Photo by Salt Water New England

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

The Gucci 1953 Horsebit Loafer: Still Part of The Uniform?


Dear Editor,

Question for the community: what is the current view on Gucci bit loafers? Specifically, the 1953 Horsebit model.

Now that the world seems to be returning a state of normalcy post-Covid I find myself wearing my old bit loafers more often and, frankly, after +15 years they are ready to be replaced.  

I’ve always thought of Guccis as a part of The Uniform. Before investing in a new pair I thought it would be interesting to see if others still feel the same way.

Many thanks.


  1. I have the rancourt horsebit loafer. I recommend them for a similar classic look, durable high quality, american manufacturing, lifetime repairs, and attractive price.

  2. Not for me, but each his/her own.

  3. Sure, why not. I will tell you however that the soles of the 1953s are notoriously thin. The Rancourts mentioned above might be an interesting alternative if you are not fussy about the brand cachet of Gucci.

  4. I wouldn’t personally go anywhere near Gucci. If you like them go for it.

  5. ROBERT REICHARDTMay 3, 2022 at 4:43 PM

    Gucci makes a high quality shoe, although not to my taste.(Especially after I read about the infamous "Gucci Gulch" in Washington DC - the place where lobbyists in these shoes constantly try to ambush members of Congress as they walk around the corridors inside the Capitol Building.)

    Anyway, if you like them, I see no reason not to be happy in them.

  6. In the era when Gucci bit loafers became popular enough to be seen widely in the Northeast, there were visible differences between the real things and other brands. However, there are now options out there that are pretty much identical to Gucci but available in other widths. I always felt as if I were wearing a costume when I wore Gucci bit loafers and have not done so for many years, but they are very fine shoes. The soles, though thin, are amazingly durable.

  7. Why not! They have been a staple for many a year! Cheers!

  8. Gucci is obscene.

  9. Not to my taste; as loafers go, I prefer American.

    Your intrepid reader from north of the 49th,


  10. Not unless you want to look like a mafioso

    1. Agreed. Anche gli italiani non vogliono sembrare mafiosi.

  11. Bit loafers are a part of my uniform though I sometimes feel dishonest wearing them because I do not have any connection to equestrian sports. They are not Gucci, however. They are from Oak Street Bootmakers and Alden.

    But if a pair of bit loafers need replacing (or resoled) because they were loved and well-worn, whether the shoes are part of the uniform today or not, they are worth buying again.

  12. Bits belong on horses, not shoes.