The Race Between Loafers and Ballet Flats

The Race Between Loafers and Ballet Flats

Aug 12 , 2021


Tags - Differences and Similarities between Loafers and Ballet Flats 

No one can go wrong with a pair of comfortable flat shoes - they’re every woman’s best friend.

A good pair of flats will carry you through a long working day, a social catch up or a casual weekend event, so when it comes to practicality and versatility, flats are the one!

But with so many different styles and designs of shoes available today, it can be quite hard to decide which shoes would be best for you.

In our opinion, the two styles that would reign supreme are loafers and ballet flats.

To help you decide which style would be better for you, we take a look at some differences and similarities between the two.

What Are Ballet Flats?

Arguably, no woman’s wardrobe is complete without a pair of ballet flats because not only are they incredibly comfortable, but they are super stylish and can be worn with almost anything.

As the name suggests, ballet flats are inspired by ballerina slippers. However, with style icons like Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor sporting the shoe in the 50s, the ballet flats quickly became a fashion staple, especially for those women who wanted a simple but classic style to finish off their outfits.

Traditionally, ballet flats were created with a rounded toe shape, a thin sole and were often plain in terms of design. Plus, they were extremely lightweight and flexible and gave the foot a naked feel so you could walk as freely as you wanted, just like ballerina slippers.

Over the years, as ballet flats became more and more popular, the design has been tweaked slightly. Now, there are a massive range of designs, including ankle straps, pointed toe shapes, open toes, embellishments and more, giving you a whole world of options when it comes to styling.

Often, ballet flats are made from soft leather for the upper and attached to a thin rubber sole for added comfort, but other materials such as canvas, PVC and nylon can be found too.

What Are Loafers?

Loafers are a great alternative to heels and are a great way to add some class to any outfit.

Traditionally, loafers were designed for and and worn by men as a no-sock shoe option, or by conservative women (like the Queen). After all, they were originally designed in the mid 1800s as a country house shoe for the Royal Family. 

However in recent years, many designs and styles of the loafers have come to light and each can compliment different outfits for different occasions.

For instance, there’s the penny loafer that features a leather strap with a small split. The tassel loafers which have decorative laces hanging from the vamp. Or the horsebit loafer (sometimes known as the Gucci loafer) which is instantly recognised by its metal bar running horizontally across the vamp.

Depending on the style of loafers, they vary in terms of materials made but typically, they can be found in leather or suede.


What’s great about both these styles is that they can be worn with almost anything.

To begin with, ballet flats and loafers are great to wear during warmer weather months because they’re easy to quickly slip on and go about your day - who wants to wear big, heavy chunky boots when the sun’s beaming?

Secondly, both styles look great when worn in formal settings. For example, a plain black leather pair of ballet flats or even nude will look great with office attire. If you’re feeling a little fancier, ballet flats with an ankle strap look perfect with a smart dress or pencil skirt.

Similarly, loafers look great in the office too. Let’s say you’re wearing a pair of cropped trousers with a button up shirt, penny loafers will complete your look effortlessly.

OK, so both look great in the office, but what about casual wear?

Well, because both of these styles are incredibly versatile, you can for sure wear them to dinner, after work drinks or a daytime BBQ for that matter.

Both styles can easily be worn with jeans, but it's a good idea to cuff them at the bottom so your shoes can really shine.

At the same time, neither style should be worn with socks and therefore both can be worn with dresses, skirts or shorts. In terms of style, horsebit loafers would work best for smart-casual settings and you can choose a fun pair of ballet flats in any colour or pattern that contrasts with what you’re wearing.


Even though they’re both flat and comfortable, there are some differences to consider before you make your purchase.

Firstly, loafers have less flexibility in their soles, which means less comfort by default. They can be difficult to wear in because they fit tighter around the ball of the foot, which could potentially cause blisters the first couple of wears. In addition, the front of your foot can sometimes feel pinched as a result of the stitching around the front of the loafer (partcularly if you have wide feet). But, once you have broken into them, a leather pair will eventually mould to the shape of your foot and actually feel comfortable.

On the other hand, ballet flats are flexible and don’t require any practice wears. As soon as you slip these on you can head out without worrying about sore feet.

Secondly, although loafers have been transformed to have more feminine touches, ballet flats offer a more timeless, feminine shape and are always on trend.

For more information, please get in touch today.

In the meantime, check here for our full ranges of Smart Casual Shoes and Ballet Flats.

You may also like:

  1. 4 Different Loafer Styles for Women
  2. 5 Smart Casual Shoes Every Woman Should Own
  3. Ballet Flats with Straps: A Complete Style Guide