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The Best Loafers, According to Cut Editors

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Retailers

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Loafers are a hero piece in any wardrobe. Just ask the Cut’s fashion director, Jess Willis. No, they won’t make you look like a little lad — even if you pair them with your favorite pair of white socks. Instead, the best loafers are timeless and functional. Think about them as Mary Janes’ and ballet flats’ older sibling.

The blister period might literally give you battle scars (though not all loafers are created equal), but as a loafer enthusiast myself, once you’ve broken them in, they are just as comfortable as your go-to sneakers. Sure, I might be biased, but below I provide a list of loafers that are worth the cost per wear, are Cut editor–approved, and detail a realistic period to break them in.

The Suede Ones

Our deputy style editor loves this suede pair from Aime Leon Dore. They are a nice alternative to your usual leather loafers and super-comfy.

The New Classics

Hereu’s pricing might be a turn-off for some, but I’m here to tell you they are worth every penny. They’re crafted in Spain and the quality is impeccable. And luckily, more often than not, sites like MatchesFashion and Farfetch tend to have various styles marked down. I wear mine with socks, and they are very comfortable. (The only time I needed backup, Band-Aids, was the first time I took them out for a stroll.)

The Cut Favorite

When I asked my colleagues if they had a favorite pair of loafers, a handful of them immediately responded that they swear by G.H Bass’ Weejuns. They are no frizz, go with literally everything, are under $200, and your feet won’t hate you if you decide to walk all over the city in them.

The Elevated Pair

Favored by Bella Hadid, Nomasei creates elevated versions of our beloved loafers. With a one-inch heel that will literally elevate you every so slightly without discomfort, these are my favorites to pair with dresses and sport shorts to create a nice contrast.

A Solid Black Option

We’ve shared how we love Vagabond Shoemakers for its black boots. The same can be said for its black loafers. Whether you opt for a tassel pair like this one or one of the chunkier iterations, it’s a good quality shoe under $200. I suggest you try them on before purchasing or purchase multiple sizes, since as with any shoe, the wrong sizing will make using these a less than favorable experience.

A Pair for Petites

Camper Milah Loafers

Senior culture editor Brooke Marine recommends the Camper Milah loafers. She loves how they give her petite frame some height while still being comfortable (and affordable!).

The Little Lad Ones

Sometimes you do need a pair that resembles those that a little lad would wear. And that’s okay. The square toe and gold detailing will add a touch to your outfits. Plus, a former colleague wore her pair during Fashion Week, so you know it passed the comfort test.

A Woven Option

Loeffler Randall knows how to do a leather shoe. Of its boots, heels, and ballet flats, its loafers might be my favorite. Especially this woven pair that features a padded leather footbed for added comfort. I love how my pair hugs my feet just right after the first use.

The Custom Ones

Senior writer Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz can’t recommend Majordome enough. The Swiss shoe label does custom shoes so you can pick the leather, lacing, sole, etc., and the company also fits it to your foot exactly. She even prefers these over her Gucci loafers (!). It has a store on Madison Avenue where you can go and customize yours.

A Solid Under-$100 Option

If you really liked the Nomasei option but you’re currently on a budget, consider this Charles & Keith pair. I own multiple loafers from the brand and can say that the quality is great considering its pricing. People always think they look way more expensive than they actually are.

If You’re Into Tassels

If you’re already own a pair of loafers with tassels but you want to switch it up a bit, consider this pair from Wandler. The exaggerated tassel on the top of the shoe makes for a subtle statement that will add to all your outfits. However, this is another brand I recommend trying in person or ordering multiples sizes in, since I’ve noticed its shoes don’t tend to run true to size.

A Platform Option

Not your typical loafer. The Seoul-based brand Reike Nen is mostly known for its heeled sandals and boots, but lately its loafer and mule options are taking social media by storm. With their rubber sole, this pair is incredibly lightweight and perfect for those who want to try out the loafer trend but with a twist.

A Pair to Wear at the Renaissance Tour

If Beyoncé wants you to wear silver, you wear silver. Made with mirror metallic-foiled leather, this pair can withstand three hours of singing and dancing with minimal blisters.

Another Classic Option

I love my Sebago’. I have a cow-print pair that is in my most-used shoe rotation. I’ve worn them with and without socks, and while they have never given me blisters to the point of bleeding, sometimes they do give me tiny blisters on my pinkie toes.

An Embellished Pair

If you can’t escape Ganni’s buckled ballet flats but don’t want to jump on the bandwagon, consider its loafers instead. They still have metallic detailing and will look just as good with all the outfits you had planned.

If You Want a Pop of Color

I might not own Tory Burch loafers, but I own Tory Burch ballet flats, and while they massacred my feet the first time I wore them, now they fit like a glove. (Disclaimer: They are a half-size smaller than my usual size.) Since the silhouette of these is more structured, I’m sure your feet won’t meet the same outcome as mine. Especially if you wear socks.

The Best Loafers, According to Cut Editors