Five Favorites – The Belgian Loafer

Next up in the five favorites series is about the more unusual but venerable Belgian loafer. It’s a simple yet elegant shoe that’s been with us since the 1940s and have seen a resurgence the last couple of years within the menswear industry. Let’s take a closer look on what can be found this spring for this particular loafer.

The popularity for loafers has been increasing a lot lately thanks to both social media and more affordable options on the shoes market. The popularity have been seen for both the penny loafers, tassel loafers, string loafers and it seems that the Belgian loafer is next in line.

Yes the Belgian loafer was first invented in Belgium, a land that’s mostly famous for it’s chocolate, waffles and now shoes. The shoes originate from the 1940s when Henri Bendel designed a elegant loafer with a bow on the front. In an attempt to finalize the design Henri took his idea to a 300 year old Belgian cobblers that produced the shoe with the so called “turn method”. This means more or less that the shoes are firstly sewn inside-out, and once completed, they are flipped to ensure a flawless stitching. The same production techniques is still used today and Bendel’s company is still in business under the name of Belgian Shoes, still located in the heart of New York on the address 110 East 55th Street..

The Belgian loafer is still one of the youngest shoe designs compared to other loafers such as the penny loafer but it’s something artistic about it. It’s more unique than the penny loafer, with its elegant bow in the front and manufacturing method, and without any doubt a good way to add a touch European elegance to your outfit.


Natural colored canvas from the legendary Belgian Shoes.

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Polo suede from New York based Paul Evans.

Minimalism in black leather from A Suitable Wardrobe.

Minimalism in black leather from A Suitable Wardrobe.

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Brown suede loafer in a collaboration with Velasca and Fabio Attanasio from The Bespoke Dudes (also header).

Brown braided leather from Rubinacci.

Brown braided leather from Rubinacci.