Red Clay Soul Review: The J. Crew Ludlow Penny Loafers

I’ve been looking for a pair of loafers.  A specific pair of loafers.  I have had all sorts in the past, and still have some of them, but they didn’t meet the criteria of what I was looking for:  dress loafers, shiny leather, chestnut color, and Goodyear welted.  On a recent trip to J. Crew with Mrs. RCS, I came across these Ludlow loafers, and the deal was sealed.

These aren’t Aldens, they aren’t Bass penny loafers.  They aren’t shell cordovan, nor are they saddle leather.  They are exactly what I’m looking for.  The rounded toe gives it a tassel loafer look, and the partial strap keeps it cool.  They are built as well as any loafers in the rotation, and the price point was right where I wanted it to be: $298 (and I got 30% off because they were having a not-so-rare sale).

From a sizing perspective, I usually wear a 9D in almost every dress shoe, but had to get a 9.5D in these.  Keep that in mind if you are ordering online.  I plan on wearing these to a buddy’s wedding next month with a tan suit.  Beyond that, the leather is just the right color for this time of year.  J. Crew calls it ‘English Tan’.  I’ll be able to wear them with shorts and an oxford, jeans and a sport coat, and khakis and a tie to church.  I have a feeling these will break in very nicely, and will polish up to look better than they do now.  Nothing like a good patina…  I can’t recommend these enough, folks.  If you are in the market for a good, versatile pair of loafers, look no further.

More images:


Now it’s time to put these bad boys to work…



  1. J
    04/16/2015 / 8:21 AM

    How do you feel about the vamp? It looks a bit high to me.

  2. JPW
    04/18/2015 / 6:08 PM

    Seems expensive for Chinese imports…what am I missing?

  3. Jack
    04/20/2015 / 12:18 AM

    That vamp looks more than a bit high. Also, the whole idea of reviewing a shoe without having worn it seems a bit ridiculous to me.

  4. Roy
    06/21/2015 / 9:41 PM

    I have personally bought and worn the J.Crew Ludlow loafers and made the mistake of expecting the vamp to be high enough for my feet.

    As a whole, these loafers run very small. I usually wear a 9.5E and bought a 10.5D as they fit better in store.

    However, the vamp was far too low for my feet and the shoe was impossible to wear for more than 2 hours at a time… really painful as a whole and now I have a pair of fairly expensive shoes (for my budget) that I can hardly wear.

  5. Dave
    07/27/2018 / 11:50 PM

    I just bought a pair of these in the same color. How have yours broken in? Love to see an update!

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