Sunday, September 4, 2011

Moccasins vs Loafers

It's always right to know what you're talking about, be it any subject. And there is no time, to learn something 'new', like the present. I remember a time when the differences between brogues and wingtips addled me. As the title suggests, I hope to outline, both concisely and correctly, the differences between moccasins and loafers. I have always wondered what the distinctions between the aforementioned shoes are, because they seem to be one and the same thing. But they're not. Let's start with moccasins.

The provenance of moccasins is traced back to Native Americans who fashioned their own moccasins (usually in a boot design) primarily for hunting purposes. Made from deerskin and a rubber sole, the shoes made for stealth like movement during hunting. Over time moccasin design has evolved, and embraced soft leather, consisting of a sole and sides made of one piece of leather, stitched together at the top. The primary distinguishing feature of moccasins is that they do not have a heel. There might be what appears to be a semblance of a heel but that is just something for decorative purposes. For example, Tod's moccasins come with multiple studs on the sole, these have become a trademark of Tod's. Berluti have a model of moccasin with a bearfoot print on the sole. The shoe has no heel except for the slightly raised bearfoot print which doesn't function like or as a heel. One indubitable fact is that moccasins are hugely popular in South Africa.

Loafers on the other hand, ironically as well, are simply constructed shoes that base their style on the moccasin. Loafers, therefore, are low leather slip-on shoes that resemble a moccasin. The primary distinguishing feature of a loafer is that it has a distinct heel. Loafer design and styles have also evolved over the years incorporating tassels, kilties, embellishments, bows, bow laces, chains and metal bits.

The most popular loafer to date has got to be the horse-bit loafer by Gucci. Although a variety of designs by different brands have emerged, with their own metal bits, the Gucci horse-bit loafer remains a firm favourite.

I hope this post was to your benefit as much as it was mine. Knowing the distinction between moccasins and loafers guarantees that you can both wear and talk about them with aplomb.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.


Blake said...

These two always had me confused as well. Brilliant post, thanks for the lesson on distinction...and for the eye-candy of those beautiful Gucci loafers!

Christina said...

Yeah! me too I'm also confused with that two but moccasins and and loafers are both pretty good.

Mark St. James said...

I find it strange that even Gucci calls their loafers moccasins on their site. Is this a massive oversight or are the names interchangeable?
Mark St. James
Marquis of Fashion

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Henry Ng said...

Thank you. This is the ONLY page I've been able to find that gives an accurate distinction between the two types of shoe. Every other place I've found has incorrect bullshit like "moccasins have no collar lacings", etc.

Leo T M said...

So have these been wrongly labelled?

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Froskie Soul of Fashion said...

Great shoe picks! I need some cute loafers!
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This look is totally quirky and fun! Have been loving penny loafers women lately- they are just so comfy! And what a neat idea to pair them with fishnets. I hope you've been well! You look gorgeous as always.