A Summer slip on style in most shoemakers collections is the loafer, a menswear classic whose origins is credited to London shoemaker Wildsmith who was tasked to design a bespoke casual shoe for King George VI in 1926 that allowed him to ‘loaf’ around in his country houses. In Norway, Nils Gregoriusson Tveranger who studied shoemaking in the United States was inspired by Native American footwear and developed a moccasin-like shoe that was traditionally worn by the hunters, fisherman and farmers in his hometown of Aurland. Having gained popularity throughout Europe in the 1930s, the ‘Aurland Moccasin’ was adapted by Maine-based shoemaker GH Bass who launched its version of Tveranger’s shoe, named the Weejun in homage to its Norwegian origins, in 1934.
The modern loafer has seen ongoing development in design, construction and materials used but the traditional styling of the classic handmade loafer will always remain a wardrobe staple. When considering to buy loafers online there’s several styles that will never fail which includes the Penny Loafers and Tassel loafers for men.
Within the Barker range of handmade shoes there is several slip on designs that feature mainly in the Handcrafted and Professional collections. One of Barker’s oldest shoe styles is a traditional Penny Loafer designed by Arthur Barker in the early 1960's having taken inspiration from the popular American Ivy League classic. Caruso is made on the number 10 last from polished leather on a full leather sole. Available in Black and Burgundy Hi-Shine, the Caruso features include a hand-stitched apron and saddle. Another polished slip on is Clive, a classic wing cap Loafer crafted on the 69 last with elegant details including a top line lace and tassel design.
Within Barker’s most prestigious Handcrafted collection you will discover Jevington, a classic Penny Loafer made on the 478 last from a selection of calf, grained and suede leathers. Features include a fine hand-sewn apron, saddle detail and choice of full leather or British Dainite rubber sole. A Tassel loafer also featured in the Handcrafted collection is Newborough, made from grained leather on a full leather sole it is available in several colourways including the Antique Rosewwod, Dark Brown and Black.
From the Professional collection there is a traditional Penny Loafer called Portsmouth that is popular in Japan for its classic styling. Made on the 487 last from premium calf leather, Portsmouth is available in Black and Dark Walnut calf. Antother highly recommended professional slip on style is Studland, an elegant Tassel loafer also made on the 487 last from calf and suede leather with a rubber sole.
One of Barker’s latest shoemaking developments is BarkerTech which aims to combine classic shoe styling with the comfort of a sneaker. Within the BarkerTech collection is Gates, a new addition to the Barker Spring / Summer 2020 collection it’s a FX fitting Penny Loafer made on the 493 last from calf and suede leather.
Explore all the Barker handmade loafers for men and women on the Barker website.