exquisite two-tone effect, the contrast is guaranteed to turn heads wherever you go. The upper is crafted from nappa leather, and the midsole is infused with hard-wearing rubber. If you want them, we’d recommend going a full size down from your regular size because these can fit pretty big. If you’re worried that they might be too small, break them in using the steps that we mentioned and you shouldn’t run into any issues.

Myrqvist Smögen

The Smögen by Myrqvist gets its name from one of the liveliest summer towns in the west coast of Sweden, and it’s designed for work, play, and everything in between. Made with premium full-grain calfskin that’s sure to stand the test of time, if you can only have one pair of brown leather loafers in your life, these might just be the ones for you.

Kleman Metro

There’s just no way we can talk about the best leather loafers for men without bringing up Kleman’s Metro. Made using cowhide leather that’s sourced from a LWC-certified Spanish tannery (or Leather Working Group), what sets these apart is the sole down below. Not only is it infused with recycled materials, it measures up at an impressive three centimetres. So if your dating profile says that you’re over six foot when you’re really not, you can now live out your wildest fantasies with these shoes.

Aurélien Yacht Loafers

If you spend your summers holidaying in Nice or relaxing on the shores of the Italian Riviera, the Yacht Loafers by Aurélien were made with you in mind. The upper is cut from nappa leather while the entire inside is lined with calfskin. If that wasn’t enough already, each of the zig-zag stitches have been done by hand, signalling the highest level of craftsmanship. All of this then comes packed in some silky smooth dust bags, so you can carry your loafers with you while you’re on the go.

Oliver Cabell Penny Loafer

It’s true that Oliver Cabell is known more for its minimal sneakers, but the Britain-founded, America-based label also knows a thing or two about creating some of the greatest leather loafers out there. Handmade in Portugal, the full-grain leather has been sourced from Italy and is painted in a devastatingly delicious navy colour scheme. For additional comfort, the footbed is infused with Arneflex micro foam that makes it feel like you’re frollicking atop a plush cloud.

Pini Parma Tassel Loafers

Pini Parma is famous for its jackets, shirts, and suits, but its loafer game shouldn’t be overlooked. These dark brown leather loafers are truly timeless and can be worn all-year round. Lovingly crafted in Italy, they’re decorated with a classic tassel that adds a bit of playfulness to the shoe. What’s there not to love?

Velasca Meder

And last but not least, we have the Meder from Velasca. One of the Milan-based label’s most popular models, these black leather loafers feature an ‘80s-inspired aesthetic with a low-cut design and a classic biscotto shape. A brushed effect has been applied on the vegetable tanned cowhide and it’s finished off with a bag construction, which involves a single piece of leather being wrapped around the top and bottom and sewn together like, well, a bag.

If not leather, then try shopping suede sneakers.