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When you think about traditional English shoes styles, what usually comes to mind are brogues. But what I just noticed not too long ago is that the majority of British shoe companies almost always offer a ‘whole-cut’ loafer. And when I say ‘the majority,’ I mean it in the sense of the classic companies who hold traditional shoemaking standards to a high level and maintain (to a degree) the quintessentially British appeal when creating their shoe styles. While I never noticed this before, it makes perfect sense in my mind when I think about who wears this type of shoe: British dandies and the Aristocracy, the gentleman who love to dress up and wear fancy attire and bright colored-socks that are easily displayed in this type of loafer. And while that is a generalization, it holds relatively true, because really, outside of shoe freaks like me, who else wears this type of shoe?? Certainly not your regular 9-5’er.

Shoes Above & Shoes At Top: Gaziano & Girling†

Shoes Above: Edward Green, Picture Courtesy Of: Leffot

Although it is a commonly offered style of shoe in classic British footwear companies, it is not a style commonly worn, when it comes to the masses. It usually takes a person with a little more pizazz and guts to pull off this type of shoe. I feel like they are usually regarded as being a bit on the bold side, when compared to a more casual loafer that has stitching. It’s a shame too that they have not become more popular in America. With the amount of lazy people who can’t be bothered to lace their shoes — so they buy loafers instead — you would think that a shoe like this would be a great offer. You would also think that this model would have caught-on with the crowd of men (in the States) who make up a majority of ‘business professionals,’ in their 40-60’s, who travel a lot and therefore wish to only buy slip-on models. But as contradicting as it is, the idea of not having any stitching, makes for a less business-professional type of shoe (due to it’s boldness) and when needing to make a 20 million dollar deal, you apparently don’t want to offend anyone by being too stylish!! How crazy is that??

Shoes Above: Alfred Sargent

Owning a pair myself, I quite enjoy them. Honestly, I never would have chose to make that model for myself but when I made it I had no other option. When you are apprenticing for a shoemaker, they will usually give you uppers that are considered scraps, uppers that have a defects on them or were no longer wanted by the customer etc. So for my first pair, this whole-cut loafer upper was what I had to work with. But now that I look back at it, I am glad that I was given that or I may have never owned a pair and after wearing them several times now, I am quite fond of them. I have paired them with my suits but generally like to wear them with my jeans and if you are a person who likes to show off the socks, then they are the best model for that. I wish that they would become more readily available but much like the whole-cut oxford, this model of loafer is generally limited to only being offered by high-end shoe companies, particularly the British ones!

Shoes Above: John Lobb

4 thoughts on “The Whole-Cut Loafer”

  1. I found out from Leffot that Alden could create such for me.

    It is a great shoe, but functionally what I prefer is the whole cut slip on with the coverage and as dress appropriate as a brogue. I am referring to one of my favorite shoes the Edward Green Ringwood. This is the type where elastic is utilized. A true dress shoe you can kick off in the office or on a plane.

  2. Alboo – I understand your sentiment. If purchasing something, you want to make sure that you get your money’s worth and that it’s versatility can be comparable to the like’s of your wardrobe. The Ringwood is indeed a very nice model, and it would be interesting to see Alden actually make something of this nature. If you have it made, please let me know.

    -Justin, “The Shoe Snob”

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