Spring’s Most Essential New Shoe: The Loafer Mule

This season’s hottest shoe trend actually started way back in 2013, when The Row’s Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen sent models down their runway in backless loafers. The style looked immediately effortless, mimicking what many do to break in (and avoid blisters) from new loafers: stepping down on the heel.

With The Row’s shoe business only recently expanding for pre-fall ’16, many other designers and labels quietly hopped onto this trend with their own versions of the loafer-meets-mule hybrid. But then along came Gucci’s first collection under Alessandro Michele for spring ’15. His kangaroo-fur-lined style caused an immediate sensation and became pivotal to the new house direction — classic but a little off-kilter all at once.

This season, Gucci’s latest version is more square-toed and comes in both mule and collapsible heel versions, some studded with oversize pearls.

Stuart Weitzman Mules
Stuart Weitzman Mulething slides.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

Roland Mouret offered his own natty version for Robert Clergerie with the Alice mules, while Stuart Weitzman has a retro spectator version out now. Buzzy London label Dorateymur is also banking on blocky backless loafers in cool mod hues.

Dorateymur Loafers
Dorateymur Filiskiye leather mules in baby blue.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Farfetch.

The great thing about this style is its inherent versatility. It can be worn with everything from a suit to a shift dress or cropped flare jeans. It’s both smart and yet casual, with the slip-on’s ease.

3.1 Phillip Lim Loafers
3.1 Phillip Lim Louie leather slipper.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Net-a-porter.com

Click through to see 10 of the best backless loafers at every price.

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