Loafers are a classic shoe style that can be paired with anything from work trousers to jeans to flowy dresses. Our favorite is The Day Loafer, an elegant, classic, slightly pointed style from the basics experts at Everlane. If you're looking for other shoe styles, check out our guide to the best women's dress shoes.
Loafers are one of those rare quintessential shoe styles that can be worn with just about everything in your closet. Office-appropriate trousers? Check! Floral sundress? Check! Velour tracksuit? Well, maybe not, but you get the idea. A bit more polished than regular flats, loafers add flair without distracting from the rest of your outfit. They're not boring, but they don't (usually) make a huge statement either, which means they're easy to style. You'll want to get a lot of mileage out of your loafers, so they need to be comfortable to wear for long periods of time. It's worth spending a bit more money for a supple pair that won't give you those horrible back-of-the-heel blisters. Since many of the best loafers are priced below $200, we're not necessarily talking about a huge splurge, depending on your budget. The Day Loafer, an elegant yet understated pair from Everlane that costs $156, is our favorite. The best women's loafers:
Best loafers overall: Everlane The Day Loafer Best backless loafers: Everlane The Day Loafer Mule Best driver-style loafers: M.Gemi Felize Loafer Best sustainable loafers: Rothy's Loafer Best budget loafers: Naturalizer Macey Loafer Best designer loafers: Gucci Brixton Convertible Loafer Best dress loafers: G.H. Bass & Co. Whitney Weejuns Loafer Best for style variety: Sam Edelman Loraine Loafer
Updated on 6/17/2020 by Mara Leighton: Included the Everlane The Day Loafer as the best overall pick, The Day Loafer Mule as the best loafers for walking, the G.H. Bass & Co. Whitney Weejuns for our top dressy pick, the Naturalizer Macey Loafer for the best budget pick, the Sam Edelman Loraine Loafer for the best for style variety, and the Rothy's Loafer as the best sustainable pick.The best loafers overall
Everlane's Day Loafer is already a cult-favorite due to the soft, foot-molding silhouette that gives it a modern look and feel. I don't know what I did before Everlane's Day Loafer entered my life. Actually, I do know — I suffered from frequent blisters and weird heel pains, and I looked a lot less put-together on days that required significant walking. Which is most days, since I live in New York City. The Day Glove and Day Boot have changed my 10,000-plus-steps-a-day lifestyle for the better, so words cannot express how excited I was when I heard the brand was launching a Day Loafer. Like the other Day shoes, these are made of soft, supple Italian leather that molds to the shape of your feet as you wear them. This shoe is everything I love about the Day Glove flats, but with the polished veneer of a more traditional loafer. A padded insole and elastic back add to the comfort factor. You may want to consider sizing up due to the tight leather, but the fit should relax over time. The Insider Reviews team tested them out to rave reviews, though opinions differed about the elastic on the back. They've also been featured by Travel + Leisure and The Cut. InStyle called them "just as comfortable as a sneaker." Pros: Molds to feet, soft leather, cushioned insole, unique color selection Cons: Leather is delicate, runs small The best backless loafers
The Day Loafer Mule from Everlane feels like a slipper, and the open back makes it especially good for walking. The Day Loafer Mule is a comfortable and sleek classic, made with the same cushioned insole and soft leather as the Day Loafer, but with no backing — elastic or otherwise — to irritate your heels throughout the day. For frequent walking, the best heel is no heel. It's easy to kick off and slip on, and it requires zero break-in time. You won't have to stop at a store to buy a bandage because the mix of sweat and leather has created a small disaster on your heels. The Day Loafer Mule comes in sizes 5-11, and we recommend ordering a half-size up off the bat. If you have wide feet, consider sizing one whole size up. You can pick up the Day Loafer Mule in five wearable shades and prints: black, cream, caramel, deep red, and an embossed snake. — Mara Leighton, senior reporter Pros: Sleek and modern, easy to slip on and off, no break-in period Cons: Not ideal for wide feet, runs small The best drivers loafers
The M. Gemi Felize is a cozy, suede take on the traditional driving shoe, with a more relaxed yet polished silhouette. M.Gemi makes some gorgeous shoes, and the Felize loafers are no exception. The soft, suede drivers have a more relaxed fit but they're still nice enough to pair with business-casual outfits. Available in nine beautiful colors, there's an option for every look in your closet. The website suggests they fit true-to-size, and while they might feel snug at first, they'll conform to the shape of your foot over time. Rubberized soles offer plenty of traction, making these a great walking or driving shoe. The Felize shoes have also been featured by Health, Today, and Cosmopolitan. Insider Reviews reporter Mara Leighton reviewed them favorably, writing, "I take them to brunch, the office, and the airport — making them one of the most versatile pairs of comfortable shoes I own." Although they're the most expensive option on this list, the Felize loafers are sewn by hand in Toscana, Italy, and the quality easily compares to designer versions. Pros: Made of supple suede, nine color options, traction on soles Cons: Pricey Best sustainable loafers
The Rothy's Loafer is modern, made from sustainable materials, and available in a wide variety of colors and patterns. It's also machine-washable. Rothy's Loafer is made with the brand's signature fabric, a thread made out of repurposed plastic water bottles, and utilizes bio-based algae for sections of its insoles. The company's processes also help offset carbon emissions throughout its supply chain. The seamless knit is breathable, stays cool, and flexes comfortably with the foot while you move. The material shouldn't stretch much over time, so make sure they're not too snug when you first receive them. You can pick the Loafer up in sizes 5-13 and in eleven different colors, ranging from beige to blue to camouflage. If you have wide feet, we'd recommend ordering a half size up. — Mara Leighton, senior reporter Pros: Made from sustainable materials, no break-in period, machine-washable. Cons: Sizing can run small The best budget loafers
The Naturalizer Macey Loafers are a budget-friendly pick if you're looking for a classic leather bit loafer. Naturalizer has a range of under-$100 loafer options, including the Macey classic bit loafer. It has a structured leather body that will take some time to break in — it's not as supple as some of the other options on this list, like the Everlane Day Loafer — but it should grow softer and more customized with each wear. Currently, the Macey Loafers are available in sizes 5 through 11 and in neutral colors like black and light brown. You can also opt for medium or wide fits. But, there isn't a ton of variety to choose from, and some reviewers have noted that the sizing runs slightly narrow and small. If you're in between sizes, you may want to order up .— Mara Leighton, senior reporter Pros: Affordable, classic, can accommodate wide sizing Cons: Runs small and narrow, not many style options The best designer loafers
Ready for the real deal? Get more bang for your buck with the Gucci Brixton Convertible Loafer, which can be worn two ways thanks to a fold-down heel. There's nothing like the real thing. If you've thought long and hard and you know that designer loafers are what your heart and closet desire most, get the Gucci Brixton Convertible Loafers. Yes, these are the shoes you've seen on celebrities' feet. They're a lot more wearable than the brand's fur-lined mules, plus you get more bang for your buck thanks to a fold-down convertible heel. It's like you're getting two shoes for the price of one, which is awesome because, at $730, these are not cheap. When you consider that you're basically getting a loafer and a slip-on mule, the price-tag becomes slightly less intimidating. It's like a BOGO sale, Gucci edition! OK, maybe not. These shoes will match almost everything you own and the supple leather will age like a fine wine. WhoWhatWear's Allyson Payer put it succinctly: "I could've gotten 15 pairs of shoes for what these two [Gucci] pairs cost, but the price per wear must be miraculously low at this point." Pros: Convertible, made of soft leather, classic and timeless Cons: Very pricey The best dress loafers
The Whitney Weejuns' rich leather and stacked heel make them look dressy and far more expensive than they really are. The Whitney Weejuns loafers from G.H. Bass are, I think, the best value out there. The style and the materials look and feel very expensive (like, $300 expensive), but they only cost $110. The Whitney is the most classic, and it comes in a couple of dark leather finishes that all look rich and elegant. However, there are a couple of things that I wish I had known before I got my pair: The first is that there are multiple versions of this loafer — the classic Whitney, the Easy Whitney, as well as a seasonal Winter Whitney pair. The classic, which is what I have and recommend, is the dressier of the three. It has a stacked heel that makes it a bit more formal, but also slightly less cushy. The Easy Whitney has the same upper, but a somewhat bouncier, more cushioned rubber heel that gives it a somewhat more casual feel. The Winter Whitney has a nonslip composite sole that's slightly elevated (but not quite a platform) to give you a bit more clearance when walking on snowy or mucky sidewalks. The second thing I wished I knew was that you should really stick to your true shoe size. I'm a size 7.5 bordering on a size 8, and depending on the brand, things can really go either way for me. I opted for an 8 when ordering my pair since I tend to prefer a bit of room for insoles, but they were even still a bit big for me with my cushioned inserts. As far as general comfort goes, the Whitney loafers are really comfortable. You can expect some stiffness for the first few wears but that's to be expected for any thick dress loafer. If you require a lot of arch support, I recommend getting a thin pair of gel insoles, but most people won't be uncomfortable wearing them as-is. — Sally Kaplan, senior editor Pros: Elegant and rich leather finishes, a formal stacked heel, comfortable feel, true-to-size sizing Cons: Some stiffness with thick leather, you may want insoles if you require a lot of arch support The best loafers for style variety
The Sam Edelman Loraine Bit Loafer gives you tons of pattern and color options, plus a chic designer look at a wallet-friendly price tag. Looking at Sam Edelman's Loraine Bit Loafer might give you a touch of déjà vu. The convertible leather slip-on loafers with gold detailing on the toe closely resemble a designer pair that you've definitely seen if you've been researching the best women's loafers. Designer comparisons aside, Sam Edelman's shoes are worthy in their own right. Many of the iterations are made of 100% real leather, and the shoes give off a cool men's smoking loafer vibe. The convertible heel folds down so you can wear the shoe two ways — as a traditional loafer or a mule — while a gold horsebit detail on the rounded toe adds visual interest. Black is obviously the most classic color choice, but the Loraine Bit Loafer is available in many other shades and textures. Options include fun patterns, faux fur-lined styles, and metallics. Pros: tons of colors and patterns, looks expensive, convertible back Cons: Wearers recommend sizing down Check out our other women's shoe guides
The best dress shoes for women Finding a pair of flats or so-called modest heels that are both attractive and acceptable to the corporate powers that be can be a bit of a challenge. But with some help from our favorite office-ready shoe purveyors, you may want to keep your shoes close and your credit card closer. These are the best dress shoes for women.