The Last Pair of Loafers I will Ever Own.

If ever I made a purchase to dethrone the Smythson notebook, this could be it.

On several occasions I tried to explain these shoes to my wife. Each would produce puzzled looks. “You what to get what?” She would ask. “Why Alligator loafers?” The idea to have a pair of these exotic loafers was originally planted in me years by way of Mark McNairy, who I worked with at J.Press. At that time it was just an idea, a moment of inspiration and nothing more. It wasn’t something I was really ready to act on. Years passed and that Alligator loafer inspiration just floated around, rarely reaching the surface. Along the way it would bubble up when I went to see Gucci loafers being made in Italy and my interest and thoughts on ostentatious loafers really started to resonate. Then after shopping at Sid Mashburn in Atlanta on afternoon something clicked.

The next day I called Rancourt & Co. and asked if they ever do exotics. “Of course we can.” They told me. “We make Alligator loafers on a made to order basis.”

I’ve worn Rancourt loafers for years now and consider them the best made and the most comfortable. I’ve been to Lewiston and seen the factory first hand, plus I know the what the family stands for. More than that, simply from a product perspective, I consider Rancourt to be the quintessential American handsewn shoemaker. The quality is superior and importantly, the last shapes are perfect. In my opinion, Rancourt makes the most authentic penny loafer out there. My quest for a pair of the perfect Alligator loafers was about to become a reality.

Rancourt Aligator18

I typically wear the beef roll penny loafers. I have them in a few different leathers — from suede to Horween Shell Cordovan. But for the Alligator, I decided to go for something a bit cleaner (especially since the materials were stylistically much louder.) In the end I commissioned  a pair of Rancourt & Co. Alligator pinch penny Loafers and have enjoyed them immensely. When I placed the order I asked Rancourt if they would document the process of making these shoes. I figured it would be a good ACL story. I also figured there was a chance people would have a melt-down when they see how much I spent to do this — which would be fun in and of itself.

After seeing these beautiful shoes I even think my wife has started to come around. She was asking me if Rancourt makes women’s loafers. I told her that these aren’t decisions you make over night. Let’s give the idea at least a few years to settle in.

Rancourt Aligator14

Rancourt Aligator16

Rancourt Aligator15

Rancourt Aligator17

Rancourt Aligator03

Rancourt Aligator09

Rancourt Aligator05

Rancourt Aligator04

Rancourt Aligator06
Rancourt & Co. owner Mike Rancourt even got hands on.

Rancourt Aligator07

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Rancourt Aligator02

Rancourt Aligator10


Comments on “The Last Pair of Loafers I will Ever Own.

    Joe Son October 21, 2015 @ 11:58 AM:

    Mike – they’re beautiful. Congrats. Hats off to the Rancourt crew. Purchases like this where you mull it over for years and years always seem to be the most fulfilling.

    MLClevelandon October 21, 2015 @ 12:01 PM:

    Those should last a lifetime for only 5.6x the GDP of Burkina Faso. Beautiful shoes.

    Mr Brownon October 22, 2015 @ 10:16 AM:

    *Tips glass in MW’s general direction*

    Mr. Toadon October 23, 2015 @ 3:17 PM:

    Nice. Absurd and ridiculous, too, but very, very nice.

    Ray Hullon October 25, 2015 @ 2:02 PM:

    I only do ostentatious cowboy boots (and I know that’s redundant). My latest pair is from the last (legal) anteater skins they had left at J.B. Hill’s (and how appropos is his reference to turn up in the same column as Longchamps…) And I had some ironic fun with the pull design: http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=16394473&size=lg

    Skenflin McGintyon October 25, 2015 @ 3:42 PM:

    Proportionally; I don’t they quite reach Smythson Notebook level.

    toadon October 29, 2015 @ 9:43 AM:

    As for being the last pair of loafers you ever purchase …. please. Do YOU
    even believe that?

    Michael Williamson October 29, 2015 @ 11:03 AM:

    @toad No

    Mr.Lon November 11, 2015 @ 10:38 PM:

    Price please? At least give us an approx price. Thanks : )

    Michael Williamson November 12, 2015 @ 5:10 PM:

    Mr.L — click the link to see the shoes in Rancourt’s shop.

Comments are closed.