The Beefroll

How many versions of loafers are there?  What started as something casual has gone in almost every direction imaginable.  Drivers, bits, pennies, Venetians  etc.  Not to mention the soles: leather, rubber, nubs…it’s all there.  Exponential options.

In an effort to step up our style this year, let’s look at some options that are not only a little more versatile, but also more mature.  First up – the beefroll penny loafer.  A slight deviation from the original, but still accepted in the mainline ‘penny loafer’ train.  Instead of a full penny strap or a flat sewn strap, the edges are rolled under over the moccasin top and sewn.  The stitching on the rolled leather looks like the way a butcher would sew a roast beef, hence the name ‘beefroll’.

What’s good about the beefroll loafer?  Because it is typically constructed of a natural toned matte leather and a natural leather sole, it can very easily be dressed up or way down.  These loafers look great across the spectrum – under 1.75″ cuffed slim khakis, to slim jeans, to regular khakis, to shorts, to swimsuits at the pool (in leiu of sandals…yep – do it).  Very rarely should socks be worn with these, but always use shoe trees.

Some very good options:

1. Rancourt & Co. Natural Chromexcel Penny Loafers:  Made in Maine by the pros.  These are investment-grade, for those planning on wearing them for a decade.
2. Bass Leverett:  These are constructed with a matte mahogany leather, which gives them an unshined, more casual look.  Can’t go wrong with anything stamped ‘Weejun’.
3. Allen Edmonds Sedona Penny Loafers:  While these don’t have the natural leather sole (Vibram instead), they do have the jagged cut on the tongue.  Sharp.
4. Florsheim Berkley:  A very cost-friendly option.  Great details include the natural leather sole and the medium vamp.
5. Ralph Lauren Hand-sewn Penny Loafers:  These remind me of the old Cole Haan version that was popular in the 90s.  Thick leather and strong contrasting stitching make this a good option.
6. Oak Street Bootmakers Natural Beefroll Penny Loafer:  These are great for the folks who like a lower vamp in casual loafers (me).  The chromexcel leather should age very nicely.

What do you think?  Did I miss any good options?



  1. Kory
    02/22/2013 / 8:47 AM

    JRS- Really digging the Oak Streets. I have been eyeing those for a while now, just haven’t pulled the trigger.

  2. Joe
    02/22/2013 / 2:55 PM

    I can vouch for the Florsheims – for the cost, you definitely can’t beat em. Very comfortable!

  3. Brad
    02/23/2013 / 8:02 PM

    How do the Oak Street and the Rancourt compare to each other? I like the dark Oak Street beefroll.

  4. Charlie Ramsay
    02/24/2013 / 7:58 PM

    Scotch Grain Loafer by Sid Mashburn. Best Ive ever seen.

  5. Tyler
    03/01/2013 / 11:07 PM

    I still wear my cole Haan’s from the 90’s.

  6. Martin
    12/19/2013 / 12:29 AM

    old Cole Haans are nice. They became far too fashionable of late. I’m afraid Allen Edmonds will too. But the Rancourt penny loafer is just about perfect. And now they even let you design your own– suede or about 4 different leather options.

  7. Joe
    03/21/2015 / 6:35 AM

    I’m a big connoisseur of the loafer variety, and I think you nailed it here. I’d also throw in Quoddy’s true penny loafer, also made entirely in the sweet US of A

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