Steve Madden Raffia Review

8.8
8.8 score
[Editors rating (8.8)] = (WalkJogRun) score (8.8)/10


0
Editor rating: 8.8 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
1 star
0%
2 star
0%
3 star
0%
4 star
0%
5 star
0%
Add your Rating

If you are interested in looking dapper this spring, summer, and fall, then you may want to take a look at these polished cognac leather loafers. From the Men’s line of the Steve Madden footwear company comes the Raffia Loafer. They have a convenient slip-on design for quick and easy donning and doffing. The sturdy sole exudes masculinity, while a couple of trendy tassels at the top of the foot and decorative textured, woven upper add a touch of fancy flair.

These loafers are offered in sizes seven through twelve, including half sizes. After twelve, sizes thirteen and fourteen are available, but there is not a half size option for twelve, thirteen, or fourteen. There are also no sizes in which a wide option is offered. These loafers do not contain a lining. The outsole is made of synthetic leather and has a slightly raised heel appearance. This style is timeless and will never go out of fashion, so no matter your age or typical fashion sense, you are free to sport these loafers with nothing but confidence.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Great airflow
  • Contours to foot
  • Barefoot friendly
  • Flexible synthetic sole
  • Versatile, sleek look
Cons
  • Slightly high price
  • No wide/narrow options
Brand

Brand

Steven Madden was born in Far Rockaway, Queens. He is the son of an Irish Catholic father and a Jewish mother. He grew up in Lawrence and he graduated from a high school in Nassau County, New York. He is the youngest of three brothers. Steve impressively started his company with $1,100 by selling shoes out of the trunk of his car.

Steve Madden founded his company in 1990, in Brooklyn New York, where he started out making his trend-setting shoes one pair at a time. It did not take long for the young female women that were attracted to funky, chic, and competitively priced footwear to notice Steve Madden’s focus on modern designs. The “dressy sneaker” trend was produced by the Steve Madden company. And the company continues to man the forefront of trends. The company manufactures and markets shoes and fashion accessories for men, women, and children. The company includes the brands Steve Madden, Steven by Steve Madden, Madden Girl, Freebird by Steven, Betsey, Stevies, Betseyville, Johnson, Report, Report Signature, Wild Pair, Big Buddha, Mad Love, and Cejon. There are around one hundred and twenty Steven Madden stores in the United States and two hundred and fifty more in over sixty-five other countries.
Upper

Upper

When someone refers to the “upper” of a shoe, they are speaking of the part of the shoe that covers the top of the foot, the toes, the sides of the foot, and the back of the heel. It adheres to the outsole of the shoe. The upper of the Raffia Loafer is made from leather and is textured and woven. The leather is one of the most popular choices when companies are deciding on upper material. It is desirable because it is flexible yet durable and as sturdy as it is supple.

It is a rather breathable material, and it insulates heat, which helps to regulate temperature. It is also capable of absorbing moisture and expelling it as vapor, keeping your feet dry. Leather can conform to the shape of your foot in a way that no other shoe material is able to. A few drawbacks to leather uppers include a higher price tag, heavier weight, higher chance of getting hot, and vulnerability to water damage if not properly treated. Keep in mind that leather comes from animal hides and will, therefore, bear slight imperfections.
Unlined

Unlined

The Raffia Loafer does not have a lining. This means that (obviously) there is no lining, and you can usually see the rough backs of the hides inside the shoe. Currently, there is a trend going on for unlined shoes. And it’s not just light summer loafers that they’re wanting unlined. There are some great benefits to unlined shoes, but there are disadvantages, as with all things. You should be aware of both ends before deciding to purchase a product. Unlined shoes typically feel softer and more comfortable from the moment you put them on. They are also more airy and cool. It is also a lot more comfortable for those who like to wear shoes without socks. The slightly roughened flesh or grain side that is usually covered by lining keeps your skin from sticking.

Shoes with lining tend to cause your feet to slip when you’re walking in them without socks. People have found that they sweat significantly less when they don’t wear socks in their shoes, depending on how breathable the upper material is. In this case, you’ve got a breathable upper to work with. Since the upper is leather, and it is not lined, it will wick moisture even better. It is not a secret that leather is very good at wicking up moisture and expelling it as vapor. The downside to shoes without lining is that they will invariably have a shorter lifespan than that of a standard leather lined shoe. Unlined shoes are more susceptible to losing their shape faster as well.
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole is most commonly referred to as the sole and it is the bottommost part of the shoe that comes in direct contact with the ground. Soles can be constructed from a variety of materials. Most popular are leather and rubber. Certain types of material will provide better traction, support, comfort, etc. It depends on the style and purpose of the shoe which material the manufacturer chooses. A dancer would be more interested in a leather sole because it will allow them to glide and turn more easily on the dance floor. A hiker would be more drawn to a shoe with a rubber sole for waterproof protection and better traction.

There are also synthetic options such as polyurethane or PVC compounds. No matter the material, shoes are designed to be durable, but will always wear out eventually. The sole on the Raffia Leather from Steve Madden is made from synthetic material. Some advantages of this material are that it is flexible and more comfortable right off the bat, leaving for minimal break-in time. It is also a sturdy material that can provide additional comfort for some people. Synthetic material has more shock absorption than leather, so you don’t feel every little pebble you’re stepping on. A synthetic sole will not have the ability to mold to your foot, so it could become uncomfortable over time for some people. Everyone’s feet are different. Consider what you need out of the sole of your footwear before purchasing.
Airflow

Airflow

Thanks to a beautifully intricate textured, woven leather design, these loafers are a breath of fresh air. There are small gaps throughout the entire upper that will allow air to move in and out of the shoe with ease. This, along with the fact that leather is breathable, means that your feet will be more likely to stay dry, cool, and comfortable throughout the whole day. Leather has the unique ability to absorb moisture and proceed to expel it as vapor. There is not a lining in the Raffia Loafer, and that is actually an advantage when it comes to airflow and breathability in shoes.

A huge benefit of having shoes with great airflow is health. I’m talking about foot health. When your feet sweat profusely and there is nowhere for that sweat to go, there will be a breeding ground created for bacteria. The bacteria is what then causes a cheesy smell on your feet/in your shoes. If you are someone who is typically under a lot of stress, has to be on your feet for an extended amount of time, or have a medical condition called hyperhidrosis, then you need to be looking specifically for breathable footwear. The Raffia Loafer could be a perfect fit for you.
Aesthetics

Aesthetics

The Raffia Loafer has a beautifully sophisticated, timeless look that is a perfect fit for any man (or woman), of any age. The intricately woven, textured leather upper has an irreplaceable classic appearance. There are two tassels at the top of the foot that add the perfect amount of flair to the shoe. The leather is a chocolatey cognac color and is smooth and gleamy. These loafers may have stepped it up big time in the style department, but that doesn’t mean that you can only specifically wear them when you’re wanting to look sharp.

You can definitely wear these loafers with a pair of dress slacks, but you can also wear them with your sweatpants to go for a stroll to the mailbox and back home. You can wear them around the house as slippers or day shoes. They’re suitable for a walk around the park or to sit at a table at your company meeting. Wear them out to dinner and a movie. Wherever you go, whatever you’re doing, you can wear the Raffia Loafer and enjoy a comfortable, breathable day and look good while doing it.
Fit

Fit

The Steve Madden Men’s Raffia Loafer is offered in sizes seven through twelve, including half sizes. From size twelve to fourteen, only whole sizes are available. There is no option for a wide or narrow width. These loafers have a slip-on design and no tools for adjustment. The leather upper will conform to your foot over time, providing comfort. However, the synthetic sole will not mold to the shape of your foot and could cause discomfort to some people over time.
Comfort

Comfort

There are many features about this loafer that will provide you with comfort. There are also a few that could potentially cause discomfort for certain people with foot issues/disorders. There is not a lining in these loafers. That means that your feet will be able to breathe more easily and the leather will have better access to the moisture from your feet. This is important because leather is able to keep your feet dry and cool better than other materials by absorbing the moisture and expelling it as vapor. The fact that no lining means the back of the hide is exposed to your feet could potentially cause slight discomfort to certain people. It could simply be because your feet aren’t used to the feeling. That could go away with time.

There is no cushioning in the footbed of this loafer, and the sole is rather thin. Therefore, it would be advisable to look into purchasing a pair of insoles to go with these loafers. There are no adjustment options, however, leather has the ability to conform to the shape of your foot. This could provide you with a more comfortable, secure fit over time. If you have wide, narrow, or swelling feet, you may want to consider another option, simply because there are no wide options available and you will not be able to adjust the tightness of the loafer.
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Keep your feet happy with the breathable, comfortable, sleek Raffia Loafer from Steve Madden. Attract eyes from all around with the beautifully intricate, woven, chocolatey leather upper design, with a splash of flavor from the tassels at the top of the foot. Because these loafers are not lined, and the leather is woven, the special capabilities of the leather upper are enhanced. There will be increased airflow to help keep your feet dry and cool. And the moisture wicking ability of the leather, along with the fact that it can expel the moisture as a vapor, will assist in keeping your feet comfortable all day.

Some people even say that they prefer to wear unlined shoes without socks because it is more comfortable. It’s worth a shot if you haven’t experienced the freedom before. To allow yourself even more comfort, you may want to consider investing in a set of cushioned insoles for your loafers. You may also want to look into how to care for leather so that you can extend the life of your loafers as much as possible. These loafers not only look super sophisticated, but they are extremely versatile and appropriate for all ages.