- Apr 20, 2002
- Reaction score
I distinguish true loafers from dress slip-ons, which originated in London.Norway? Â Wow, could you please provide some details?
The ancestor of the loafer is the Norwegian Peasant Slipper, or Norwegian Fisherman's Slipper. Â It looked basically like the "penny loafer" we know today: short vamp, low quarters, unlined, with a band across the rear part of the vamp for strength. Â It was picked up by men outside Norway as a cheap sport shoe. Â It first became wildly popular in America, with college kids. Â As they became better made (and made from stronger leathers, like cordovan) the strip across the vamp became purely decorative. Â The brand name Weejuns -- owned by the Bass comany, which did more to popularize the shoe in America than anybody -- is a play on "Norwegian."
The English later started making stiffer and smarter versions. Â These days every top shoemaker has their versions. Â The Lobb Lopez is my favorite. Â An $800 peasant slipper.