14 Best Loafers For Women 2024, Reviewed By Style Experts

14 Best Loafers For Women 2024, Reviewed By Style Experts

The best loafers for women are comfortable, stylish and versatile—they should take you from day to night with ease. Whether you’re looking for a timeless penny loafer or modern lug sole loafer, we have recommendations. Based on our in-depth review, we named Madewell’s Bradley Lugsole the best loafer for women overall, since it strikes the right balance between style and practicality. For a pair you can walk miles in, Rothy’s The Loafer also ranked highly for comfort and flexibility.

The best loafers for women combine classic details with modern fits and comfortable features.

ILLUSTRATION: FORBES / PHOTO: RETAILERS

To put together this guide, we tapped the expertise of the Forbes Vetted fashion team, consulted style experts and considered quality, materials and design elements, such as tassels, buckles and metal hardware that add noticeable polish. Here, all the best loafers for women that passed our tests. (For more footwear advice, we also rounded up the most comfortable flats and the best women’s boots).

Our Editors’ Picks

Madewell

The Bradley Lugsole Loafer In Leather

Sizes: 5 to 12 | Colors: 4 total, including Black and Brown | Materials: Leather

  • What’s notable: Cushioned insole, reasonable price and high-quality leather.
  • What could be better: These run a little big.

Madewell is well-known for their stylish-yet-affordable clothing and accessories, and The Bradley Lugsole Loafer is no exception. They’re constructed of genuine leather and have a thick rubber sole for added traction. Reviewers praise this shoe’s cushioned interior and say they’re comfortable to wear for long periods of time. If they feel tight right out of the box, wearing them with thick socks helps them stretch out. They’re offered in four colors and a wide range of sizes.

What the reviews say: Most reviewers find these easy to wear, saying “with a thin sock, they were as comfortable as any sneaker. And the large sole provided a really excellent cushion when walking for miles on cobblestones and pavement,” but some noticed quality and fit issues, saying there’s a risk for blisters yet this is often the case with many leather shoes.


MOST POPULAR

Rothy’s

Rothy’s The Loafer

Sizes: 5 to 13 | Colors: 12 total, including Gray and Orchid | Materials: Recycled plastic bottles

  • What’s notable: Comfortable from the first wear, flexible knit and sustainable design.
  • What could be better: This pair runs a little small.

Rothy’s is well known for its washable shoes made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. The footbeds, insoles and outsoles on their shoes also happen to be extremely comfortable and cushioned, making them great for walking long distances. The top-rated Loafer is made from the same knit fabric as their bestselling flat, so you can expect the same softness and breathability. The free shipping on all orders is a nice bonus, too.

What the reviews say: Many like The Loafer for its “great fit and comfort,” that they can be worn “all day without a thought” and for how they “fully hold up in the washing machine—I’ve prob washed mine 20 times and they still look brand new.” Many, however, say shipping is slow and they’re not supportive for long hours of wear: “These shoes are completely flat to the ground.”


Everlane

Everlane The Modern Loafer

Sizes: 5 to 11 | Colors: 2 total, including Black and Camel | Materials: Leather

  • What’s notable: Classic style that’s easy to dress up or down and the stacked heel adds comfort.
  • What could be better: Only available in two colors.

A good work shoe should be comfortable, durable and stylish—and Everlane’s The Modern Loafer checks all of those boxes and more. The one-inch stacked heel and cushioned insole provide enough comfort for all-day wear, and the leather feels soft right out of the box. Both the black and camel colorways pair well with office outfits and transition nicely if you’re headed to a post-work happy hour or event.

What the reviews say: Many praise these for their “amazing quality and fit” with “no breaking in required,” and how they’re “the perfect balanced of polished and casual.” Some note quality issues, saying “after two wears, the leather insole liner started to peel from the toe part” and “the color was very muted compared to the pictures [online].”


G.H. Bass

G.H. Bass Whitney Weejuns Loafer

Sizes: 5 to 11 | Colors: 2 total, including Black and Wine | Materials: Leather

  • What’s notable: Chic classic that never goes out of style and is built to last.
  • What could be better: This has less padding than other options on our list.

It doesn’t get more classic than G.H. Bass’s Whitney Weejuns loafers. These impeccably designed penny loafers remain true to the original created in the 1930s with a traditional beefroll style moc stitching and fully functional penny keeper. The hand-stitching, durable leather outsole and flexible unlined upper makes them comfortable and built to last for years.

What the reviews say: These are “a flashback to my youth and I just love them,” and they’re “super comfortable and no break-in time.” Some had minor fit issues though, saying “I had to order a half size down,” and “they will feel slightly tight at first but loosen up pretty quickly to slip on and off for a great fit.”


Cole Haan

Cole Haan Lux Pinch Penny Loafer

Sizes: 5 to 11 | Colors: 6 total, including Black and Pecan | Materials: Leather, synthetic |

  • What’s notable: Classic design, high-quality leather and built-in arch support.
  • What could be better: Runs a bit large.

The triple-padded footbed on the Cole Haan Lux Pinch Penny Loafer makes a noticeable difference in the arch support area. Having extra cushioning gives you bounce with each step, and the flexible leather ups the comfort level. The subtle gold hardware on the side is just a nice detail.

What the reviews say: “I get compliments every time I wear these. They’re super comfortable and well made” and “it was love at first sight,” but some found fit issues, saying “this shoe runs extremely large” and “I had these on for 2 hours and once I removed them had blisters on both heels.” Our advice: Wear socks and break them in gradually.


Sizes: 35 (US 5) to 43 (US 12) | Colors: 11 total, including Saddle and Red | Materials: Suede

  • What’s notable: Grippy sole provides traction and the soft suede molds to your foot.
  • What could be better: Some find this shoe a bit narrow.

M. Gemi’s driving loafer, The Felize, is a beautifully constructed shoe that’s soft, flexible and molds to your foot. Originally used for driving, this style of loafer is characterized by its moccasin-like appearance and a rubber sole with “bumps” for better traction. The hand stitching and bold colorways, like pink coral and Tuscan sun, put a modern twist on the traditional look.

What the reviews say: This loafer is “the most comfortable shoe I own,” “can be worn casual or dressy,” and is “a real treat for my feet and a terrific addition to my wardrobe.” Some found the shoe runs “narrow and offer[s] no support” and “I just wished it came in wide width.”


Zappos

Naturalizer Adiline Loafer

Sizes: 6 to 11 | Colors: 5 total, including Black and Brown | Materials: Leather, suede

  • What’s notable: Extra cushioning absorbs impact and ergonomic design molds to your foot.
  • What could be better: Some say this pick runs a little big.

For a stylish option that’s comfortable right out of the box, we recommend the Naturalizer Adiline Loafer. The brand is know for designing shoes that fit the natural curve of the foot and this particular loafer has a thick outsole, contoured footbed that will mold to your foot over time and breathable goring (i.e. stretch panels) on the sides.

What the reviews say: Reviewers like these as a “great everyday shoe” that’s “lightweight” and “excellent for when you stand on your feet for a long time,” while some noticed “there was no arch support at all” and “it was too wide on the sides.”


Amazon

Franco Sarto Carolynn Lug Sole Loafer

Sizes: 5 to 13 | Colors: 9 total, including Black Suede and Silver | Materials: Leather

  • What’s notable: Stylish, lightweight and great for standing on your feet all day.
  • What could be better: The leather might stretch over time.

Franco Sarto’s Carolynn Tassel Loafer is more than a good-looking shoe. It’s designed to withstand high impact with a 1.5 inch platform that actually supports your foot by keeping it on an even, elevated plane. Buyers say this loafer is surprisingly walkable and light.

What the reviews say: This is a “beautiful shoe that fit true to size. Good arch support and sole” and they’re “chunky but not obnoxious. Comfy, cute, versatile,” but some report sizing issues, saying “I got the extra wide and I couldn’t get my foot half way in.”


Sizes: 3 to 14 | Colors: 9 total, including Indigo Suede and Garnet | Materials: Suede or calf hair

  • What’s notable: Beautiful suede design that comes in multiple widths and emphasizes comfort.
  • What could be better: These are on the expensive side.

Whether you’re headed to the office or even a wedding, The Penny is a dressed-up version of the classic penny loafer, cut from rich suede (and there’s one stylish calf hair option). The slip-on design has an elongated toe and comes in three different widths (medium, narrow and wide). The brand also includes a shoe horn inside each box to help your loafers slide on. It’s a thoughtful touch that shows an attention to detail that’s not common with all brands.

What the reviews say: “Fit perfect-true to size. I walked for a long time in the city and they are incredibly comfortable,” with “very soft leather that will form fit with a few wears,” but a few found that the shoe “just needs a bit of time to break them in.”


Birdies

Birdies The Starling

Sizes: 5 to 13 | Colors: 29 total, including Black Velvet and Oak Suede | Materials: Leather, suede, velvet, raffia or calf hair

  • What’s notable: Generous width can fit many foot sizes, and it has a cloud-like padded insole.
  • What could be better: No width option for those with narrow feet.

Supremely soft and comfortable, these loafers are perfect for those seeking a little extra room. Their slip-on design is less structured than other iterations on this list—i.e. Madewell’s Bradley Lugsole Loafer and G.H. Bass’s Whitney Weejuns—and they run slightly wide. (The brand recommends going down a half size if you’re in between sizes or have a narrow foot.) Choose from leather, suede, velvet, calf hair or one of the limited edition fabrics like raffia.

What the reviews say: Many like these for their comfort: “These are perfect. I’ve been walking 8+ miles per day in them and not one blister or break in period. I will be buying more,” and “so comfortable, stylish and well-fitting.” However, many have fit issues, saying to size up.


Gucci

Gucci Princetown Loafer Mule

Sizes: 4 to 14 | Colors: 2 colors total, including black and white | Materials: Leather

  • What’s notable: Impeccable leather construction and easy, slip-on style.
  • What could be better: The price point is high.

Featuring a slip-on design, delicately pointed toes and gold horse-bit hardware, Gucci’s loafer is a bestselling style that’s worth the luxury spend. Reviewers recommend sizing up because this loafer runs small. The legendary Italian house also makes a version of this mule in suede and printed canvas, if you’re feeling adventurous.

What the reviews say: “Beautiful pair of shoes. True to size. Simple yet elegant. Leather is supple. Very comfortable. No breaking-in needed as these shoes feel like it is customized to your feet,” while some say the support is lacking, saying wearing them “is similar to walking on a wooden board. Not much cushion for the ball of the foot and my feet hurt after wearing them.”


Amazon

Vionic Kensley Loafer

Sizes: 5 to 12 | Colors: 10 total, including Brown and Cream | Materials: Leather, microfiber

  • What’s notable: Supportive design with arch support that doesn’t sacrifice comfort for style.
  • What could be better: Some reviewers report that it runs large in the heel area.

Vionic’s shoes are designed with podiatrists to maximize foot comfort, along with style. The bestselling Kensley Loafer has enhanced arch support, thanks to the microfiber-wrapped EVA footbed and supportive leather exterior that reduces discomfort and inflammation. The slight lugsole and smooth leather provides a stylish edge.

What the reviews say: These loafers are “very comfortable and keep my cranky feet happy,” with “great arch support and and will make you look sophisticated with your fall fashion.” Some note a narrow fit: “even ordering the wide width, they were too narrow in my regular size.”


Sizes: 5 to 11 | Colors: 4 total, including Black and Dark Green | Materials: Leather

  • What’s notable: Walkable design that you can wear all day and pairs well with many outfits.
  • What could be better: Silhouette might be too chunky for some.

If you’re looking for a little extra height, Coach’s ‘90s favorite, the Leah Platform Loafer, has a 1-inch platform and 0.75-inch heel, which elevates your foot but still keeps the overall design very wearable. The chunky style anchors everything from jeans to a maxi skirt to a flowy dress.

What the reviews say: “Love, love, love the style and color—beautiful shoe and will last a long time,” but some say “the sizing is confusing—they are very stiff and narrow, but if you size up the heel would slip off. I wore them around my room (with socks) and they still hurt my toes.” One user says “size up half a size if you don’t have narrow feet.”


Zappos

Sam Edelman Loraine Loafer

Sizes: 5 to 12 | Colors: 50 in total, including Black Patent and White | Materials: Leather

  • What’s notable: Sleek, flat-style design with foam insole for comfort.
  • What could be better: Traditional look might not appeal to all.

If you want an attractive loafer that’s comfortable for everyday wear but doesn’t cost a fortune, Sam Edelman’s Loraine Loafer is a solid pick. Similar to our best loafers for women overall, they’re crafted from 100% leather and have a cushy foam insole that’s supportive for walking. The understated design coupled with gold hardware is sophisticated, and this pick comes in an extensive range of colors, so you can find the shade that works best for your wardrobe.

What the reviews say: This is a “classic-look loafer with very nice, soft leather that has a little bit of give and should conform to foot a bit” and “they were comfortable right out of the box and have gotten even softer with time,” while some note leather quality issues, saying “Cute shoes, but significant signs of wear after just a few days.”


Other Top Picks To Consider

Footwear is personal so if you’re looking for different loafers beyond the ones we selected above, we also rounded up additional options from stylish experts and our Forbes contributors. All of these picks come highly recommended and might be right for you.

Neiman Marcus

Vince Davis Leather Easy Loafer

Vince’s minimalist loafer is a refined take on a classic penny style. Forbes Vetted contributor Molly Calhoun says, “I love this shoe’s soft, flexible leather, flat heel and that it feels more like a slipper than a loafer. It’s also nice that I can wear the comfy round toe design all day without my toes feeling squished.”


Toteme

Toteme The Venetian Loafer

While these are a splurge, this quiet luxury staple will get lots of mileage. “I like the updated square toe design and dark steel color of these—it’s nice to have a chic option that deviates from a standard black, tan or burgundy,” says Calhoun. “Plus, they’re a versatile style that I can wear with a dressier pant or denim.”


Reformation

Reformation Agathea Chunky Loafer

“This is the best loafer hands down for the price and fit,” says personal stylist Michelle McCool. “It narrows at the instep so it avoids looking chunky, wears well, is not too heavy and still looks feminine.” McCool advises wearing these with thin socks and a mini skirt, sweater dress or work pants. “It’s nice to show some ankle with them,” she says.


24S

Celine Triomphe Margaret Leather Loafer

The gold hardware and leather fringe on this designer lug-sole pair makes them extra special. “I love the masculine chunkiness of these and that they give me some height,” says fashion blogger and event host Fortune Dushey.


Veronica Beard

Veronica Beard Penny Suede Loafer

These preppy loafers come in suede, woven suede, raffia and even metallic silver and gold leather, and have a cushioned footbed so you can wear them for hours. “I like that I can make them look fancy or throw with jeans to make them more casual,” says event planner Lauren Schweibold. “And they are comfortable!”


ZARA

Zara Metallic Loafers

“One of the quickest ways to update an outfit is through shoes,” says fashion stylist Gina Donnelly. “Zara is not only on par for the price and quality, but they also definitely fit within the budget and you don’t feel bad switching them out seasonally.” If you’re looking for a variation on traditional black or burgundy, this metallic option with a one-inch sole can elevate an outfit and also transitions well for nighttime.


Amazon

Madden Girl Hoxtonn Loafer

“When loafers first started gaining popularity again, I was intrigued but not sure how much I would actually like the look on me,” says personal stylist Rachael Michael. “So I bought these loafers to do a test drive before investing in a more expensive pair. I ended up loving the edgier look of the matte black chain and comfortable fit of the chunky platform so much that I just kept rocking them—and I still get compliments on these shoes every time I wear them!” 


Dior

Christian Dior Boy Loafer

White shoes can seem tricky, but they’re actually a versatile neutral that works across the seasons. “I love this loafer for its thicker sole, which gives it a little heft,” says stylist Janel Alexander. “The ivory leather keeps it from feeling too chunky and provides a modern pop to an otherwise darker look.”


Why Trust Forbes Vetted

Here at Forbes Vetted, we approach all of our product recommendations with transparency and a critical eye. Readers trust us to provide the most accurate information available, so we consider our own firsthand experiences in the field and weigh that against testimonials from customers who’ve tried the loafers themselves.

As a team, we’ve tried on, evaluated and put a lot of clothing and accessories through the wringer to rate the performance, quality and value for your money. Our passion for high-quality footwear includes recommendations for the best workout shoes for women, as well as other topics, such as the most comfortable flats and the most comfortable sneakers for everyday wear. To make sure you get the most accurate information possible, we regularly update this list with relevant details. This story was last updated in January 2024.


How We Chose The Best Loafers For Women

To determine the best loafers for women, we read hundreds of product reviews and evaluated options from both established and newer-to-market brands. We ultimately chose the best loafers for women by determining which pairs were consistently top-rated by customers, had attractive design elements and received excellent marks for comfort, support and durability. We also considered if the shoes were available in a wide range of sizes, widths and colors and price points. The final loafers on this list reflect several weeks’ worth of in-depth research and personal vetting.


How To Shop For The Best Loafers For Women

  • Choose the right material: Loafers are typically made from leather, suede or canvas. Leather is known for its longevity and ability to withstand regular wear. They often present a polished, classic look, suitable for both professional and casual settings. Leather loafers can adapt to the shape of your foot over time, offering a custom fit. However, they generally require a higher investment and may need regular maintenance with leather conditioners to retain their appearance.
  • Embrace suede: With its soft, napped texture, suede offers a luxurious feel and a distinct aesthetic. These loafers add a touch of elegance to a casual outfit. However, they are more susceptible to damage from water and stains, requiring careful maintenance and often, waterproofing treatments.
  • Go for canvas: Ideal for casual wear, canvas loafers are lightweight and often available in various colors and patterns. They are a great summer option and usually more affordable. Canvas doesn’t offer the same longevity as leather, though, and may not provide enough support for prolonged wear.
  • Consider the occasion: If you’re buying loafers for work or formal situations, look for options with a more structured design and minimal embellishments. A classic black or brown leather loafer can complement most work attire and give your foot some necessary comfort for long hours. For casual wear, you can experiment with different materials like suede or canvas, and explore bolder colors and designs. Loafers with tassels, bright colors or unique patterns definitely add personality to a casual outfit.
  • Think about your budget: Loafers are available at various price points. High-end brands might offer superior craftsmanship and materials but can be expensive. Mid-range options often provide a balance of quality and affordability. Investing in a high-quality pair might be more cost-effective in the long run if you’ll keep it for years.
  • Find the right fit: A well-fitting loafer should feel snug but not tight, offering enough room to move without slipping off. Consider trying shoes in the afternoon when feet are typically at their largest. Check for any points of discomfort, as loafers typically have a shorter break-in period compared to other shoes.
  • Know your style: Classic loafers often feature a minimalist design and are versatile for most occasions. Penny loafers are characterized by a strap across the top, usually with a cut-out detail, suitable for both work and casual settings. Tassel loafers feature this decorative element and are great for adding a chic touch to your outfit. Statement loafers play up embellishments like metallic hardware, prints or bold colors, all of which can make your loafers the star of your outfit.

Loafer Buyer’s Comparison Guide

Loafers might look similar at first glance, but not all are created alike. From sleek and minimal to trendy and chunky, the best loafers for women cover a wide range of styles.

If your fashion sensibility leans towards minimalism, consider Rothy’s The Loafer, Everlane’s The Modern Loafer, Birdies’ Starling or Sam Edelman’s Loraine Loafer, all of which feature a pared down tweak on the loafer silhouette. Traditionalists might prefer more classic penny loafer styling like The Penny from Margaux, Cole Haan’s Lux Penny Loafer, the Naturalizer Adiline Loafer and G.H. Bass’s Whitney Weejuns Loafer—many reviewers said they’ve worn their beloved Weejuns for decades.

If you’re more into on-trend styles, you might liked the ‘90s-inspired, chunky sole of our top pick, Madewell’s Bradley Lugsole, or similar styles like Vionic’s Kensley Loafer, the Franco Sarto Carolynn Tassel Loafer and the Coach Leah Platform Loafer.

Or if comfort is key, The Felize Suede driving loafer from M. Gemi is known for its flexible upper and rubber sole, or the luxe slip-on, Gucci Princetown Loafer Mule, is easy to wear and shouldn’t require any break-in time.


Meet Our Style Experts

For this article, we tapped the expertise of several stylists for their best loafer picks and tips on how to wear them. Here’s who we interviewed for this roundup:

  • Michelle McCool: Founder of McCoolStyle.com, a personal styling service for women who care about fashion but need shopping guidance, McCool has over 20 years’ experience shaping the fashion direction at publications including Cosmopolitan, Glamour and Elle magazines.
  • Fortune Dushey: Dushey has edited her blog, Fortune Inspired, for 10 years, focusing on classic, effortless fashion, wellness, home decor and travel, all through the lens of an inspiring and relatable lifestyle.
  • Lauren Schweibold: After 15 years planning large-scale corporate events for both financial institutions and non-profits, Schweibold founded Madison Events to share her highly detailed, stylish touch with others. Fun fact: For every event booked with Madison Events, she works with SPCA Westchester to rescue 10 dogs from high-risk animal shelters.
  • Gina Donnelly: With fashion experience ranging from modeling as a teen, to studying fashion design to working at top-tier fashion magazines, Donnelly has been lead stylist on editorial shoots, advertising campaigns, film and celebrity red carpet looks.
  • Rachael Michael: Based in Minneapolis, Michael is all about acceptance and authenticity to her styling clients, instilling confidence and joy as she helps others define—and embrace—their own personal style.
  • Janel Alexander: Pulling from her 12 years of fashion industry expertise, Alexander has taught women from all walks of life how to create simple, stylish looks that enhance their bodies and help them feel confident.

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