The Shoe Snob Blog

December 20, 2010

Written by , Posted in News

The Whole-Cut Loafer

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