i came across this somewhere on the net. i don't know if this has been discussed in the past - too lazy to search right now. "One of the most popular shoe styles for boys and teenagers before sneakers became dominate were loafers. Although not nearly as commonly worn by cildren, it was once a major shoe style for them. It was particularly popular among boys because of its moscasin-like comfort and the fact that there were no laces or buckles to be bothered with. Loafers are informal leather shoes that are slipped on rather than ties on with laces. They were popular at a time when sneakers were not as widely worn as today. Loafers are worn by both boys and girls. Often boys and girls wer different stles of lioafers, but some styles like penny loafers are worn by both. I'm not sure when loafers first appeared, but I believe about the 1940s. The Bass shoe company is most associated with the loafer and they probably introduced the classic penny loafer--the Bass Wejan. I know they were widely worn in the 1950s. The loafer is most associated with the preppy look of the 1960s. There were various styles for loafers including the barrel and penny style. The barrel style had little rolls or barrels to the side of the small shoe tounge. The penny style had a little slot to hold a coin, but usually a dime instead of a penny. The phones in the 1960s had a standard dime (10 cent) charge, so the coin could always be used to call home. "