The Loafer is nothing new, and in the form they now find themselves, have been around for half a century or more. As with all style categories, there are endless variations of loafers. Seasonal MTOs come and go, but at chez Crockett & Jones, the regulars, the heavy hitters, are here to stay.
This incredibly practical, easy to wear, comfortable and slipper-like style is not just for lazy folk who can’t be doing with those pesky laces day in day out. Not at all. Loafers, although classic in so many ways, are possibly the most forward thinking and on trend shoes in our collection today. Pound the maze that is Ginza, Tokyo and you will instantly get a feeling for how a loafer is not just a laceless shoe! If white socks offend you, steer clear.
Loafers, or Casuals as they were once known, can be worn smart, smart casual or casual. Suits or separates. Their versatility is unending, although the London Marathon is probably beyond their endeavours. We have variations in style, material, sole. Lined & unlined. They can be worn in the Spring, Summer, Autumn and Australian Winters… Joking aside, even todays driving commutes render a pair of loafer perfectly apt for a northern hemisphere Winter. (We wear ours year round)
Look beneath what might just be another Penny, or another Tassel and you’ll see nuances that are linked to the very DNA of market specifics. Nuances that a manufacturer can only act upon if they are willing to listen to market demands. Online, selling means worldwide.
The classic American Penny, and the best-seller of the moment, is BOSTON. Boston has a hand-pulled up apron and is made on the shorter, preppier 314 last (376 is 314 with a tighter back-part for the unlined Harvard 2). This style is far more popular in countries influenced by American or English tastes.
The French on the other hand, and a few other mainland European countries, prefer the GRANTHAM 2. Grantham, made on the 376 last, has a separate apron and galosh which when stitched together creates a raised seam ‘butted’ apron.
You also have the laid on apron, but that is less popular these days due to the popularity of the two methods above. However, MERTON, our only loafer on the 348 last, is a sleek example of the more ‘polite’ laid on apron.
Another example of this market variation is our version of the all American tassel, Cavendish, which removes the hand-pulled heel counter of old, producing a slightly less sporty and more English version. This counterless version proved to be the most popular. Cavendish being our biggest selling loafer of the decade.
To go lined or unlined?
There are two factors here, the first is breathability. For warmer climes, you will absolutely notice the difference between a full leather lined shoes and its unlined counterpart. We fully recommend trying our unlined loafers for the warmer month. Even brave going sockless…
The second is fit. By removing the lining, we are removing part of a shoes structure, naturally creating a more flexible shoe. If you have narrow heels and find loafers slip at the heel, try the unlined version. You will find it flexes more easily, and thus is more likely to flex with your foot. Throughout the loafer collection, we run the following parallel styles (lined to unlined):
The only difference between the above list is the latter is unlined, colour and material aside. We recommend to go down ½ a size if you are buying an unlined style.
Leather or Rubber, Suede or Calf
Situation often prevails the choice between Suede or Calf, as it does between the practicality of a rubber sole opposed to the formality of a traditional leather sole. Options a plenty, we have you fairly well covered with new developments always in waiting. Dark Brown Suede is without doubt the shining light of all loafer styles, just so incredibly wearable, but as far as the rubber / leather argument goes it’s a 50/50 split!
If you are yet to try a Crockett & Jones loafer, you are in for a treat. Tried and tested, good ol’ beaters! If we can make one loafer promise, here it is:
Once you break in a pair of Crockett & Jones loafers, your other shoes will be jealous for not getting a looking!