The 15 Best Loafers for Women, According to Editors and Experts

The closet staple is trending this season.

Aline Kaplan is seen wearing Chloe Faye brown leather bag, Palones beige trenchcoat, The Frankie Shop Black top, & other stories black mini skirt, Ganni black loafers and Carolina Lemke shades on March 18, 2022 in Berlin, Germany
(Image credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

Even lofty descriptors like "timeless" and "classic" feel too small of words to describe the best loafers. More than a seasonal trend or passing fad, the academia-inspired shoe comes with a lifestyle attached, one you can wholly lean into or subvert on your own terms (a penny loafer teamed with a punk, plaid mini skirt reads more grungey garage band than polished prepster, for instance.) This season's take on the hard-working shoe also revisits the traditionally fixed and slender silhouette, with Prada offering a padded, puffy version and Tory Burch creating a hybrid ballet flat-inspired iteration. 

Ahead, Jamie Lee, a shoe buyer at luxury retailer Moda Operandi, and Marie Claire editors share the very best loafers for women on the market. Lee also offers shopping insight, including which colors and styles are trending and her favorite pairs you can snag for under $300. Fair warning: you might be taken aback at this season's warm weather-ready tweaks, from woven leathers and lightweight raffia, that put loafers in the running for the best summer shoes. Flip-flops, who?

What to Look for in Loafers

  • Color

“I would definitely recommend black for your first pair,” says Lee, inviting you to stick to the neutral shade if you're a loafer rookie. However, if your heart desires, certainly don't shy away from bold hues. A sure bet is to use spring 2023's color trends to guide you.

  • Silhouette

Lee notes that shoppers should also decide if they want to buy a pair of chunky—think hefty lug-soles and thick treads—or sleek loafers. “Both are equally timeless and easy to wear with just about any outfit,” she says, chalking up each silhouette to personal preference.  

The Loafers Trending This Season

“Prada has been a leader in this category for Moda Operandi for several years, but there's certainly a bigger offering from other designers this season,” says Lee about the most popular loafer brands right now. While Prada's hefty loafers are an investment-worthy staple at this point, Lee says that other brands are “giving their loafers special design detail to differentiate them from other pieces on the market,” citing Chloe’s stitching, Bottega Veneta's chain-style loafers, and Miu Mui’s “classic penny loafer detail.” 

Affordable Loafer Brands

“At the $300 and under price point, we offer some great options from Aeyde, Ganni, and St. Agni,” says Lee. “The Aeyde style has actually been so popular that it has sold out multiple times, and we are leaning into additional color options in the pair for the Spring/Summer 2023 season.” 

Deals on Loafers

Franco Sarto Balin Lug Sole Loafers, $99

Franco Sarto Balin Lug Sole Loafers, $99 $60 at Macy's

"If you want to try the trend for yourself without breaking the bank, definitely head to H&M for this pair," says editorial fellow Brooke Knappenberger.

J. Crew Winona Penny Loafers, $198

J. Crew Winona Penny Loafers, $198 $127 at J. Crew

Got your credit card ready? These originally $198 penny loafers from J. Crew are on super, super sale for only $127 loafers.


Nordstrom Trinity Lug Sole Loafer, $90 $53 at Nordstrom

From the slightly chunky and platform design to the contrasting brown sole that's complete with a slight tread detail, these loafers are unexpected in the best way.

The Best Loafers for Women

How to Style Loafers

When you need some styling inspiration, always look to the street style stars—especially when it comes to designer loafers, since the shoe is an off-duty go-to amongst the fashion crowd. Top model Gigi Hadid loves a two-tone penny loafers style, often pairing them with relaxed suiting, while her sister, Bella, wore her with a micro mini skirt and white ankle socks. Kendall Jenner and Katie Holmes are frequently spotted in pairs from Vagabond Shoemakers, also a favorite brand among Marie Claire's fashion team, and team them with everything from straight-leg jeans to '90s-era slip dresses.

Gigi Hadid is seen on October 14, 2022 in New York City.

(Image credit: Gotham/GC Images)

Bella Hadid is seen in the West Village on June 19, 2022 in New York City

(Image credit: Gotham/GC Images))

Meet the Expert

Jamie Lee
Jamie Lee

Jamie Lee is a footwear buyer at Moda Operandi. Born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, she spent half of her life in Korea and the other half in the United States. She began her buying career at Dover Street Market New York. She now lives and works in NYC.

Emma Childs
Style Editor

Emma Childs is the Style Editor at Marie Claire, where she researches up-and-coming trends, curates shopping guides, and gushes about the must-buy items she can't stop thinking about. She previously wrote for TZR, Editorialist, Elite Daily, and Mission Magazine and studied Fashion Studies and New Media at Fordham University. When she's not writing up fashion deep-dives or finding the season's best pieces, you'll find her fiddling around in Photoshop and perusing HBO Max for the next show to base her personality on (currently, it's "Succession").