The 10 Best Loafers for Women to Add to Your Shoe Collection in 2022

We like the timeless style and comfortable fit of the Sam Edelman Tucker Loafer

In This Article

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Best-Loafers-for-Women-IS-tout

Nordstrom/Birdies

Next to a pair of clean white sneakers, there's no other shoe that's quite as versatile as loafers. And it's no wonder — they have a dressier appeal than sneakers, are roomier than ballet flats, and provide more coverage than a sandal. But perhaps the thing we love most about loafers is that they give us something we all want: Options. From casual penny loafers to fancier horsebit loafers, there exists a slew of styles that fall under the loafer umbrella. 

But with so many options available, what should be a fun jaunt through the shoe aisle can prove to be a daunting task. That's where we come in. We searched high and low for the best loafers for women that stood out in terms of comfort, fit, function, and aesthetic. When it came down to choosing our favorite, the G.H. Bass Whitney Weejuns Loafer took the cake. The classic penny style loafer comes in several shades and gets major points for how comfortable they are.

Ready to meet your match? Here are our picks for the best loafers for women:

Best Overall: G.H. Bass & Co. Whitney Weejuns

4.5
G.H. Bass & Co. Whitney Weejuns

G.H. Bass & Co.

What We Love: We love that these loafers elevate any outfit. 

What We Don’t Love: Be mindful when wearing these shoes, as the white top may get dirty. 

The best loafers are timeless — easily something you will gravitate towards regardless of what’s on trend. And the G.H. Bass Whitney Weejuns Loafers are just that. Crafted in El Salvador from luxurious leather, these simple loafers will not only feel comfortable right off the bat, but they also will last forever. Pair them with your favorite maxi dress or elevate your go-to jeans and sweater look. According to Chloe Anello, senior commerce editor for InStyle, the shoes barely need a break-in time. “With the right socks to start, my Weejuns never gave me a blister,” she says. “The quality is worth much more than what they cost.”

Price at time of publish: $155

Size: 5-11 |  Colors: 1 | Material: Leather

Best Budget: Sam Edelman Lior Loafer

Sam Edelman Lior Loafer

Nordstrom

What We Love: These loafers feature several qualities we love, but the one thing that stands out is how comfortable they are.

What We Don’t Love: These run a bit wide, so keep that in mind if you have narrow feet.

The Lior Loafer from Sam Edelman caught our eye for its ultra-smooth leather that provides an impressively comfortable fit without a lengthy break-in period. While the penny style is typically associated with a more casual look, this pair is surprisingly easy to dress up. We picture these beauties styled with shorts and a blazer for a night out on the town or with a comfortable loungewear set if you're going for something more relaxed. Either way, this is a staple style that we're confident will become your most worn pair of shoes. Just be aware that they do run wide if you have narrow feet.

Price at time of publish: $77-149

Size: 5-11 |  Colors: 4 | Material: Leather, Patent

Best Splurge: Suzanne Rae Reseau Smoking Loafer

 Suzanne Rae Reseau Smoking Loafer

Maisonette

What We Love: From the well-placed bow to the sheer paneling, we love the attention to detail this pair of loafers offer.

What We Don’t Love: Despite being holiday-party ready, because of the see-through lace, your feet might be cold.

This is one of the more expensive pairs of loafers on our list, but hear us out: this is what you bring out for a special occasion, an elaborate party, or when you just want to feel sophisticated but would rather not fuss with uncomfortable pumps and stilettos. We love the juxtaposition of the sheer body with the lattice pattern. (It's like elevated fishnets — on your feet.) Plus, the subtle bow detailing gives it a youthful touch without being over the top.

For a heeled shoe, this is surprisingly easy to slip on and off. It's also incredibly comfortable from the get-go and easy to walk in (that's all thanks to the block style heel). We love the structured toe, which adds to its sophistication, as well as how lightweight they feel. 

Even though we recommend these for holiday parties, your feet might be cold when worn in cooler temperatures. However, it does come in velvet and tartan, in case you’d like to explore other options.

Price at time of publish: $585

Size: 35-44 |  Colors: 3 | Material: 100% Italian leather

Best Canvas: Cole Haan GrandPrø Rally Canvas Penny Loafer

Cole Haan GrandPrø Rally Canvas Penny Loafer

Cole Haan

What We Love: We love the sporty design and plush support of this loafer.

What We Don’t Love: They tend to run large.

There's no two ways about it: A penny loafer is one of the most classic loafer styles you can find, in part because of how well they adapt to different outfits as well as for the function they served in the 30s (which was to hold two pennies in case you needed to use the phone booth, which costed two cents). Over time, the look became a staple. "If you were an 80s kid wearing the penny loafer, you were definitely into the preppy look," says Michelle Washington, TV style expert. "It was such a big deal to make sure I had a shiny new penny to place in the opening of the instep strap for a bit of extra flair. These days, the penny loafer is still a great look — no penny needed."

These loafers from Cole Haan check all the boxes for us, and we love that the canvas material makes them feel a bit more casual, while the leather instep strap balances it out. We consider this the perfect warm weather shoe because of how breathable and lightweight they are — they also come in summer-friendly hues like muted baby blue, stark white, wearable pink, and marine blue. Because like we said, we like options.

Price at time of publish: $75

Size: 5-11 |  Colors: 6 | Material: Canvas

Best Horsebit: Gucci Jordaan Horsebit Loafer

Gucci Jordaan Horsebit Loafer

Nordstrom

What We Love: These loafers come in a wide range of sizes — for this, we give it a big check mark in the plus column.

What We Don’t Love: While these fit true to size, they take time to break in and soften.

Expensive? Yes. Worth the investment? Hard yes. The brand offers it in several styles (think: with a heel, folded over, slip on, and lug sole), but the Jordaan style is the ultimate classic. "It's hard for me to think of a horsebit loafer without thinking of Gucci," says Washington. "It [offers] a dressy look that sets it apart from other styles, featuring a connecting metal gold piece meeting from end-to-end across the vamp."

Beyond its attractive aesthetic, the moccasin-style loafers are about as versatile as it gets. They can be worn with just about anything, from casual outfits that consist of jeans and a T-shirt to dressier looks involving a high-low skirt or peplum dress. In all cases, the leather is buttery soft and the loafers are designed to last, but we can't ignore the fact that these will take a hot minute to break into.

Price at time of publish: $920

Size: 34-42 |  Colors: 2 | Material: Leather

Best Tassel: Franco Sarto Carolynn Loafer

Franco Sarto Carolynn Loafer

Nordstrom

What We Love: We're fans of their width friendly options, and its attractive price tag.

What We Don’t Love: While these loafers are available in different width sizes to make finding the right fit easier, they do run a bit wide.

This tassel loafer from Franco Sarto makes one playful yet equally modern shoe. The styling options for this one are endless: A maxi dress, mini skirt, or just plain jean shorts would all fare well with this shoe staple. Beyond this, it features a chunky lug heel that's as comfortable and slip-resistant as sneakers. And we can't forget the fact that it comes with a modest price tag to boot.

We like that this pair of loafers come in half sizes, but they tend to run wide so keep this in mind when selecting your size. Thankfully, if you need to swap them for a different size, Nordstrom has a fantastic return/exchange policy and will work with you on a case-by-case basis.

Price at time of publish: $99

Size: 5-12 |  Colors: 3 | Material: Faux patent leather

Best Driver: Tod's Kate Gommino Driving Shoes

Tod's Kate Gommino Driving Shoes

Tods

What We Love: They come in an extensive range of style, materials, and colors.

What We Don’t Love: The pebbles on the back serve a purpose (they make it easier to switch pedals while driving), but they become worn out over time.

There's so much we love about driving loafers — how convenient they are to slip on and off, the functional grip they provide while driving, and the stylish designs they come in nowadays. One such pair we'd be remiss to exclude are the Tod's Kate Gommino Driving Shoes. A namesake style, this pair is a right of passage among collectors of driving shoes for their flexible sole, refined construction, and, most of all, their ultra-comfortable fit. 

Upon testing these, we can attest to the fact that they feel extremely lightweight — seriously, they feel like you're walking on pillows. They also come in different styles (penny and moccasin), materials (suede, leather, and felt), and colors (red, canary yellow, and turquoise among them). We like that the buckle is the same color as the rest of the loafer (as opposed to the brand's other styles, which have a contrasting buckle) — this brings a more casual element to the shoe that we appreciate.

One thing to keep in mind: Like most driving shoes, the rubber soles at the heel can become worn out over time — consider the cost of repair on top of the already-high price tag these loafers come with.

Price at time of publish: $695

Size: 34-42 |  Colors: 8 | Material: Leather

Best Kiltie: Johnston & Murphy Maggie Kiltie Fringe Loafer

Johnston & Murphy Maggie Kiltie Fringe Loafer

Zappos

What We Love: The comfort level on these loafers is unmatched — they require no break-in period and go on like a glove.

What We Don’t Love: While this style is available in leather, the ones we're featuring are suede, which isn't the best all-weather material.

Moccasin-style loafers are usually associated with pajamas, but this pair is anything but basic. It combines the comfort of a slipper with stylish tassel detailing that adds something unique from the laces you'd traditionally see on this type of shoe. While you can definitely style this with your favorite loungewear set (we definitely will), experiment with bumping things up and pairing it with skinny jeans or a matching co-ord. We love that this shoe takes no time to break in — which makes it great for those who are on their feet a lot.

Price at time of publish: $138

Size: 6-11 |  Color: 4 | Material: Suede

Best Slipper: Birdies The Starling

4.8
Birdies The Strarling

Birdies

What We Love: The velvet fabric stands out among the other loafers in this round up. 

What We Don’t Love: They require a bit of break in time. 

You probably know Birdies thanks to Meghan Markle — the royal wears the shoes often (probably because of how comfortable yet stylish they are), and we’re thinking it’s about time everyone gets on board. Coming in 17 color variations with ample sizing, these loafers have something for everyone. Shannon Bauer, senior commerce editor for InStyle, boasts about their versatility. “I wanted a slip-on shoe for work, but not a ballet flat, and these fit the bill.” She also notes, “I did get a blister the first time I wore them — but that's kinda on me for wearing them a full 12 hours on day 1.” She says they do require a “little bit of break-in time” but overall thinks they’re “not overly fussy to get used to.”

Price at time of publish: $98

Size: 5-13 |  Colors: 17 | Material: Vegan velvet

Best Heeled: Tory Burch Jessa Pointy-Toe Pump

Tory Burch Jessa Pointy-Toe Pump

Tory Burch

What We Love: They’re not too tall and have a roomy toe box.

What We Don’t Love: While these heeled loafers are comfortable out of the box, they definitely run narrow.

Want the comfort of a loafer but the elegance of a pump? With the Tory Burch Jessa Pointy-Toe Pumps, you don't have to choose. The compliments will come pouring in with this pair: It features a 2.2" heel (which is just enough to lengthen your legs without being uncomfortable to walk in) as well as chain-link hardware that'll give you that dressed-up horsebit look. On top of it all, the modern lines make it the perfect footwear to don with a business casual or cocktail hour look. These are incredibly well-made, boasting baby-soft leather, ample support, and a long tapered toe that makes for a more spacious toe box. The attention to detail is also not to be forgotten: the inside is lined with suede to keep your feet from slipping out. Genius.

You won't regret buying these heeled loafers, just be aware that they run narrow and those with wide feet may find they need more time to break them in.

Price at time of publish: $279

Size: 5-11 |  Colors: 1 | Material: Leather

What to Keep In Mind

Style

With so many loafer styles to choose from, it can be difficult finding one that fits your style. The basic styles to keep an eye out for are penny, horsebit, kiltie, slipper, and driver. Looking for something with a laid-back essence? Go for a penny loafer, which Washington describes as having a modest boxy appeal with a strap across the instep. "When I'm aiming for a casual look to pair with jeans or slacks, I instantly grab my penny loafers — they just bring everything back to the basics, especially when paired with a T-shirt and jeans," she says. 

A kiltie loafer, on the other hand, has a personality of its own, says Washington, noting that while some may think the look is too flamboyant with a slashed wide leather panel broadly covering the instep, the tassels add the final touch. As for driving loafers, Washington says you'll know you landed on a solid pair if it feels like second skin. "It's hard to say which feature is the best when it comes to a driving loafer — maybe it's the fact that they hug your foot like a glove of soft leather or the rubber sole with the circular nubs that grip the pedal when you drive," she says. Throw on a pair of driving loafers if you're looking for comfort. Finally, if the day calls for something dressier, Washington recommends going with a horsebit loafer and slacks.

Comfort Level

"Fashion and pain should not be in the same sentence, especially when it comes to your feet," says Washington, who stresses the importance of finding a pair of loafers that have ample support, especially if you plan on wearing them all day. Most styles of loafers require you to break them in, so be mindful of this if you plan on purchasing a pair right before a special event. Also good to know: Finding the right size of shoe will not only contribute to how comfortable they feel on your feet, but how well they break in, too.

Your Questions, Answered

Should I expect a break-in period with loafers?

Short answer: Yes. But there's a right way to do it. "​​The biggest mistake for breaking in loafers is wearing them all day straight out of the box," says Washington. "I usually wear my new loafers in intervals. I also wear them with dress socks (until they are broken in) to avoid any further discomfort." Unfortunately, for many styles of loafers (including those made of leather), breaking them in isn't a quick process and can take several weeks.

What's the best material for loafers?

While there's no one "best" material for a loafer (each one has its pros and cons), leather-made loafers tend to be the most popular, as they offer a sleek, more refined look even as they develop a patina. Despite leather being a go-to material for many, you'll often find that certain styles use other materials — like slipper loafers. "Without the box topstitch feature, slippers don't require as much material to make, so you may see them in more ornate materials such as velvet or patent leather, sometimes dawning embroidery," says Washington. Remember that while suede and velvet can offer a different look entirely from leather, they may not be as durable. Keep your suede loafers on deck for spring and summer months when you're less likely to deal with environmental elements like rain and snow.

Why Shop With Us

Michelle Rostamian is a freelance beauty, wellness, and lifestyle writer with nearly 10 years of experience in the beauty industry and bylines at PEOPLE, Byrdie, Real Simple, InStyle, and more. For this story, she worked with InStyle writer Amanda Rosenthal as well as spoke with Michelle Washington, TV style expert, and InStyle senior editors Chloe Anello and Shannon Bauer to find out what their favorites are. She even tested quite a few styles herself to ensure they’re comfortable and worth the buy.

Related Articles