The loafer is, as the name implies, a casual shoe meant for wear around the house or on casual outings. From their very design loafers express a minimalist sensibility; opting for slip on versatility rather than making use of laces or buckles.
Traditional loafers are low cut (below the heel), lace less, and made of some form of leather; though construction material can very especially in modern designed loafers. Loafers are a derivation of a larger category of shoe known as slip-ons, and have the distinction of being of North American origin modeled from American Indian moccasins.
The original loafer (the more ubiquitous slip-on) first made an appearance in Norway around the mid 1930’s. After its initial inception this style of shoe quickly caught on across the world and found its self being worn with everything from casual shorts to lounge suits. Today the loafer rests somewhere in-between its humble beginnings as a causal piece of foot wear and the ubiquitous wear it enjoyed at the height of its popularity.