The Shoe Files: Penny Loafers

Shoes pictured: the Penny Loafer Sydney

Penny loafers are easy-to-wear shoes with a wonderfully timeless style. They’re quick to slip on and off and can be worn at a range of casual and smart/casual occasions.

The Anatomy of Penny Loafers

Penny loafers are slip on leather shoes with a reasonably low back. They are distinguishable from other types of slip on loafers by the strip of leather attached to the top of the shoe. This strip of leather always features a shaped cut out.

The History of Penny Loafers

Penny loafers were first created in the 1930s, though they didn’t get their nickname until a few decades later. The first loafers of this kind were created by a Norwegian shoemaker who had studied in America.

On returning to Norway, he created these shoes, inspired by both the moccasins worn by Native Americans and the simple slip ons worn by local fishermen in Norway.

These loafers became very popular on both sides of the Atlantic. The Spaulding family began manufacturing them in New Hampshire, USA, and they added the now-ubiquitous strip of leather with the shaped cut out.

In the 1950s, these shoes became very popular with young Americans. It became customary to tuck a coin into the shaped cut out, which is how the Penny Loafer finally got its name.

How to Wear Penny Loafers

For a perfect weekend look, pair your Penny Loafers with a pair of dark blue jeans and a smart sweater. For extra style points, make sure the collar of your shirt sticks out neatly above your sweater.

If you’d like to take these gorgeously traditional shoes for a spin, take a look at the Penny Loafer Sydney pictured above in more detail. We think you’ll adore the refined Goodyear welt construction, the single leather sole and the finest quality brown snuff suede.

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