The 12 Best Lug Sole Loafers to Diversify Your Fall Footwear Rotation
Autumn calls for ATV-esque footwear. The lug sole loafer delivers.
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Fall is in full swing. Leaves are changing, hints of nutmeg and Trader Joe’s Autumnal Harvest Soup hang in the air, sweater vests are out to play. But the real joys of the spookiest season are being rediscovered not in the majesties of the harvest but on the feet of well-dressed men everywhere. It’s lug sole loafer season, baby.
What Is a Lug Sole Loafer?
For those unfamiliar with the classic slip-on’s beefed-up brother, the lug sole can be neatly parsed into two parts: lug-sole and (you guessed it!) loafer. Typically denoted by a leather or suede material, and often married with the classic penny design across the upper of the shoe, the lug sole loafer differs from its summery counterparts on account of its heavy-duty sole.
More in line with something you’d find on a hiking shoe or combat boot, the rubberized outsole of a lug sole loafer — in recent years, special outsole technology like Vibram has come to dominate the hybrid footwear’s base — performs markedly better in the uncertain and transition climates of fall and winter. Although they admittedly lose some degree of formality, additional height and weathered traction allow the style to traverse conditions crippling to a regular loafer…i.e., they’re the best bet for rocking the red hot style year-round.
How to Wear Lug Sole Loafers:
Much like their smaller-soled siblings, lug sole loafers are a dish best served with…anything, really. A pair of structured chinos or even a new fall suit certainly isn’t out of the question, but the style looks just as good with jeans and a hoodie. Our main piece of advice? Wear socks.
To help you find the right pair of lug sole loafers for your little tootsies, we’ve highlighted a variety of all-terrain styles across a variety of price points and features. From G.H. Bass and L.L. Bean to Paraboot and Prada, the 12 best lug sole loafers for men to wear this fall.
The Best Lug Sole Loafers for Men:
G.H. Bass Larson Lug Sole Penny Loafer
Unsure of whether the lug sole loafer is for you? G.H. Bass’ affordable Larson proves the perfect pick-up. We appreciate the style for its down-the-middle design, versatility and wallet-saving price tag of well under $100.
L.L. Bean Allagash Bison Handsewn Penny Loafers
The selling point (beyond the rugged handsewn look) of Allagash Loafers is undoubtedly the bison leather that encases the footwear. While all the loafers on this list have a sturdy lug sole, few boost uppers as durable as L.L. Bean’s reinforced upper.
Camper Walden Penny Loafer
Is the lug sole simply not bold enough for your sartorial inclinations? Camper’s bulbous shape and eye-catching color should help you stand out just fine. That’s not to suggest that they aren’t also functional — a tractioned footbed and synthetic weatherproofing ensure they’d be right at home, well, camping.
Sebago Dan Lug Loafer
Think of the Sebago Dan as something of a starter car — the Toyota Camry of lug soles, if you will. The shoe maintains the classic penny loafer shape and stacks it on top of a sturdy, weatherized base. They’re practically taller than a Prius…and they handle better, too.
Dr Martens Adrian Tassel Loafer
The cult of Dr Martens extends as far as lug sole loafers, and for those bold enough to weather the break-in period, the Adrian Tassel Loafer pays dividends (especially if you ask TikTok).
Quody Rover Penny
While they may sport a suede upper and the lowest sole on this list, don’t think that the hertiage-made Quody Rover loafer isn’t up to the weather-induced challenge. Discretely lugged for the utmost combination of formality and functionality, they’re dressy enough to work with near any tailoring, even in adverse conditions.
Vinny’s Palace Loafers
We’ll just say it: Vinny’s Palace Loafers are living proof that “business in the front, party in the back” extends beyond mullets.
Blackstock & Weber The Ellis Penny Loafer
They may be the youngest entrant in our lug loafer list, but don’t discount Chris Echevarria’s Blackstock & Weber. As seasoned menswear veterans and hypeheads alike will tell you, the modern cut and playful colorways (like a tiger camo upper) make B&W a very real contender for best footwear around.
Allen Edmonds Freeport Weatherproof Penny Loafer
A departure from AE’s usual delicate brogues and dress boots, the Freeport Penny Loafer can boss anything you throw at them, making them perfectly suited for CEO-types with points to prove.
Paraboot Reims Lug Sole Loafer
French cobblers Paraboot may be known for their U-Shaped derby shoes, but don’t discount their elegant Reims Loafer, either. The strong-cut style is finished with genuine Norwegian welting, ensuring that the handsome “Lisse Marron” upper is a subtle mix of refined and sturdy.
Yuketen Frentaly Pebble-Grain Leather Penny Loafers
Handmade in Maine, Yuki Matsuda’s Yuketen Leather Loafers are a vision in dedicated craftmanship, with precise detailing in every bit of the loafer. The pebble-grained leather wears in beautifully and coupled with a chunky rubber lug sole, there’s no reason why the Frentaly Penny Loafers shouldn’t last you for decades.
Prada Lug Leather Loafer
Prada’s shining loafers bring an air of luxury to the lug sole, with stacks of shining, supple leather stacked high on a premium rubberized sole and finished with the classic inverted Prada insignia. Truly, the only issue we can find with the shoes is that they feel too nice to break in.
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