The best loafers for women are more than timeless. This season they abound with many fresh iterations filling the new arrivals sections, from cult designer styles to nostalgic versions channeling the ’90s and ’00s. That’s right, the classic shoe style most synonymous with academia in its preppiest form has undergone a remix of sorts. Think chunky silhouettes with lug soles and souped-up platforms, eye-catching embellishments like oversize buckles to sleek, metal-worked adornments, and daring colors, from pastels to neon.
But, of course, timeless loafers will never fade away—some of the most versatile designs include iconic Penny loafers, supple driving silhouettes, and minimalist shapes, all coming in luxurious leather and suede. Meaning? They’ll last for years in your shoe closet, whether you’re investing in Gucci’s iconic horse-bit loafers, Prada’s bold Monolith platforms, or Tod’s always-sophisticated Italian-crafted flats. Keep scrolling to discover Vogue’s edit of the best loafers for women, from timeless to pared-back and statement-making.
Defined by the horizontal strap, or “saddle,” that sits across the instep, Penny loafers are iconic in brown or black, leather or suede, heeled or flat. Options are truly endless, from Vagabond Shoemakers’ simple black silhouette to Saint Laurent’s logo-adorned style.
Think classic, with a twist and reach for the platform loafer. Fashion’s recent taste for the mega-platform has emerged in loafer-form, and we’re liking the results. Versace, who helped usher in the craze with its Medusa Aevitas shoe, gives us a black leather loafer to lust after. Roger Vivier, Ganni, and Reformation also offer equally punchy options.
Nothing feels better suited to polished workwear than a heeled loafer, no matter if your preferred silhouette is a walkable one to two-inch block heel or soaring four-inch design. Normasei and The Row’s minimalist designs are an impeccable finish to tailored separates while Versace and Reformation’s platform designs are utterly standout with chic dresses.
If you’re more of a soft shoe type, the driving loafer is for you. Hallmarked by the flexible moccasin-style silhouette and rubber pebbles along the soles, these are meant to fit snug but won’t pinch or create pressure like more structured leather might. Iterations by Tod’s and Salvatore Ferragamo are iconic wardrobe staples, while Gianvito Rossi and Tory Burch offer freshened-up takes on the comfortable classic.
From lug-soles to overbuilt platforms, weighty loafers are unquestionably the season’s most coveted take on the classic shoe, especially when styled with socks in chilly weather. Everlane’s are cult-loved, while Gucci’s rubber soles come with a bit of bling hardware.
Suppose your taste tends to be simplistic, or you’re newly venturing into the world of loafers. In that case, a minimalist design is perfectly sleek with everything from dresses to jeans with a similar feel to ballet flats. Take the look a step further with a textured design, like Khaite’s patent leather penny loafers or Emme Parson’s haircalf flats.
It’s hard to beat the ease of a slip-on shoe. That’s where backless loafers come into play—they’re ultra-comfy, not to mention effortless looking with skirts, dresses, and cropped jeans. Go the timeless route with Gucci’s horsebit moccasins or bolder with Simon Miller’s camel platforms and Prada’s logo-adorned slides.