With my perennial preppy gene, I've always been attracted to loafers but I more or less swore off them years ago because they are one of the hardest styles for me to fit. Flats are hard on (and for) my feet, period. And slip on styles are by far the worst. I mean, I put orthotics in my sneakers to make them wearable and to prevent myself from another case of plantar fasciitis. Even then, sneakers, like any true flat, are less comfortable for me than shoes that have a slight lift or heel (about 3/4 of an inch to 2 inches); I'm most comfortable in boots or sandals as a rule. And most loafers, I find, are too wide in the mid foot and the heel if they fit me in the forefoot. My feet are not wide (just average) but my mid foot is a bit narrow, my arch quite high, and my heel shaped in such a way that flats without straps almost always flip off, leading to awful toe cramps if I try to wear them.
Still, I really loved the look of the Franco Sarto platform loafer and it is BLUE, which is a key neutral in my closet. Blue footwear can be hard to source, so a transitional blue shoe was HEWI for me.
I read the reviews, which are mixed, at best, and many complain explicitly about the fit problem that plagues me most. This was a case where if Nordstrom's did not have such generous return policies I might not have ordered.
And yet these shoes are working for me!
Admittedly, they required careful breaking in, but I can now wear with and without socks. I would not try to walk barefoot in them for long in hot weather (that would definitely lead to blisters) but with careful monitoring they are super comfortable and easy for me to wear.
I think it is the platform/ lug sole and extra interior padding that make them wearable for me. Like others, I can't wear this shoe in cold like we are having today here -- so from this point on, they will be my "indoor" loafer until spring. (I only wore them briefly outdoors and the bottoms are all clean.) I'm delighted to have a shoe that makes me feel more fab than slippers but is just as easy on and off.
How do you know when or whether to trust the reviews? I usually pay close attention to them and they have, in the past, helped me to rule in (or out) various items. But this time, I simply would not have ordered if I hadn't known I could return them for free after an in-home try out period.