The open nature of the tongue-and-collar construction weaves a sense of customizability. Yet the inception of doll shoes in ancient China has caused people to revel at the thought of wearing footwear that only needs a quick pull of the hand. The wonderment of slipping the foot into the interior chamber of the apparel is quite a lucrative prospect, one that has always been thought as a quicker and hassle-free manner of dressing up.
Perhaps the most stylish shoes of our time, Slip-on shoe (a dress or casual shoes without laces or fasteners) are the ultimate in refined, classic footwear for a range of reasons. Easily able to be dressed up or down and flattering in an assortment of materials, such shoes are the staple that is here to stay. Being laceless, they’re practical, and with plenty of options on offer – from traditional penny versions to luxuriously finished horse-bit loafers –, there’s a style for every foot.
Shoe companies have taken such consumer desire to heart, moving the innovation teams and tasking them with creating footwear for the person who doesn’t want to continually fiddle with shoelaces. Slip-on shoes are as old as time, but the current-age iterations of such products embody some components and accents that either heighten the visual aspect of the façade or improve the foot’s perception of comfort. As there are a lot of variants of laceless shoes, in this guide, you will learn all about shoes without laces, their different styles, and the history of such wonderful shoes.
Types of Laceless Shoes
What shoes you put on can say a lot about you. In that regard, a pair of Wildsmiths says just the right things. For 166 years, craftsmen in Northampton have been hand-making Wildsmith shoes and sending them to London to be sold to style-minded gentlemen. First, it was Piccadilly, then Dukes St. Now, they’re sold not only on Savile Row but also in New York, Beverly Hills, and Hawaii to boot (pun intended). First to the military, then to nobility, city gentlemen and royalty. Some of their more famous customers include quintessentially elegant gentlemen such as John F Kennedy, Cary Grant, and Prince Charles.
History of The Wildsmith
Matthew and Rebecca Wildsmith started their shoemaking and repairing business in 1847 in Piccadilly, London. They quickly gained work from the Household Cavalry and then the Royal Household. In 1926, Matthew and Rebecca’s grandson, Raymond Lewis Wildsmith, was commissioned by King George VI, to make a country house shoe that he could wear mostly indoors with his shooting hose. Raymond came up with a low-heeled design that did not include laces and which could be comfortably slipped on and off. Today, the style is known simply as the Wildsmith Loafer. While they were designed for indoor wear in a casual fashion, they very soon gained in popularity and began to be worn as a casual choice for outdoor wear.
The Chelsea Boots
Chelsea boots are close-fitting, ankle-high boots with an elastic side panel. They often have a loop or tab of fabric on the back of the boot, enabling the boot to be pulled on.
History of The Chelsea Boots
The design is credited to Queen Victoria’s shoemaker J. Sparks-Hall. The shoemaker, J. Sparks-Hall claimed that “She (Queen Victoria) walks in them daily and thus gives the strongest proof of the value she attaches to the invention”. In his advertising of the period, he refers to the boot as J. Sparkes-Hall’s Patent Elastic Ankle Boots. The boot became popular for horse riding as well as walking.
Charles Goodyear’s development of vulcanized rubber enabled the invention of the elastic gusset boot. The advantage of elasticized boots meant they could be easily removed and put on again. By the late 1840s, the fashion began to catch on. This became a prominent style in the West until the onset of World War I.
In the 1950s and ’60s, Chelsea boots became popular in the UK – and their association with the King’s Road (a street in Chelsea and Fulham in inner western London) set of Swinging London – worn by everyone from the Rolling Stones to Jean Shrimpton – is believed to explain how the name “Chelsea” became attached to the boot.
The Penny Loafer
One of the most traditional styles, the penny loafer is a stylish minimal shoe. It is also versatile, making it an excellent purchase. The penny loafer’s name was established in the ’50s when it enjoyed profound popularity with prep students. This design included a distinctive strip of leather (the saddle) of the shoe with a diamond-shaped cutout. “The beauty of the penny loafer is its versatility; the shoe can be dressed up or down easily and works with most outfits,” says Gilad Yogev, former creative director of G.H. Bass & Co. Pennies will work for smarter attire like summer suiting, but they’re best used to add polish to casual or smart-casual looks.
There once was a time when only two types of men wore Espadrilles outside of the house: Hugh Hefner and your grandad. And really, what’s the difference?
But in recent years, the shoes previously reserved for millionaire playboys and 19th-century aristocrats (Prince Albert was said to be a huge fan) have taken a more louche route, being worn by style mavericks like Ryan Gosling and Kanye West. These Shoes without laces are the height of hipster fashion, but they’re also a great choice for a whole range of formal, smart-casual and relaxed occasions. Plus they’re a superbly comfortable and easy-to-wear alternative to lace-ups.
Slip-On Sports Shoes
There are benefits to wearing the best slip-on Sports shoes in the market. But they’re mostly not that different from the traditional options that have been released. Firstly, slip-on options offer quick and effortless wearing experiences since they hardly ever need to involve lace-adjustments. Secondly, the one-piece structure of slip-on shoes gains the distinction of being natural deterrents of environmental debris. Thirdly, this type of footwear usually entails a minimalist design, a configuration that people appreciate for being lightweight, non-irritating to the skin, and more flexible than the obvious counterparts.
But collar-and-tongue Sports shoes also have their benefits. One such remuneration is extra support to the sides, the back and the bridge of the foot (via the padded walls of the inner chamber). Another positive thing about the conventional shoe design is the fact that loosening the laces and widening the opening for entry is much easier than slipping the foot in a hole that only stretches up to a certain point.
Incredibly stylish, the tassel loafer is our favorite of the many styles this shoe comes in. Clean, simple with the playfulness of a single tassel on each shoe, this one is perfect for your wardrobe.
Lukas, an Oscar-winning Hungarian-born actor who starred in films including The Lady Vanishes (1938) and Watch on the Rhine (1943), was well known for his debonair style. As the story goes, at some point during the 1940s Lukas approached several shoemakers, instructing them to design a shoe that riffed on a tasseled Oxford-style he’d picked up in Europe.
Low and behold, in 1950, one of America’s then-leading shoemakers, the Alden Shoe Company, released the first tasseled loafer, with initial batches flying off the shelves by 1952.
While the tassel loafer is often made of leather, suede is another excellent choice. Suede will also allow you greater freedom when it comes to adapting your tassel loafer to different dress codes. Perfect alongside a well-fitted cotton suit or paired with a pair of slim chinos, tassel loafers work well in shades of beige, brown, navy and khaki.
The Horsebit Loafer OR The Gucci Loafer
One of the most distinct versions of the loafer, The Horsebit Loafer is equipped with a brass strap in the shape of a horse’s snaffle. While this style of loafer has enjoyed popularity in the past, be cautious when choosing appropriate versions.
History of The Gucci Loafer
While the loafer grew in stature in America, with the tassel loafer being worn with suits by the 1960s, it was not quite the same story in Europe. In Italy, this style of shoe was more widespread, but all other Europeans reflected the loafer to be a casual shoe that had no place in the city. However, things changed in 1968 when the Italian designer Gucci introduced a loafer with a golden brass strap in the shape of a horse’s snaffle bit across the front–in keeping with the company’s saddle-making heritage. Gucci opened his New York office in 1953 and noticed the popularity of the loafer. He refined the lines, added the bit, and made them in black (loafers were normally in brown in harmony with their status of being a casual shoe).
The result was a shoe with just enough formality to make it acceptable to be worn with suits. These went on to be named the “Gucci loafer” and helped establish the loafer in Europe and across the globe.
Our tip when it comes to this loafer is to go for designs that are simplistic and done in the most classic of colors and materials.
The Belgian Loafer
Belgian Shoes have been a fixture of New York City style for over 60 years. And now they’ve quietly become the go-to footwear for a new generation of decidedly more punk rock creatives. To the uninitiated, the Belgian loafer is a puzzling shoe to see in the wild; they’re house slippers, essentially, precious looking things with unusual colors and materials topped off by a tiny leather bow.
History of Belgian Shoes
Belgian loafer is invented in the 1950s by Henri Bendel, whose family store also brought Chanel, Dior and Balenciaga shoes to the U.S. After the Bendel family sold their store in 1954, Bendel purchased two 300-year-old shoe factories in Belgium in 1956 and started producing men’s and women’s loafers. The shoe became an instant hit, and the bow was easily recognizable. As such, he single-handedly rescued the Belgium shoe industry, which earned him a Knightship of the Order of Leopold I in 1964. Just six years later he was made Knight Commander of the Order of Leopold II.
Bendel died in 1997, and although the shoes are sold around the world, the only retail store that carries Belgian Loafers is located at 110 East 55th Street in NYC.
Slip-Ons And Loafers
Slip-on shoes are fantastic pieces that we feel any man should incorporate in his wardrobe. They are very versatile, practical and can be dressed up and down according to the setting in which you want to wear them.
Loafers have their origins in Scandinavia, where fishermen would wear two pieces of leather fastened with a strip across the bridge when they were working. Moccasins, on the other hand, were shoes worn by Native American hunters and tradesmen.
Many men and women confuse slip-on shoes with loafers, if you want to know the Difference between loafers and slip- Ons, keep in mind two concepts:
- Loafers are more formal shoes. They are made of leather and they are harder. They have smaller heels. These will be available to you at different styles like tassels and penny bands.
- But, on the other hand, slip-Ons shoes is even softer and doesn’t contain heels most of the time. You can find a variety of styles and design of slip-Ons shoes. Loafers are also one of the types of slip-Ons shoes. These shoes don’t have laces and monk straps. These shoes can be used on formal occasions if they will have fine finishing.
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