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What are Loafers?

Loafers are a type of shoe that do not have lacing or fastenings. They can be easily slipped onto the foot and are often referred to as ‘slip-on shoes.’ Commonly, loafers have a low heel, or no heel at all. They are thought to be a casual shoe but can be worn for work if dress-code is business casual.

look stylish in vegan loafers

Origins of the Loafer

The loafer traces back to two separate origins, both in the 1900s, one in England and one in Norway. 

In 1926, Wildsmith shoes of London designed a casual house-shoe that was easy to slip on and off for King George IV. Although it was originally designed for indoors, it quickly became a shoe for outdoors too. This shoe is often referred to, by other shoe companies that have made it, as ‘The Harrow.’

The other notable creation of the loafer came from Norweign shoe maker Nils Tveranger. In the 1920s, Tveranger travelled to America where he was inspired by the moccasin shoes of the Native Americans. On his return to Norway he turned this inspiration into reality and created the ‘Aurland Moccasin.’ These shoes were quickly exported to America.

In the 1930s, American shoe company G.H. Bass redesigned the Aurland Moccasin and added a leather strip to the front of the shoe, this had a cut out big enough for a penny and hence the term ‘Penny Loafers’ began. It is said that the average telephone call at this time in America was 2 cents and so college students carried pennies around in this hole so that they had the money to make a call if needed.

Since then the design of the loafer has been reinvented many times, for instance Gucci added metal adornment in the shape of a horse snaffle bit in 1966.

Although loafers were originally designed as a man’s shoe they are now a very popular shoe among women, with designs that are slimmer, more feminine, and come in a range of colours and materials there really is a loafer for everyone.

What are Loafers made of?

Loafers are traditionally made of leather, however with advancements in modern material this is no longer necessary. Many companies have turned to more ethical materials such as vegan leather to create their loafers.

Introducing Butterfly Twists’ Loafers

Here at Butterfly Twists we offer a range of vegan leather women’s loafers. We believe that you shouldn’t have to sacrifice style for comfort. We want you to look good, and feel good. We also know that sometimes you’ll be stepping straight from the office to the bar, that’s why all of our loafers are foldable so you can easily keep them in your bag to switch to at the end of the day. We also have a wide range of vegan ballet flats, heels, and points. So even if loafers aren’t for you, we’re sure we have a shoe that is!


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