When it comes to shoes that will suit all occasions not every shoe style is up to the job as being able to wear a pair of shoes with formal and casual attire isn’t easy. Styling your shoes with suiting on one occasion then with denim jeans or chino trousers the next is the highest level of adaptability which should be considered when investing in a pair of Barker Goodyear welted shoes.
Aside from the traditional Men’s Oxford and Derby styles the Men’s Loafer offers versatility all year round. Although the Loafer is predominately seen as a Spring / Summer collection staple it’s ability to be worn as a dress shoe and as a fashionably casual style makes the Loafer an essential shoe rack investment.
The Loafer is available in several variations with the Tassel, Horsebit and Penny Loafers being the front runners as adaptable slip on shoes. The origin of the loafer dates back to 1847 with the London-based bespoke shoe company ‘Wildsmith Shoes’ designing a casual house shoe for King George VI. Created by Raymond Lewis Wildsmith, the aptly named Wildsmith Loafer style has continued been sold by other London shoe companies under the name ‘Harrow’ over the centuries. Another beginning for the loafer can be traced to Scandinavia where Aurland-based shoemaker Nils Gregoriusson Tveranger designed a loafer slip on in 1908 that was originally worn by Norwegian farmers. In 1930, Tveranger developed his design having been inspired by Native American footwear and named his creation the Aurland Moccasin which became popular throughout Europe.
In 1934, Maine-based shoemaker G.H Bass made a Tveranger inspired loafer and named it Weejun in homage to its Norwegian heritage. This G.H. Bass reinterpretation became penny loafer style we adore today as the colloquial Penny Loafer name was introduced in 1950s America when the Weejun became the shoe of choice for college students who thought it fashionable to keep a dime in the half moon cut out slot of the leather strip.
Choosing the primary function for your desired loafer will help in finding the best style for your needs as loafers are present in several guises in most of the Barker shoe ranges including the Handcrafted, Creative and Professional collections.
Barker’s most prestigious range of Goodyear welted shoes made in the Barker factory located in Earls Barton, Northampton is the Handcrafted collection. Timeless shoe designs are made using only the finest leathers and soles including the Jevington Penny Loafer. Made on the Barker 478 last from premium calf, grain and suede leathers on a choice of full leather or Dainite rubber soles, Jevington is an elegant Penny Loafer suited to all occasions.
Other Barker Penny loafers include the Gates (BarkerTech collection), Mears (BOEB Archive collection) and Portsmouth (Professional collection) which are made from a variety of premium calf and suede leathers on a choice of leather or Dainite rubber soles.
Another slip on staple is the Tassel Loafer which came to be from a commission made by the Alden Shoe Company for actor Paul Lukas. The tassel loafer is has an elegant silhouette and is available in the Barker collection in the form of the Clive and Studland styles. A popular slip on style in the Creative collection is Frank, made on the 69 last from premium calf and suede leathers with brass Horsebit detailing.
Its evident the slip on shoe is an important style in the Barker collection as they provide effortless style be it Tassel Loafers accompanying suits at weddings or formal events to casual Penny Loafers worn with T-Shirt and shorts.