Summer is on its way and with it an excuse to cast unsightly socks to one side and embrace the louche refrain of a fine loafer. It doesn’t matter whether you find yourself reclining on a yacht along the Riviera or lounging on a rooftop, cocktail in hand – the ever-comfortable loafer is your best footwear friend for achieving that look of effortless savoir faire.
Of course not just any loafer will do; from modern icons to British classics, here are our picks for the five loafers of the season…
1. Gucci Horsebit Suede Loafer With Web, £455
Let’s start with an indisputable classic and something which, let’s be honest, every man should already have in their wardrobe. The Gucci Horsebit has been a sartorial mainstay for decades, balancing a sleek, refined silhouette with its namesake gold hardware.
These blue suede versions make a nice departure from the usual blacks and browns and thankfully channel afternoons in Portofino rather than peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwiches. A strip of webbing underneath the horsebit itself is also another little departure, one which adds just a little more personality to the style staple.
2. Loro Piana Summer Walk Linen Loafers, £450
What do you look for in a summer suit? Breathable linen? A good lining? Beautiful Italian craftsmanship? These warm weather loafers from the inimitable Loro Piana tick all those boxes and more.
The mid blue linen exterior as breathable as it is charming, the textured weave not only keeping your feet cool in the heat but giving the shoes a relaxed, effortlessly cool vibe. Even better, the smooth leather lining – an indication of Loro Piana’s innate craftsmanship – and white rubber soles keep them comfortable all day long. Pair with a classic navy blazer and you’ll be Riviera ready all season long.
3. Maison Corthay Bel Air, Price On Request
Now it’s time for something a little more extravagant and nothing says that in shoe form better than alligator, especially in a deep, rich burgundy. Nothing says Hollywood glamour in quite the same way, especially when as eloquent as Maison Corthay’s Bel Air.
Sleek and sharp, the shoes let the natural pattern of the leather do most of the talking, supplementing the simple construction with an equally minimal apron. Not that there’s anything simple about Corthay’s craft of course; every stitch and seam has been painstakingly done by hand, testament to the contemporary shoemaker’s craftsmanship. You can opt for Corthay’s own rubber sole for comfort, but we’d suggest keeping things classy with traditional leather.
4. Rubinacci Marphy Leather-Trimmed Suede Loafers, £390
A far smarter take on the loafer, these versions from Rubinacci are considerably different to your usual blue suede shoes. Originally released in 2005, thanks to their classical look they’ve become a staple of both the Italian brand’s collection and the wardrobes of many a would-be dandy.
Made from Italian suede, the mid-blue is perfect for the season and a supple leather lining makes their sharp construction all the more comfortable. The small statement bow draws the eye to the almond toe, a far more formal shape than you’d expect from a summer shoe. All the same, pair them with a sharp summer suit and you’ll look every bit the modern Edwardian gentleman.
5. Gucci + Disney Jacquard Backless Loafers, £455
Vintage Japanese tapestries and the wonderful world of Walt Disney aren’t exactly synonymous with one-another; quite the opposite in fact, which is a large part of the charm of Gucci’s collaboration with the enchanted castle.
These open-backed loafers also have the iconic horse bit detailing on the uppers, but the eye almost missed it among the shimmering floral embroidery and Daffy Duck’s overly-enthusiastic thumbs-up. The leather lining moulds to your feet so that you need to worry far less about them slipping off while keeping them airy and comfortable. They’re certainly a statement, but one you can pair with a more casual look to let Daffy do all the talking. If you can understand him anyway.