In today’s fashion-forward world, even the smallest of details contribute to the bigger style statement. When it comes to dapper outfits, the choice of shoes can make all the difference. For fashion enthusiasts who have a soft spot for shoes, there is plenty to choose from. However, this is where the true challenge presents itself. Among all the inviting choices, deciding on which pair best fits the occasion and goes well with the outfit is no easy feat.
Picking the ideal pair of shoes is just as important as selecting the right clothes if you aspire to assemble the perfect look. You have to make sure that your shoes complement your clothing, and are in line with the theme or setting of the occasion. In this blog, we will dive into the dilemma of Loafers vs. Oxfords to help you make the right choice.
The tug of war between oxford shoes vs. loafers is an age-old brain racker. The good news is that you no longer have to be on the tiring end of it. Let’s explore the nuances of both these types to better understand the main differences between loafers and oxfords.
1. The Occasion (Formal/Casual):
The first question to address is - when to wear loafers vs. oxford? Occasions like semi-formal business meetings, evening soirees, or grand wedding celebrations call for subtle styles. For casual or semi-formal situations like these, it is loafers for the win. As polished as they look, loafers do have an informal edge as compared to oxfords.
They are a perfect combination of comfort and style. Regardless of their lace-less make, most loafers can go well with a suit. They fall on the extremely casual end of the dress shoe range. As such, you can rule them out for semi-formal occasions as well.
Nothing spells dress shoes better than a pair of oxfords. For strictly formal occasions, oxfords are your best bet. On days when you have to go an extra mile to crack that deal, striding in wearing a fine pair of oxfords can be a great start.
Be it a tuxedo or a simple suit, oxfords are perfect for dressy codes. Again, Suede oxfords are considered a little less formal. However, the darker shades of suede oxford do have the potential to fit into a formal look.
Should you pair loafers or oxfords with a suit? When styled with caution, both types of shoes can serve the purpose. Although oxfords are a safer choice, loafers can do the job as well. After all, they do fall into the business casual or smart casual in a more collective sense.
2. The Lacing:
Loafers are essentially slip-on shoes, meaning to say that they are lace-less. In place of laces, loafers feature different patterns depending on the type. The Penny Loafer has a strip across the vamp (where the shoe ends at the top or front of your foot), and a slit in the center. The Tassel Loafer features decorative tassels. The Belgian Loafer has a small bow on top.
The most distinctive feature of oxford shoes is the closed lacing style. Why the term ‘closed lacing’? With this system, you can hardly see any part of the tongue, as it is tucked away comfortably under the facing and the eyelets. Contrary to open-laced shoes, oxfords have no opening at the facing of the shoe, making them a sleeker choice in comparison.
3. The Toe:
Loafers have a distinct piece of material stitched to the front portion of the shoe, where the toe resides. This makes for an additional pattern on the shoe that appears like a seam or stitch, starting from one end of the tongue to the other. Loafers can be categorized based on this additional piece - they can be called either Apron Toe or the Moccasin toe (Moc toe).
Oxford shoes do not feature Apron toes or Moc toes. They are categorized based on whether they have a toe cap or not. Plain-toe oxfords (shoes with no toe caps) are more popular than cap-toe oxfords (shoes that have a distinct piece of material stitched on the toe area). This is because the former has a more urbane appearance.
If you spend a lot of time in corporate settings, but also like indulging in casual outings ever so often, then you do not have to pick sides when it comes to oxford shoes vs. loafers. Instead, get the best of both worlds with Ethik’s non-leather shoe collections featuring premium loafers and oxfords. Each pair is sturdy yet stylish, designed with the sole purpose of helping you put your best foot forward.
At Ethik, we leverage shoe-making methods that have been passed down through generations of artisan shoemakers. With a focus on comfort and intent to guarantee the perfect fit and highest quality, we bring you non-leather shoes in sleek styles and impressive patterns. If you are searching for the best men’s oxfords or loafers for men, we have the finer of the finest in store for you.
Here’s a quick glimpse into our top 5 loafers and 5 oxfords, in terms of popularity:
Top 5 Oxfords
Sweet Rascal: A stylish & suave formal pair that will bring you comfort in its truest sense.
The Duke: The most stylish lace-up wholecut oxfords you'll find out there.
Out of the Blu: With a beige lining and a navy blue Suede finish, this one is a must-have.
Chauvinist: A pair that is a fantastic blend of comfort, style, and class (with matt variation).
Aristo: Steal the spotlight at parties with these wholecut oxford pair with brogue punch.
Top 5 Loafers
Drumroll: This Belgian loafer slip-on in black and blue is all you need to dazzle them.
Dapper Daze: This classic yet sleek beauty in brown is the epitome of subtle suave.
Dominate: Step up and take the lead with this penny loafer with a stylised strap.
The Collective: These penny loafers with split toes are designed to be the go-to semi-formals.
Elan: Thoughtfully designed, comfortable, and great-looking - Elan is always a great choice.
To know more about the make and features of these premium shoes, feel free to browse through our website - an indulging shoe-shopping experience awaits you!