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Fear and Loafing

Suede loafers from Aldo. Photo by John Lockett

by John Lockett

I was somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when my love of loafers began to take hold.

By Ralph Steadman

It was a long journey from loathing to loving these stylish slip-ons. I always thought they looked hideous, mainly because seeing a pair would conjure up images of the ratty black penny loafers my dad wore to church when I was a kid. It doesn’t help that my exposure to shoes while going to high school in Niceville consisted of Rainbow flip-flops and nothing else.

Needless to say, my taste in footwear was limited from an early start. But after interning at the Mecca of fashion last summer, I finally realized how genius, practical, and stylish loafers really are. And they’re not only for the sartorially inclined.

Loafers will probably be the easiest pair of shoes you’ve ever owned. They’re perfect for slipping on when you’re in a hurry, but you still want to look good. You can wear them with virtually anything, from shorts and a t-shirt when you’re on your way out to enjoy all that spring has to offer, to a formal suit when you’re going in for an interview or going out with your girl. Socks are never required. And above all, they stay in prime condition with little care. Unless you’re in the middle of a savage journey to the heart of the American Dream.

They come in all sorts of colors, textures and designs, so it may be daunting picking your first pair. Take my advice: start simple –dark brown suede or leather, no frills—get used to them, then move on up to something a little more bold and daring. Like these Tom Ford loafers below. Aldo offers a wide variety at affordable prices. My first pair cost  only $45 on sale. It’s well worth it considering all the compliments you’ll receive.

In case you were wondering, all these “Fear and Loathing” references are a tribute to Hunter S. Thompson, who set out on his infamous Las Vegas adventure 40 years ago today.

“Some may live, but the crazy never die.” -HST

Tom Ford Shoes
From Tom Ford’s “Made to Measure” collection.

Read more from Vautour:


59 responses

  1. Awesome! An entire blog post on your love of loafers — I love it.

    Perhaps your passion for this particular style of shoe can be seen as a metaphor for life? Nah…I think you just like the loafer.


    March 22, 2011 at 2:15 pm

  2. Katie Gou

    I love loafers, especially in summer. A man looks so stylish in a stripey tee, smart pair of chinos and a pair of loafers. There is something very endearing about them!

    March 22, 2011 at 2:20 pm

  3. I’ve seen some men able to pull this look off, but not many. And when they can, it looks pretty good!

    March 22, 2011 at 2:25 pm

  4. anything you can “slip” in or on is fabulous – Love loafers.

    Great writting.



    March 22, 2011 at 2:32 pm

  5. One word:


    Dang I miss Giuseppe’s.

    March 22, 2011 at 2:37 pm

  6. Love the look! Actually a loafer-esque ‘car shoe.’

    March 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm

  7. I am a big Loafer ( sans socks) Fan..I have been wearing them since the release of Hunter’s first book…

    spread the humor: charlywalker.wordpress.com

    March 22, 2011 at 2:49 pm

  8. En mi pais este tipo de calzado es un clásico . Aporta mucho estilo al que los lleva. Curiosa pasión.

    March 22, 2011 at 2:55 pm

  9. Loafers are also one of my favorite shoes to wear. Comfy,stylish,affordable and easy maintainable what else could you ask for?

    March 22, 2011 at 3:18 pm

  10. LOVE loafers. Live in them. A total classic — and you don’t end up with bunions or at the chiropractor from falling off a 6-inch stiletto.

    March 22, 2011 at 3:33 pm

  11. Nice post – Great work!


    March 22, 2011 at 3:40 pm

  12. I wish they’d make more stylish loafers where I live…
    They seem so super comfy but I always associate them with old grams shuffling around the park to feet some pigeons…

    March 22, 2011 at 4:17 pm

  13. fireandair

    I had a nice, big, black, butch pair of the things by Franco Sarto, and wore them so much that the sole wore clean out. I miss those things. I need to see if I can get them resoled. They looked awesome with anything.

    March 22, 2011 at 4:26 pm

  14. I love flip flops, but loafers are great for my fella.



    March 22, 2011 at 4:40 pm

  15. great stuff!!! congrats on fp

    March 22, 2011 at 4:50 pm

  16. Kelly George

    Embrace the loafer – it’s your friend! LOVE the Aldo’s. Nicely done.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:03 pm

  17. Kelly George

    Embrace the loafer! It’s your friend. Btw, nicely done on the Aldo’s. Smashing.

    March 22, 2011 at 5:08 pm

  18. Dude …I havea pair Dexter loafers from about 1990. The oldest and most comfortable piece of clothing I have. …and I still wear them. Love it. They will probably last at least another decade or two, and get uglier every year. Who cares. Great post, congrats on the FP, John

    March 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm

  19. Nothing wrong with a pair of comfy loafers! Besides I have to say that looks like a very staylish pair to boot… I have reached the age that i value comfort in my footwear- I am always excited when I find stylish and fashionalble COMFORTABLE shoes… :o)

    March 22, 2011 at 5:54 pm

  20. Pingback: New Shoes..? « ITLBlogroll

  21. Love this, great look as we enter spring.

    March 22, 2011 at 6:16 pm

  22. Got to have comfortable shoes!

    March 22, 2011 at 7:12 pm

  23. I have a few pair, but I especially love them for men! Nice post!

    March 22, 2011 at 7:49 pm

  24. An all around great post. First, I am a huge HST fan, RIP.

    Second, while I am a fan of style, I am first and foremost a fan of comfort. My biggest road block when considering a purchase is how well the two coalesce. In terms of loafers, those two aspects merge into a near perfect being.

    Bravo, my good man, bravo.


    March 22, 2011 at 9:09 pm

  25. CM

    I love when men pay attention to fashion and who know who Tom Ford is.
    Nice Post.

    March 22, 2011 at 9:18 pm

  26. Liked your entry. I have one pair of loafers from
    Doctor Scholl’s I bought about two years ago. Look almost like the ones you’re wearing as you stand on the bricks above.

    They are simple, comfortable and easy going. I think shoes like food, clothes and many other things go along with mood!

    Check you later.

    Blessings to you and yours….Kevin

    March 22, 2011 at 10:46 pm

  27. Thanks for all the kind words, everybody! Your comments mean the world to me. Keep tuning in cause the rest of the Vautour gang will be posting some great stuff. In the meantime, check out previous posts, including a little profile of Michael Bastian, a nice piece of satire by our ME, Molly, and a post on how you can help Japan. Oh, and be sure to subscribe!

    Take care, John L.| EIC of Vautour

    March 23, 2011 at 1:07 am

  28. spikywires

    I suppose the female equivalent is the moccasin. I’ve always wanted a pair. This is encouragement of the second kind.

    March 23, 2011 at 1:16 am

  29. 博客主题很好看,希望分享一下!

    March 23, 2011 at 1:21 am

  30. Pingback: My New Oxfords « Youlookfiiine

  31. You sure can’t beat them for ease of use.

    March 23, 2011 at 2:35 am

  32. I love comfortable shoes and you seem to have found one of the most comfortable. I would like two pair.

    March 23, 2011 at 3:07 am

  33. Even living in the rainy Northwest, I flaunt the flip-flops. Year-round. I own healed Reefs for special occasions, Rainbows for shopping, and Montrail “Heat Activated” for teaching in (yes, I teach fitness classes in flip-flops.)

    That being said, I am a sucker for a man in loafers.

    I should probably add that I have been to Barstow . . . and really . . . ANYTHING looks good in Barstow.

    Great Post. Congrats on FP.

    March 23, 2011 at 3:09 am

  34. I love loafers 🙂

    March 23, 2011 at 3:40 am

  35. I love loafers although still have to get my first pair!!!haha!
    And congratulations for being Freshly Pressed.

    March 23, 2011 at 3:57 am

  36. I suppose the female equivalent is the moccasin. I’ve always wanted a pair.

    March 23, 2011 at 4:07 am

  37. Shoe choices can say a lot about a man.

    March 23, 2011 at 4:34 am

  38. hahaha! I love how creative the title to this blog is. totally diggin’ it

    March 23, 2011 at 6:18 am

  39. Fabulous photo! The colors of the bricks compliment the shoes and the pants really well. Those loafers are very stylish.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:36 am

  40. Cams

    Suits for a deserving feet.

    March 23, 2011 at 7:05 am

  41. beautiful blog.

    March 23, 2011 at 7:08 am

  42. jocenameq


    March 23, 2011 at 7:42 am

  43. I do agree with you.

    March 23, 2011 at 8:33 am

  44. blackshepherd

    the best and most obvious benefit of having loafers is the freedom from “knots” not “nots” “knots” ok? But I don’t have that problem cause I was a Merchant Seaman who had an affinity for thorny and knotty problems before I became a philosopher and became depressed. Now I can’t even do a bolen on a bight and I know any idiot can do one of those…except me “Now” no “now” no “now” no “now”….see what I mean? You just never can catch up that’s why I became a “loafer”…I slip myself on and slip the surly bonds of earth…(is that original? Don’t think so…another great thing about loafers (penny loafers) is that when someone says: “penny for your thoughts?” you can say: “no thanks…I have two”…but clearly you wouldn’t respond to this person cause why would you want to have a conversation with someone who wants to buy your thoughts so cheaply and overlooks the obviousness of the fact that you already have two pennies? So if someone says: “quarter for your thoughts?” that might jingle but not if you have your little slits enlarged…I actually have “walking Liberties” in mine now…well, they’re running…but that’s another story…

    March 23, 2011 at 8:51 am

  45. I shop for shoes with difficulty. Comfort is such a hard thing to come by, let alone looking good. Have to say though, when I think “loafers” the image in my mind is definitely more the first photo. The second set of photo’s… I would never have guessed loafers are what they are… hmmm interesting…

    March 23, 2011 at 10:08 am

  46. LamBert

    You had me right up to the point where you said socks are never required. I mean, I’d agree with you if you hadn’t suggested loafers be worn to a job interview. An interview sans socks? Just sounds weird. Good luck nailing that particular meeting…

    March 23, 2011 at 12:28 pm

  47. love it

    March 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm

  48. A. Stevens

    You receive “Fresh Pressed” for your title alone,well done.

    March 23, 2011 at 1:10 pm

  49. Massimo Dutti galore.

    March 23, 2011 at 2:41 pm

  50. love loafers!:)

    March 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm

  51. I want me some loafers. Do they make them for girls?

    March 23, 2011 at 9:13 pm

  52. I had a coworker who made this same argument. I’ve yet to own a pair myself, but I guess my beaten-up Converse slip-ons are kind of the same thing…

    March 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm

  53. i was never the biggest fan of loafers until i saw my “chic” parisian friend smoking a cigarette while wearing her boyfriend’s loafers. I have been hooked for two years

    March 29, 2011 at 1:22 pm

  54. Mmmm, break me off a piece of that loaf and serve it with a side of rolled trousers! One of my all time fave looks.

    March 31, 2011 at 4:29 am

  55. Thanks to this blog useful, matches with everyone.

    April 4, 2011 at 10:00 am

  56. I feel the same as you that loafers (and boat shoes) were such a turn off for me for such a long time. There was nothing appealing about them! Now, suddenly, in the last few years, my opinions have completely changed! Your loafers are great!

    April 9, 2011 at 4:45 am

  57. Pingback: Fear and Loafing (via levautour) « thescotchlife

  58. I love when men pay attention to fashion and who know who Tom Ford is.
    Nice Post.

    April 12, 2011 at 8:40 am

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