OK, let’s start with me admitting that this is a trend I haven’t personally got on board with yet, since in I don’t own a pair (strong emphasis on the word ‘yet’ there!). But the fashion team at InStyle have been rocking it ever since it’s been warm enough and I like it; they inspired me to hunt out the best high street options out there. What am I talking about? The unlikely popularity of the backless loafer.

Gucci at Matches
Gucci Princetown gingham loafers, £380, matchesfashion.com

You can blame Gucci’s Alessandro Michele for this, since he designed all sorts of backless loafers for his SS16 collection and everyone’s gone totally nuts for them. Intricately embroidered floral ones. Metallics ones. Furry insoled ones (I’m reliably informed that the fur is sustainable kangaroo, which is a by-product because it is farmed for its meat. So it’s basically sheepskin, but certainly not one for you vegetarians out there. Or kangaroo lovers for that matter). My personal favourite is the black and white gingham ones (above: swoon). If you’ve got a spare £380, you can nab yourself a pair of the shoes of the season from Matches. If not, I’ve found some pretty decent high street alternatives.

Clockwise from left: £45, asos.com; £70, dunelondon.com; £69.95, massimodutti.com

There are many benefits to the backless loafer, or squishy-down-back loafer, as some of these options are. They’re very smart, so make a good office shoe if the pointy ladylike flats I suggested earlier this week aren’t your thing. They feel a bit summery, while being substantial enough to withstand a British summertime of wind, rain and generally non-sandals weather. And if you find formal shoes hard to wear in around the heel area well, you just don’t need to worry about that because there is no back. *waves goodbye to Compeed blister plasters*

Clockwise from top left: £155, Bass Weejuns at urbanoutfitters.com; £168, freepeople.com; £52, topshop.com

They’re pretty easy to style, too. InStyle’s fashion director Arabella Greenhill has been wearing her black ones with chic, all-black outfits. Our fashion assistant Hannah Lewis pairs hers with light coloured, frayed jeans. Both have been adhering to the only, and most important rule about wearing backless loafers, though: cropped trousers. The most flattering thing about these shoes is that they don’t hide your ankles, so show them off!

Clockwise from left: £58, office.co.uk; £39.99, zara.com; £160, whistles.com

8 thoughts on “ The unstoppable Gucci backless loafer effect ”

  1. I hated these at first. Then I quite liked them. Then I bought a pair of Robert Clergerie AliceK black ones. Very pleased with them – do you think they look awful with skirts, then? or do you mean, if trousers, then must be cropped?

    1. They’re harder to style with skirts, particularly if you’re short like me! But I like the way they look with a calf-length or longer skirt. And yes, if trousers definitely cropped or turned up!

    1. I’ve had a few people ask me about shoes you can wear with them. Can you tell me a bit more about exactly what you need from your shoes and I’ll try and do some research for you!

      1. Well I have a full length orthotic that is about 3mm thick at the toe and 5mm at the heel, but the heel end cups the heel going up to about 15mm at the sides. Since I got it last year I have just ripped out the insoles from various trainers and worn them. Although I can wear nice flat shoes for a couple of hours if I am going out my options are limited. I dream of sandals😄

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