The unstoppable Gucci backless loafer effect

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