Like many of you, I've retired most of my heels in recent years for, well, obvious reasons. Comfort is now my top priority when getting dressed, and I'm especially discerning when it comes to which shoes I'm going to wear. It's no surprise then to see that a number of comfortable (but still very chic) flat-shoe trends have emerged this year. The number one among them? Loafers. Maybe it's because they add a polished vibe to any outfit, maybe it's because they're practical and easy to wear, or maybe it's because they're a perennial favorite that will never really go out of style. Whichever the reason, they're the dominating flat-shoe trend of the moment, and I'm so here for it.
If you've been eyeing the trend but haven't found a pair you love just yet, then look no further than the eight best pairs of loafers that I've pulled together here. I've curated a selection from some of the top retailers, and the styles range from on-trend chunky loafers to pretty chain-embellished loafers and classic penny loafers. You're sure to find a pair you love, no matter your taste, budget, or any other factor. I took input from our team and scanned through online reviews to find the best of the best.
Whether it's an under-$100 option from Zara or the ultimate classic G.H.Bass style, these picks are stylish enough to wear for years to come. Keep scrolling to find your pick.
1. Best Overall Loafer for Women: J.Crew Winona Lug-Sole Penny Loafers
J.Crew has delivered on all fronts, from clothing to jewelry, and people should give credit to the brand's shoes too. With nothing but five-star reviews, these loafers are worth the purchase. One reviewer said, "They feel even better than luxury designer loafers," and another wrote, "This is a classy black loafer with just enough lug sole to be timeless and on-trend." They offer a trendy metallic option as well as classic colors like black, tan, and brown.
2. Vagabond Shoemakers Alex Loafers
I had to include my personal pick of loafers, and these are it. While they fit a little snugly at first, it wasn't long until I broke them in, and the shoes stretched to fit my feet more comfortably. Available in six different colors, the sheen of the polished black adds a little something special to my outfits. Reviewers seem to agree with me, one writing, "I love these shoes! They feel like they'll last a long time—the stitching, leather, and rubber sole all seem of quality. I ordered my normal size, and while they're a bit snug, loafers are supposed to be that way to compensate for not having laces. I'll be wearing these for forever."
3. Gucci Horsebit-Detailed Leather Loafers
For those wanting to invest in luxury loafers, look no further than Gucci. The shoe style is an inherent part of the brand, and even with a new creative director, you'll still find a version of the loafers among the latest runway collection. It's just too classic. Since the leather is on the stiffer end with this structured silhouette, many have suggested sizing up. For those who prefer lighter-weight loafers, Gucci's Brixton Horsebit Convertible Loafers are also an incredible option.
4. Sam Edelman Loraine Bit Loafer
Sam Edelman shoes are always quick to sell out on sites like Nordstrom for valid reasons. This particular loafer style not only has rave reviews but also has the backing of assistant shopping editor Ana Escalante. "As a (somewhat) proud haver of large, wide feet, it's essential for comfort to be my baseline priority. Shoe shopping, especially as an editor, can prove to be a tricky balance between wanting to look good and wanting to feel good," she told me. For her, these Sam Edelman loafers fit the bill in both style and functionality. "Not only is the inclusive sizing quite exhaustive with the style coming in up to a 13W, but the massive array of colorways and styles also means that once you find loafers that fit, you can rebuy them in multiple colors to fit your lifestyle. After wearing my wine-colored pair earlier this month while zipping around the city for New York Bridal Week, I'm sold. These might be the best-looking, most comfortable shoes I own," she continued. I'm not sure about you, but that review alone has me sold.
5. Zara Buckled Soft Leather Loafers
Zara may have a ton of über-trendy shoes on its site (looking at you, sequin ballet flats!), but its array of classic shoes is worth taking a look at. I, myself, have a few pairs of Zara shoes that have stuck with me through thick and thin, and I think these soft leather loafers are another winner. Plus, for under $100, it's hard to find something at that price point that looks this good.
6. G.H.Bass Whitney Weejuns Penny Loafers
For years, G.H.Bass has made quality loafers you can rely on. "No matter the season, my classic penny loafers from G.H.Bass are always in heavy rotation," said editor Anna LaPlaca of the classic style. As for the level of comfort, she sang high praises. "After just a few wears, they mold to your feet for the perfect fit that I swear makes them comfier to wear than half of the sneakers I own. Considering the brand was founded in 1876, they've clearly had the time to perfect them, and to me, it shows. My Whitney Loafers are the ultimate high-quality, long-lasting wardrobe staple," she continued.
7. Free People Liv Penny Loafer
The first thing that impressed me with these Free People loafers was the eight colors offered, including options like lime green and bright coral. The second was the burnished brass piece in the "penny keeper," referring to the original history of penny loafers. (People used to keep a penny in the strap of their loafers to act as a little pay phone change in the age before mobile phones.) The third thing that impressed me was the praise from reviewers. "I'm in love with these shoes! I have the G.H.Bass loafers, and these compare in many ways to the quality. I think they are mostly true to size (maybe a run touch small), and I haven't had issues with them rubbing or breaking in," one reviewer wrote. Some reviewers recommend sticking with the darker colors, as lighter colors tend to show wear more quickly.
8. Khaite Alessio Glossed-Leather Loafers
When it comes to finding classic pieces with a cool twist, Khaite is the destination. These minimal loafers are crafted from smooth, glossy leather and have a grippy ribbed sole and a thin stacked heel that offers both stability and comfort.