A Spring / Summer collection style staple is the iconic loafer, a slip on shoe style that can be worn at work, a wedding or dressed down with denim jeans or shorts depending on the weather. Aside from the traditional Men’s Oxford and Derby styles the Men’s leather Loafer offers versatility all year round. A fashionable shoe style, the Loafer is available in several variations with the Penny, Tassel and Horsebit Loafers being the most popular slip on shoes.
The origin of the loafer dates back to 1847 when the London-based bespoke shoe company ‘Wildsmith Shoes’ designed a casual house shoe for King George VI. Created by Raymond Lewis Wildsmith, the aptly named Wildsmith Loafer style has continued been sold by other London shoe companies under the name ‘Harrow’ over the centuries. Another beginning for the loafer can be traced to Scandinavia where Aurland-based shoemaker Nils Gregoriusson Tveranger designed a loafer slip on in 1908 that was originally worn by Norwegian farmers. In 1930, Tveranger developed his design having been inspired by Native American footwear and named his creation the Aurland Moccasin which became popular throughout Europe.
In 1934, Maine-based shoemaker G.H Bass made a Tveranger inspired loafer and named it Weejun in homage to its Norwegian heritage. This G.H. Bass reinterpretation became penny loafer style we adore today as the colloquial Penny Loafer name was introduced in 1950s America when the Weejun became the shoe of choice for college students who thought it fashionable to keep a dime in the half moon cut out slot of the leather strip.
Men’s leather Loafers feature in several of the Barker ranges including the Handcrafted, Creative and Professional collections. A choice of calf, grain and polished leathers as well as suede means there’s plenty of choice when looking for a slip on style best suited to you. If your looking for a leather loafer to predominately wear to work a calf or polished / hi-shine option is most appropriate but a grain or suede leather loafer can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
Barker’s most prestigious range of Goodyear welted shoes made in the Barker factory located in Earls Barton, Northampton is the Handcrafted collection. Timeless shoe designs are made using only the finest leathers and soles including the Jevington Penny Loafer. The Jevington style is made on the Barker 478 last from premium calf, grain and suede leathers on a choice of full leather or Dainite rubber soles, Jevington is an elegant Penny Loafer suited to all occasions.
One of the longest standing styles in the current Barker collection is the Caruso, a timeless Penny Loafer introduced in the early 1960s. Designed by a member of the Barker family, Albert Barker took inspiration from the American Ivy League classic making the Caruso on the number 10 last from polished leather on a full leather sole. Available in Black and Burgundy Hi-Shine the Caruso is a timeless classic that can be worn dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
Other Barker Penny loafers include the Gates (BarkerTech collection), Mears (BOEB Archive collection) and Portsmouth (Professional collection) which are made from a variety of premium calf and suede leathers on a choice of leather or Dainite rubber soles.
Another slip on staple is the Tassel Loafer which came to be from a commission made by the Alden Shoe Company for actor Paul Lukas. The tassel loafer is has an elegant silhouette and is available in the Barker collection in the form of the Clive and Studland styles. A popular slip on style in the Creative collection is Frank, made on the 69 last from premium calf and suede leathers with brass Horsebit detailing.
Explore all the Barker Men’s leather loafers online where you can shop by style, last, fitting and size.