Shoes can be one of the trickiest areas for clothing in the summer. 

Unless we require a jacket, it’s pretty simple to wear a well-cut polo shirt on top and drapey linen trousers on the bottom, and stay cool. 

But shoes are always required, and unless we resort to flip-flops (which, if elegance is the aim, we won’t) those shoes must cover all of the foot. 

So as our feet get hotter, we have to play with different materials, soles and structures. Below are the five I wear regularly in the Summer, and have coped with pretty much all levels of formality. 

 

 

Dress loafer

This is not a specialty summer shoe, but when you have to be your smartest (eg with a suit), a loafer will generally be cooler than an oxford or derby, because more of your foot is exposed. 

I wear loafers such as the Belgravia from Edward Green (above) or Chadwick from Gaziano & Girling. Unlined options can also help in the heat, such as the EG Ventnor (unlined version of the Piccadilly), but I find that’s mostly in comfort when your feet are irritable, rather than actually being cooler. 

Given the formality, I would still wear long socks with a suit or jacket/trouser and these shoes, but perhaps in linen rather than cotton. 

 

 

Belgian shoe

The Belgian is more of a Summer-specific shoe. With its lightweight construction and usually soft, unlined upper, it is rather cooler than a standard loafer. However, those that require support in their shoes for example, through the arches, might find them uncomfortable. 

The Belgian that’s been particularly popular in recent years is the Sagan from Baudoin & Lange, primarily because it improved substantially the materials used in such shoes. With smarter clothes in very hot places/seasons, dark-brown Sagans (above) are my shoe of choice. Always worn with a hidden sock.

The biggest issue with Belgians is the style. They’re not really smart enough for a suit or most business environments, leaving you to fall back on the normal loafer, above. 

And they’re a little dainty for some, rather like a slipper. Although for others, that’s part of the appeal: the same guys that would consider a slipper from Stubbs & Wootton to be equally fair game for summer shoes. 

 

 

The Alden LHS

The other loafer I wear consistently throughout the Summer is the Leisure Handsewn (LHS) from Alden (above). It might be the most comfortable shoe I have. The LHS’s unlined upper, flex welt and sole make it really soft, and I can’t think of any similarly smart shoe that I’d be happy wearing with no socks at all, at least for a few hours. 

The only downside is that its wide last and moccasin toe make it rather casual, and as such I don’t wear it with tailoring. It is, however, equally at home with denim, workwear chinos and shorts. 

It is similar in style and comfort to a dressy boat shoe or moccasin, with its hand stitching and lack of lining. And I’d put those shoes in this same category therefore – my favourites are from Ralph Lauren (shown at the bottom of this post). There are better makers (such as Paraboot) but not in this upper and sole colour. 

 

 

Espadrille

As we descend this list in terms of formality, it’s noticeable how many of the items are more versatile than you might think. All of them could be worn with that polo shirt and linen trousers, for instance. And the bottom three would all be fine with shorts. 

I’ve written in more detail here about my love of espadrilles – and there’s lots of information in the comments about their history and suggested makers too (thanks for that, lovely readers). 

For the moment, suffice it to say they’re pretty much as cool as a sandal, but don’t reveal your toes. They’re not just an improvement in terms of elegance – they are elegance itself. As in easy, simple and stylish. And yet they could also be worn with relaxed tailoring. 

 

 

Tennis shoe

I call this a tennis shoe, but the originals were largely made for other sports, such as basketball. And no one plays tennis in them anymore. 

So by tennis shoe, I mean a canvas shoe with a light rubber sole – plus the idea of tennis suggests that these should be white, or off-white, and refined in their design. A simple, clean lace-up. 

I generally prefer a derby model (such as Converse) though some like an oxford (think classic Vans). Personally I think the latter is more likely to seem feminine or childlike. Like the plimsolls I wore at school.

The nice thing about a tennis shoe like this is that it can be worn with the aforementioned linen trousers, with shorts and with jeans. It’s an all-round casual shoe in the Summer. It’s also the only one here I’d wear with workwear like a leather jacket.  

See this post, and particularly its comments, for much discussion of brands. 

Readers will likely recognise all of the clothes shown in the photographs here. But if not, please do ask in the comments below. 

 

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Carl

Great article.

I bought a pair of Sagans in ”your” color to wear this spring and summer. But I realized thar my invisible socks (from Falke) is not completely invisible. Can you recommend a brand of invisible socks that really are invisible?

Jimmy

Since recently they sell their own ‘invisible’ socks online, specially cut for the Sagan to not show

Percy Popinjay

Hi Simon,
Can you tell us the trousers you’re wearing in each photo? Grazie

Karol

Would you say that whether the shoes are lined or not makes no difference in terms of staying cool? I was thinking about getting a pair of unlined chukkas and loafers for summer, but you just made me reconsider. Is there a point?

Henry

Simon, what’s your opinion on EG summer loafers like Portland or Polperro? Regards, Henry

Jan

Interesting. Aren’t the B&Ls just as floppy as the Polperro from EG?

Jan

Thank you, you are right. I have worn the Polperro loafers for a couple of days now and, although I love the look and the material, they are seriously floppy. Too floppy. The heel is everywhere but around the heel and the inner soles are folded and crumpled all over the place as well. Not very practical at all!

j

Thank you for this interesting article!
Do you or a reader have any suggestions on summer shoes that are not loafer/slipper like but neither sneaker or tennis shoes? Something with laces?

Cheers

J

Anonymous

Unlined derby?

Kenny

Boat shoes and camp mocs from a quality American manufacturer such as Quoddy or Rancourt. Avoid the rubbish that you find on the High Street and department stores.

Will

Absolutely second Quoddy – they last 100 years and are supremely comfortable once they shape to your foot. Usually on Matches and Mr Porter.

j

Thanks for the hints. I find it difficult to find a nice unlined derby that has the air of a summer shoe. Boat shoes and camp mocs got to much of a preppy look for me..

Felix

To me Belgian shoes are a little problematic as at least in continental Europe, they (or rather their poorly made derivatives) seem to have become a favorite of a certain type of muscular men in overly tight shirts and pants…

All white sneakers start to look a little dated to me after all the hype over the last years, and I never was a fan of the Converse’s somewhat phallic shape – also, don’t you find they have a tendency to smell? Recently I have come back to classic sailing sneakers like the Sperry Cloud CVOs (https://www.sperry.com/en/unisex-cloud-cvo-deck-sneaker/32431U.html) or these (https://www.peggsandson.com/deck-shoes-canvas-white). I think the minimal touch of colour actually looks quite elegant. Also, while I see the resemblance to something like Keds plimsolls, I never feel they look childlike or feminine – maybe this is just a personal pet peeve of yours? I also wear light grey suede Common projects a lot.

I agree on the Belgravias though, they are wonderful. Instead of the boat shoes or Aldens, I wear a pair of beat-up unlined Cordovan loafers from C&J that by now are more comfortable than any slippers. I find the “preppy” connotations not as obvious/obnoxious as with the former.

Anonymous

I find Carmina’s unlined loafers on the Xim last great with smart shorts.

@Simon, what are your views on driver loafers? Both Carmina and C&J offer nice examples.

Anonymous

Yes, they are very nice. But your points on functionality and style were in the back of my mind.

Matty

I couldn’t agree more. They remind me of Marks and Spencers moccasin slippers my grandad used to wear. I don’t really see the point in them. They can’t be worn outside and spending 500 quid on some shoes just to drive in seems unnecessarily extravagant.

I saw someone earring them here in Hong Kong the other day and they looked awful. Worn down and all kind of floppy.

Anonymous

I wear drivers a lot, but haven’t had the problem you describe of the rubber grips wearing down, even after years.

Mine come from a company called Aurelien; they are made in the same factory as the “expensive” brand mentioned but are les than half the price as they sell direct via the web and have no marketing costs to carry.

JB

I’ve seen a bunch of instagram ads for Aurelien, with blatant knock offs of both Loro Piana and Tod’s shoes. Highly doubt they’re made in the same factory, even though the prices are more tolerable.

Matrix.RX1

actually I know an Asian bespoke shoemaker that, when he set up his RTW brand for more casual shoes, he was quite astonished at how easy the Tod’s supplier factory would replicate nearly the same identical design for him…

Corks and Clobber

Hi Simon, you are right about the Regular driving shoe. To be worn driving rather than ambling around. Although C And J have one with proper sole and heal which is incredibly comfortable. It is called the Genoa

Alexander

Dear Simon! Have you ever seen or tried the Armoury loafers (“Hudson”-model designed by Yohei Fukuda). They have a very short vamp, which I find enhances the coolness-benefits of the loafer design even more.

Andrey

Lovely shoes. My preference for causal shoes are boating shoes (such as Sebago Docksides) – they could substitute Alden loafers and Espadrilles. Tennis shoes are rather warm for Summer due to the rubber sole, though.

Alex

Thanks Simon.

Feels a teeny bit narrow to me; maybe its 4 out of 6 being brown?

Could I ask you to add moccasins to your list? Todd’s etc make wide ranges of styles and materials, and I think they are lightweight and cool wearing for the summer.

Alex

Thanks. Maybe it is your British view of things? This moccasins style is very widely seen in Europe and of particular in warmer climate where they bridge well smart and casual.

Alex

I see. What is elegant about espadrilles or a tennis shoe? I like them and have many pairs.

Alex

Thanks. I have never given thought to espadrilles or tennis shoes being elegant before! I am learning.

Alex

Sorry, I was a little ironic in my comment!

Matty

Doesn’t moccasin refer to construction rather than style. I’ve got a pair of Grenson penny loafers (not Goodyear welted) that were advertised as moccasins.

Matty

I see, thanks

shem

Hi simon, I’ve been meaning to try alden shoes for quite a while and have been debating either getting a pair of cordovan loafers or some dark brown suede LHS. As i live in a hot/humid country like Singapore which also has sudden heavy rain, Im wondering if you have noticed cordovan wearing warm in hot weather and if cordovan deals/copes well with rain? I have heard of cordovan being less resistant to rain than suede although it has often been marketed as being tough as nails

shem

Thanks simon. What are your thoughts about cordovan LHS? Would the construction of the shoe lend it self better to calf/suede or is this somewhat the best of both worlds (comfort, durability)

Alec

Hi Shem. I’ve worn cordovan boots in Singapore for a number of years. The key thing I noticed is that cordovan doesn’t breath as well as normal leather, so they can feel a little more sweaty and stuffy. It also has less give. Make sure they fit well cause they won’t stretch much with wear. This can be exacerbated if you are walking outdoors for a long period since the heat and humidity make your feet expand a little. The rain is less an issue since we typically know when it’s going to rain in Singapore so it’s easy to avoid getting caught in puddles and downpours. It’s a beautiful leather. Not ideally suited to Singapore but wearable none the less.

Shem

Hey Alec many thanks man. Where I work though, I have to walk for a long stretch to the train station where rain could get on my shoes so I notice a rugged shoe like paraboots work wonders in that regard. I guess I’ll prioritise my calf/suede shoes over cordovan than thanks

Aaron

“perhaps in linen rather than cotton”

Where would you recommend buying linen socks from? I don’t believe I’ve seen any.

Eric

I just got an email in my inbox from Kent Wang advertising linen socks. Can not vouch for them personally, but plan on ordering a pair to try them.

Moe

Hi Simon, do you recommend the alden LHS in burgundy cordovan? have been considering it but the high price in GBP has kept me on the fence

Shay

Hi simon i think worth mentioning the EG Polperro and Portland as a summer casual option. they are very comfortable and i find they work well with linen trousers and also shorts. This season they also went on sale so great value.

Barrett Miningham

Would you please identify your boat shoes in the final image?

Anonymous

Simon,

Would you say your preference for the Alden LHS over something like the EG Ventnor is due to style or function? In other words, you say that the LHS is the most comfortable, but what about the Ventnor is less comfortable?

John

Hi Simon,
I’m surprised that you didn’t mention two pairs of loafers you own in this post: the bespoke G&G Crompton and the now – surprisingly enough – discontinued EG pimliko mink suede loafers. Thus my question: when do you wear them?
I share your view on mocassins, whether the Alden LHS or the likes of JM Weston’s as being more suitable to, and even look better with, denim. And yet from time to time I see men wearing them with suits.
John

RTK

What about a pair of nice leather sandals ? I often wear a pair of closed heel and toe fisherman style leather sandals on hot summer days. They are smart enough to pair well with tailored slacks with the added benefit of being much cooler than most other footwear. The Italians have been wearing sandals with tailored clothes including summer suits for decades.

Burt

The Sahara Desert boot in navy suede (Church’s, unlined) has proven to go well during a stroll in town, e.g. paired with a blazer. Also, C&J made some great saddle shoes in brown suede with a red brick sole, not unlined though, but still to be worn in summer. Finally, I can see Edward Green has had some sharp unlined suede shoes in their range for a few years now, what’s your take on them?

Jason

My summer standard is a Tods loafer in brow suede.
I buy a pair every year in the sale (£198) and designate the previous years for beach and garden wear.
I wear them completely sockless. They are incredibly comfortable. Extremely elegant and you can do serious walking in them.
On a £ per wear value, they are off the Richter scale and look good with everything – save formal tailoring.
No self respecting flaneur should be without !

Jan

Funny how these personal preferences can be so different. I also love the classic Tod’s driving shoes, usually in navy or beige though – already have plenty of the more structured and soled stuff in brown. On the other hand, I really don’t like the word flaneur which you seem to use to refer to yourself in every single comment on this website 🙂 My Tod’s last surprisingly long by the way, and I do a lot of walking (flaneuring?) – couple of years easy if you have enough other things to rotate

Jeldrik

Hey,

quick question about socks:

I prefer to wear my shoes without socks in summer. Does this have an impact on the longevity of the shoes?

Best wishes and (as always) thank you for your post.

Kim

I just read your post of 3 July. For anyone who hasn’t watched the Diego’s video on the making of espadrilles, which is linked in that post, it’s fascinating and well worth watching!

Anon

Nobody wishes to see my (or your) milky white ankles. Wear some cotton lisle socks and stop those sweaty feet!

Anonymous

When was the last time you looked at a stranger’s ankles for any appreciable length of time?

Thomas

I have been wearing the Car Shoe brand driving shoes with the many rubber studs on the sole in my house during lock down. Never wear them outside or driving but they feel like an elegant upgrade from a slipper which I typically associate with bedtime.

James

You differentiate between the Alden and other ‘dress’ loafers, specifically the GG Chadwick and EG Ventnor — both of which look, to my eyes, extremely similar to the LHS. Is it solely a subtle difference in width that makes it more casual, or were you also taking into account lined vs unlined, calf vs suede in giving it a separate category? Perhaps there’s more to it that I’m missing.

Ben R

If we look at this list as a scale of formality of summer shoes, I had a question of where to slot two specific styles (also sometimes associated with specific brands). And a third style you’ve mentioned in the Complete Capsule Wardrobe article.

-Weejun loafers (Bass) – in cordovan in particular (although the material has been discussed thoroughly above)
-Bit loafers (Gucci) – black calf in particular
-Brown suede loafer from the Capsule Wardrobe

Would these styles be more suited for the Dress Loafer or LHS category?

It seemed the LHS was maybe too casual of a category, and about overall softness of the construction. But I also feel the above styles may be a bit less formal than the dress loafer you’ve highlighted. But regionally/geographically they may be acceptable. For instance – in my region, no-show socks (and even no socks) are typical with both of the weejun and bit loafers in the summer (albeit mostly at the country club) with linen, seersucker trousers, chinos or shorts. Fortunately, they are usually worn with socks in the office.

Ben R

Thanks for the insightful and detailed response.

Ben R

I’m looking into getting a new pair of boat shoes, Quoddy Canoe shoes. I was wondering how much the color plays into your list here. I have a mid to Dk brown suede tassel loafer from Stefano Bemer, and am looking to add a pair of Sagans in the Bark Grey. I’ve always had dark brown boat shoes. And I find the snuff suede shoes are too close in color to wear with the W Bill tobacco linen trousers. So is there a need or argument I should consider for a lighter brown/tan boat shoe?

Thanks.

Ben R

Thanks for the feedback.

Agreed on the boat shoes with the linen trousers. I was using a snuff suede RTW loafer… similar to the LHS, but a much cheaper brand and construction. They don’t work out that well for me and I ended up donating them.

Anonymous

My main summer casual shoe are some cheap handmade Mexican huaraches – lightweight, cool and look good with casual clothes

Ben

Curious, Simon, as to whether you object to exposed toes, or simply haven’t found any sandals whose design/make you like (excluding espadrilles)?

R Abbott

Gotta agree here. As adorable as baby toes might be, most adults have pretty ugly feet. Adult toes are generally dirty and aesthetically speaking, the ugliest part of the body. Women try to disguise this by painting their toe nails, but men don’t have that option… that said, even in the case of women, I tend to prefer closed toes shoes.

R Abbott

*may be, not might be

That said, if you have any closed sandal recommendations, I’d be interested.

Bolaji

Ambushed again, Simon!

Joe

Simon, would LHS’s in dark brown make them any more suited to tailoring, rather than the snuff you have? Or does the shape and style, etc, make it a no-no in your view? I’m thinking relaxed separates rather than a suit.

Anonymous

Simon

Would you ever wear Goodyear welted shoes with shorts? My thinking Is that they may look “heavy” with shorts.

Max

I prefer Blake Rapid with shorts – still has some heft with a visible welt, but not as heavy as GYW. Have a pair of moc toe calf skin from Hender Scheme that are my go-to.

Christos

What are your thoughts about tassels on summer shoes Simon? Do they make summer shoes smarter? On the Sagans for example, you have preferred the classic without tassels, do you think they are more versatile without?

ANM

Simon,

If I am not mistaken your top photo shows the tiniest bit of ‘socklet’ …..if true, it supports my belief that the sock-less dress look is hard to successfully pull off..

Matt H

I’d like to give another mention to the driving moccasin. I’ve never owned a pair with the small nubs, and I imagine those don’t last very long, but all brands make them with greater sole coverage (either complete coverage or partial with exposed leather in between) and they can last a long time.
I have a pair by Arfango which I’ve had since 2011. There have been years that I haven’t worn them, but they’ve done at least four summers of frequent use, including very long walks, and they aren’t done yet.

I see them as a more elegant, more European alternative to the boat shoe. I’m actually surprised that you wouldn’t be more enthusiastic about them, Simon. They’re very versatile and would fit nicely into your wardrobe.

Quentin

What I like most for 25+ degrees are mesh spectators. They wear like proper shoes but are almost as airy as sandals. Don’t know why they don’t make them these days anymore (Allen Edmonds used to, the Strawfut) but particularly on US-ebay one can still find mint pairs of these shoes. Many from the 30ies/40ies with excellent quality compared to those of AE and arguably better looking, too. I have two such pairs and love to wear them. No loafers/espadrilles come close to mesh-spectators as regards airyness and whilst I wouldn’t wear them with jeans, linen trouses finish off with them quite nicely, particularly the often found maroon leather, natural mesh colour combo.

Bolaji

The LHS is so handsome paired with your olive Incotex chinos (well-made Italian label), but why, oh, why, are Aldens so ‘price-gougingly’ so expensive? An earlier comment referred to ‘tight shirts and trousers’ as a turn-off with Sagans, have you considered a piece on what silhouettes bring to menswear and how we look in clothes? How close-fitting or loose should our clothes be? And can we (sandal wearers) finally coax you into a ‘closed-toe’ sandal, perhaps ones made by Alden! Paraboot make them.

Lawrence

Hi Simon, really enjoyed your post as always. Wanted to ask – I’m hoping to purchase a pair of suede penny loafers that can be worn as a casual shoe with jeans, shorts and chinos, and not with any tailoring. I think the casual look, colour and texture of the Alden LHS snuff suede is perfect, however I’ve got incredibly tapered heels and when I last tried them on, my heels didn’t feel secure. Can’t imagine what they’d be like after stretched and broken in.
Can you suggest any GYW-ed alternatives to the LHS snuff suede that might clip the heel and hug them better? I was thinking of the Piccadilly/Ventnor in a snuff/light brown shade suede and rubber sole as the heel seems to clip tighter, but the last/silhouette is quite sleek and formal – could they still work?

Johan

Good sandals don’t expose the toes. And do wear socks with them.

I would prefer this
https://www.church-footwear.com/eu/en/men/style/sandals/products.nevada_leather_sandal.EX0002_9XM_F0AAR_F_000000.html

Matty

Grenson offer a very similar product for around 1/3 of the price.

https://www.grenson.com/uk/quincy-mens-sandals-in-tan-handpainted-calf-leather.html

Rainald

Great and informative post, thank you.

To all the B&L Sagan wearers: do you add the “rubber shoe grip” they offer? Would they be impossible to resole without it?

Thank you and kind regards.

JB

Having bought a second pair of Sagans in a bigger size hoping to mitigate sizing issues, I’ve given up on them completely. I never wear them and I strongly disagree with their statement it fits everyone. While it technically fits a wide foot, it just doesn’t look good, crinkles up and creases heavily, at least on me. I love the way they look on others, but until they come out with a better sizing program with more than one width, I’m out.
I’m curious Simon, everyone speaks of their comfort, you as well. And while I agree their uppers are very soft, their sole is no softer than any other thin soled “proper” dress shoes, so not very comfy to walk around in for longer periods of time. Do you not agree with this or is the comfort you speak of mainly the softness of the uppers?

My own go to shoes for summer are the summer walks by Loro Piana. People tend to love or hate the look of them, but they seem to have a boost in popularity recently. It’s the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn, bar none. And obviously, I like the look.

Mark in Philadelphia

Another great article. Summer shoe capsule. I was pleased that I have something in each of these categories. I would love to see something similar for fall/winter shoes. I struggle with casual shoe options for weekend wear with denim or chinos in a colder environment, particularly in the middle ground between smarter and work/snow boots or trainers. Currently considering either the Drake’s Moc Toe Derby or the EG Unlined Dover. I realize there’s a big difference in level of refinement between the two.

WK

Hi Simon, would you go with no show socks in your Belgravia or Chadwick if they are in suede with jeans and chinos or strictly with socks in summer?

I tend to think the leather of a dress loafer can blend it ok with the causal look of no socks in the summer. It will work less well if the shoe in polished calf. What do you think? Thanks!

Alex

Hi Simon,

The answer to my question seems implied in your answer here, but I just wanted to clarify given the discussion of Chadwick vs LHS Alden:

Do you think the Chadwick is a show that would work equally well with more casual tailoring (paired separates, linen, flannel, etc.), jeans, and chinos?

It seems to me that the answer is “yes”, but I might be missing something and wanted to get your thoughts.

As a side note, the RTW Corniche from G&G seems about equally as versatile to me (though perhaps closer to the dressy side).

Alex

Thanks for the reply. So would a Chadwick be a pretty consistent “no” with jeans or chinos (I tend to wear fairly dark 501 jeans, and fairly tapered chinos)?

I suppose I have just never been a fan of that LHS style. I know you’ve also suggested the Piccadilly in suede to someone else here, but my issue with a lot of loafers is that I feel they look a bit squat and stubby. That’s why I was looking at the Chadwick, Corniche, and Antibes. Perhaps I’m asking too much of a loafer for it to be a bit sleeker and still work with jeans and chinos. The other loafers I was looking at were:

the Carmina Unlined Loafers (https://www.carminashoemaker.com/unlined-full-strap-penny-loafers-polo-suede-80708);
and C&J Butterfly Loafer (https://www.crockettandjones.com/collections/mens/loafers/selby-darkbrown-suede/)

Given that background, do you have any suggestions (if not, that’s fine – I’m sorry for the long comment)?

Alex

Thanks Simon, I’ll keep those in mind. I suppose taking a look at the Piccadilly again, it doesn’t seem as short and stubby as it did on first glance (perhaps the 184 Last just looks that way to my eye on the Belgravia because the vamp looks a bit shorter).

Given that you convinced me to slow down on shoe purchases and invest in fewer shoes, but at the highest quality (those G&G have really sold me), perhaps I will add the Piccadilly to the list.

Otherwise, just to fill the “need”, or perceived need, I’ll go with the Carmina or Alden. I’ll take your lack of comment on the C&J = “it could work, but I wouldn’t do it”. As always, appreciate your willingness to provide guidance

Simon K

Simon, or somebody, can share experience of Aldens unlined Chukka for summer? Also about the arch support for a long day on the town.

Simon K

I see. So that left them outside your list.
I like the profile very much. Lots of attitude. So i am curious about the comfort. And could be a great option for that relaxed dressing down thing.

WK

Hi Simon, do you wear same size and width on G&G Chadwick as your EG Belgravia? I am thinking of ordering Chadwick but the width is somewhere between E/F and I am not sure if it will be too loose for me as I normally wear E width in EG loafers. Could you share your experience between the fit ready to wear G&G and EG? Many thanks in advance.

Nathan

Hi Simon, great post. May I please ask how you think you sized the Adret sandals incorrectly and how they’re a tricky fit? For eg, what’s your “usual” size (8 or 8.5UK with a narrow heel iirc) and what Adret size did you take? Where are they tight/not fitting well? I am a fellow “skinny heel” but with splayed toes – will this be a problem? My heel completely slips out of the suede B&L Sagan if I’m not careful, for comparison. Best, and many thanks

NATHAN

Many thanks, Simon, that’s extremely helpful. Best, Nathan

DB

Simon — I’ve recently purchased a pair of the Alden LHS from the Armoury, largely on the strength of your prior recommendations. Thus far, I’ve worn them only with jeans and washed chinos, in line with your comment above. I wonder, though, whether there are any exceptions to the generalization about them not pairing with tailoring. In particular, do you think they could ever go with (i) flannel trousers or (ii) chino-like cotton trousers, like your Stoffa ones — in both cases, with knitwear rather than a jacket?

DB

Thanks, Simon, for the helpful input.

That’s more or less what I had in mind to try — flannels with an oxford shirt and shetland, or a heavier roll neck. Perhaps also linen trousers and a cotton sweater, for the warmer months. I have a pair of olive linen trousers that don’t strike me as much smarter than your Incotex as pictured above (i.e., worn with a crease).

Rasmus

Do you believe that the Belgians has come to stay or is it just a passing fad?

Rasmus

Yes, and thus the question is whether it is a little too late to invest in a pair or whether they have become a “classic”…

Michael

Dear Simon,
where would the La Portegna sit on this list? Didn’t you do a collaboration with them as well?
Best Wishes,
Michael

Anonymous

sorry, I meant the slippers, but they are probably only for indoors and thus not comparable to the Sagans?

Anonymous

Good morning Simon,I feel that apart from Sagans and Gingkos there are very few summer shoes that I would wear with summer casual tailoring like a cream jacket,open necked shirt and light grey trousers. However,I think that Edward Green Albert slippers in brown kid suede would work as a rakish alternative to Sagans.Any thoughts?

Shem

Hi simon, I recall reading somewhere that you have quite narrow heels. I too have very narrow heels and all loafers I own (carmina, C&J, b&L) in my size have heel slippage without socks. What’s your experience with the alden LHS and did you have to take a different size etc.?

Benjamin

A solution I have found to this problem is self adhesive tongue pads. You stick them to the underside of the tongue area (is it still a tongue on a loafer?) and it pushes your foot back maybe 5 or 6mm in the shoe, so your heel makes better contact.

My right foot is significantly smaller than my left, and bespoke is far beyond my price range, so one of these in the right hand shoe of any pair of slip-ons makes a big difference in comfort.

Anonymous

Hi Simon. I have pretty long feet compared to my height of 1,70 m. Does a shoe with a wide round last like the Alden LHS make my feet look smaller? And does brouging and a higher instep shorten my feet as well?

Ayush

Hi Simon!
I am looking forward to buy a pair of dark brown suede loafers for me this summer after reading your article and so wanted to say ‘thanks’ to you for your advice.
I wanted to know that whether i can wear suede loafers with socks as i am not a fan of sockless or hidden socks look and i have always seen you wear suede loafers without socks?
Thanks

Kushal

Hi Simon!
Do you find dark brown derby or Oxford suede shoes to be as versatile as a brown suede loafer?
Can i wear it with denim?

JJ

Simon, would be very grateful if you could share your thoughts on EG’s Harrow unlined suede loafer (https://gentlemensfootwear.com/collections/edward-green/products/edward-green-harrow-unlined-loafer-in-snuff-suede) as a better quality substitute for the Alden LHS. Would you wear the Harrow similarly to the LHS? For context and a side by side photo comparison, Derek Guy’s article is nice I think: https://dieworkwear.com/2016/08/30/clothes-that-make-you-feel-at-home/

Thanks in advance!

T.M

I’m curious about the same thing. I’ve been searching for the right pair of unlined loafers for some time. Perhaps not with extremely casual clothes (faded jeans, workwear chinos), do you think the Harrow would be an appropriate shoe choice for the “Casual chic” style? Perhaps something like cotton chinos from stoffa and a knit t-shirt?

I like the Alden LHS, but to me, the shape looks similar to that of a boat shoe and a little too Ivy league/Americana.

Anonymous

Interesting, thanks for offering an alternative. I’m not quite sure I see the parallel between the Belgravia and Piccadilly that you’re referring to (likely because I’m not as analytical when it comes to loafers as you are). Could you elaborate on the differences in shape you see between the unlined Picadilly and the Harrow?

Thanks!

Jonas

The 184 last (Piccadilly & Belgravia) is slimmer and slightly elongated in appearance, making it more formal than the 61 last (Harrow) which is more rounded and slightly shorter in comparison. The split toe seam of the Harrow would also make it slightly more casual I guess.

Alexander

Did you have any problems choosing the right US size on the Alden LHS? Should I go with the suggestion from the Alden homepage. In my case: size 8US for a 7,5UK?
https://www.aldenshop.com/DrawOnePage.aspx?PageID=14
Thank you!

Alexander

Thank you! I have a rather high arch and a wide forefoot. I ordered one pair with the same size-conversion like you. 8.5 US for my regular 7.5 UK. I am very curious how they will arrive. There is so much fuss online about Alden-sizing.
Cheers

Alexander

They turned out great fit-wise, thanks. With a shoe like the LHS, when the welt is showing on the outsole, would you consider attaching a thin rubber sole to protect the welt? Is the outside facing welt a weak point for longevity? Thank you! Cheers

Kev F

Simon, I hope this is the best way of asking a question about shoes. I am thinking of getting a pair of loafers for 3 season use preferably (ie not winter). My usual wardrobe these days consists of more casual clothing – chinos etc. but also encompassing flannels, slightly smarter trousers with jackets etc. The style of the Aldens LHS appeals but at the £600 tag they have a hefty mark-up compared to their US price. C&J I like but their styles seem comparatively formal/smarter. Would you be able to. recommend or at least suggest a maker who has that Alden informality, please? Trickers have a couple of styles but I know they tend to be rather heavy. Many thanks.

Kev F

Simon, thank you for your prompt reply – now stores restarting to open up more and I can travel to London a tour round is in order. Your advice to look at the various lasts is well made; it’s difficult to gauge fit, look etc online.

Rob

Hi Simon, i’m looking for a belt to pair with the Alden LHS loafer in snuff; do you think this would work: https://shop.anderson-sheppard.co.uk/webbing-leather-belt-beige

I’m finding it quite hard to find a belt that will pair with these loafers, perhaps because snuff is a lighter shade than the usual dark brown shoes. I thought the tan coloured leather on A&S’s belt would pair well with the snuff, while the beige canvas is casual. Thanks!

Rob

Thanks Simon, that’s very helpful.

I have one additional question, if you don’t mind. Do you think the beige colour of this would be too light to go with jeans/olive coloured chinos?

I like the idea of canvas belts, in that they provide a change to leather, but i struggle with colour pairings as they tend to be in stronger colours than leather belts (excluding bright tan). Thanks again.

Rob

Thanks Simon, very much appreciated.

Alexander

This might be a long shot, but wondering if you know of any black unlined loafers (either in leather or suede) that would work with modern 501s to trousers (essentially casual to business casual). For context, I’m still not quite in love with the LHS, but seeing you speak its virtues so much these past few months has definitely made it grow on me. However, I was quite drawn to the 376 last from Crockett & Jones since it seemed similar to the LHS, while being just a touch more modern.

So, I recently bought a pair of the Harvard 2 in dark brown suede to wear to a garden/campsite wedding. I wore them and was pleasantly surprised how well they worked with everything from jeans, to luca faloni linen trousers, pleated linen trousers, and wool trousers.

In any case, it made me realize how much I would prefer a black pair of unlined loafers with my some of my more casual looks, especially with dark and cool colors, things like my 501s (indigo – though now they are more like really dark blue AND black), maybe smarter jeans, black linen overshirt (and similarly dark overshirts), darker plaid shirts, flannel trousers, and the occasional wool trouser (though not a deal breaker if not).

The closest I can find are the Sagan Stride in black suede, though it does not seem like they would work as well with slightly smarter trousers or flannel trousers….the Sagan or Sagan Grand might work, but seem like they may look a little light (as far as visual weight) for jeans.

Other than that I’m not aware of other options, I suppose I could get another pair of Harvard 2 and send them somewhere to get dyed black. I thought maybe Alden might have something in black unlined, but I did not see any (though since I’m California, it may be worth a day trip to their San Francisco store). I wouldn’t mind going up the price ladder (since I’ve started to do so with G&G shoes) to Edward Green, but they don’t seem to have any and I don’t want to order MTO from them since I’ve never tried them on. I guess the last option is getting something like the Alden tassel loafer and just wear it sockless, but I’d much prefer something unstructured that can be worn sockless during summer and fall (not much rain in California, unfortunately so the only difference between those seasons is temperature). So, if you, or anyone else, knows of any options or has opinions I’d appreciate it.

Alexander

Thanks Simon. I suppose it’s a very niche thing, black (either calf or suede) unlined loafer.

Guess most manufacturers feel that men would either like safe muted browns, or very flashy spring summer styles. Just a shame since it seems a black unlined loafer would meet just about every need a brown one would, and maybe pair better with more dark & cool colored clothing templates. Oh well, I did reach out to C&J and they may be able to do a special order.

Thanks again.

Jo Nathan

Just a thought. If Carmina are your style, they have five unlined loafers in black calf. Four are penny loafers, in different levels of formality, and one is a ‘laced’ style (and of the former, one is currently on sale on their web site).

Alexander

UPDATE: C&J can do it for an upcharge, but US customers are responsible for import duties (and presumably any courier fees) since it’s over $800. The C&J New York store can also put in an order, for a bit more of an uncharge, but one no longer has to worry about import duties.

Long Version:

C&J can indeed do the Solent in black calf suede, with black edges, and a city rubber sole. They can also do a half lined cavendish. However, one should note that their special order retail is a separate part of the business (separate from the website to be more precise). This is likely not a problem a problem for those in the UK or EU, but for those of us in the United States it does mean being responsible for import duties (and any extra courier charges) upon delivery.

For context on price – the Solent is $550 (which I believe translates to just about 400 GBP) on the site.

The price for a special order Solent is 750 GBP (625 GBP, or about $866, without VAT). Again, in the US one must pay import duties since it is over $800 and if you are in the EU you are responsible for your countries VAT (I assume C&J is big enough to have been able to figure out most of the Brexit issues by now).

I think that price is fair, however I truly dislike the idea of having to pay import duties on the back end, and there is no option to take care of that on the front end like on the site (again, I was told that having the duties taken care of was not possible since the special order portion of C&J is a separate part of the business and ships differently, I presume because of scale).

I was told that the C&J New York store is also able to submit special orders. I reached out to Rene and he confirmed that. The price for the special order Solent via the New York store was $1170, but no need to worry about import duties or delivery. Doing the math (aka adding import duties to the price quoted from the UK team), this comes out to about $100-$170 more than doing it directly via the C&J team in the UK, but no need to worry about import duties or any additional courier fees. So, the New York team can put in a special order for a bit of a premium, but worth it to me for the convenience (and removal of anxiety) of not dealing with import duties or courier charges.

I ordered one pair of RTW C&J New York previously (before the site existed), and even with an upcharge would recommend this option to those in the US because Rene is great (customer service worth paying for). If you want to save some money, but deal with the minor annoyance of import charges, then you can get a special order directly via the retail service special order program (and of course this is a more seamless process for those in the UK or EU).

This is a painful price for something that will be worn rather casually, but no one else really offers the same combination – a last that’s wide enough to wear with denim (specifically more straight fit models) but refined enough to wear with smart trousers and casual tailoring (but definitely not more traditional business suits), in black suede, a city rubber sole, and unlined.

Understandably niche, but I feel like it will be very useful outside of work (and during casual days at work). If I already owned a pair of Edward Greens and was confident enough in my size selection I might have gone with them instead for a special order, but alas I still need to get my first pair and nail down my size.

In any case, hope someone else finds all of this useful.

Alexander

Hi Jo,

Thanks for that. I appreciate the help. Carmina is my style, in some shoes, but not quite here. I have a pair of their unlined loafers. I find that they cut the edge rather close, which makes the loafers harder to pull off with more casual clothes like straight cut 501 jeans, or more casual and less narrow trousers. The unlined C&J loafers tend to be more versatile, in my case.

Zy

With Carmina it is worth noting that you can put in a custom order (they waive the MTO fee twice a year for a weekend) and you can specify even small pattern or last changes via special request, so I expect a less closely trimmed edge may well be possible, though you may want to email them to check.

Amit

Hello Simon. In the quest of building my casual capsule shoes collection for summers, I wanted to know your thoughts on these shoes https://jacquessoloviere.com/collections/derby/products/calvi-safran as compared to https://www.bowhillandelliott.co.uk/product/wine-velvet-plain-albert-slippers/
the former being a derby while the latter slipper shoes. I wanted a departure from my oiled waxed Red Wing Boots and looking at these two options as my summer staples. I personally don’t like lace less or loafers, hence I’m leaning more towards the former for casual wear with canvas and denim. Also if you have any other considerations or suggestions? Also in your experience please suggest some canvas trouser brands/options?

Amit

Thank you Simon. Crisp and clear. Helpful as always.