G.H. Bass Review: Formal Classic or Versatile Workhorse?

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by  Kiev Broadwater | Last Updated: 

Shoes that can serve you in a handful of different settings are becoming the norm. However, there’s a certain range of the situational spectrum that can be tricky to nail down.

For example, finding shoes that you can wear with jeans and a tee or a tux aren’t easy to find. The shoes offered by G.H. Bass have stepped into that niche, but how casual can a leather loafer really be? Check out my G.H. Bass review to find out.

The OG loafer
The Adult Man Image/Icon Image source: G.H. Bass

G.H. Bass Originals

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Bottom line: G.H. Bass is built on tradition, but they offer updated styles that keep them relevant and trendy. High-quality materials and a timeless look make their shoes extremely versatile, whether you’re rocking them with a white tee and jeans or a three-piece suit.

Ratings:

The Adult Man Image/Icon  Design The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Quality of Materials The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Value for Money The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Craftsmanship The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Customer Service The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon

Pros:

  • Their shoes are well-made and surprisingly affordable when compared to loafers of a similar quality
  • They’ve been pumping out shoes since 1876, and the brand has consistently stayed true to their craft instead of cutting corners like some other legacy brands.
  • Although they’re famous for their standard leather Weejuns, they offer a wide range of styles, fabrics, and colors to choose from
  • The adaptable style of these shoes makes it easy to slip them on and go

Cons:

  • Their shoes fit between a half and a full size large, which isn’t a big deal, but definitely something to keep in mind when ordering online

As a man who’s somewhat plugged into fashion (or at least attempts to be), I have a lot of shoes. 

I have sneakers, boots, brogues, slides, sandals, runners, and oxfords, and they all generally have their place with certain outfits. That’s just my style.

I can dress up the boots and dress down the brogues to an extent, but there’s not much around that covers me from jeans and a t-shirt to a suit and tie.

Finding shoes that fit this niche with any sort of success would be invaluable, which is how I stumbled upon G.H. Bass. Hearing someone describe the utility of their loafers by saying, “you can wear them like Vans” made my ears perk up.

I picked up a few classics from this brand to see for myself. Check out the findings in my G.H. Bass review below.

What Is G.H. Bass?

man holding black GH Bass Weejuns

G.H. Bass is a classic shoe brand that started in Maine in 1876. Nearly 150 years later, they’re still pumping out high-quality shoes.

“Weejuns,” G.H. Bass’s signature shoes, are named after the shoes that travelers saw Norwegian fishermen wearing in the early 1900s. The style exploded and was soon everywhere, from Palm Beach resorts to Hollywood. G.H. Bass got in early, made necessary improvements to the style, and became an American footwear staple.

They offer a handful of different styles, ranging from classic penny loafer Weejuns to chunky-soled, 90s-inspired versions with contrasting fabrics and color blocking. 

Their versatility is something the brand seems to hold near and dear, with a social media presence showing off just as many streetwear, alternative, and punk looks as high-fashion and formal.

Things to Consider Before Buying Shoes from G.H. Bass

GH Bass loafers on yellow background

Multi-purpose shoes, and clothing in general, are booming right now. And while G.H. Bass certainly offers versatility in terms of styling, they aren’t particularly built for comfort or for speed. As versatile as they may be in terms of the look, keep in mind that these are built like dress shoes.

If you’re looking for something to add a little flair and an extra touch of style to your look, G.H. Bass definitely has you covered. However, if you’re searching for something that’s going to be as supportive and cushioned as a pair of sneakers for putting miles on the pavement, their shoes aren’t going to have you so comfortably covered.

G.H. Bass

G.H. Bass is a classic shoe brand originating in 1800s Maine. They've been making shoes for nearly 150 years, offering many different shoe styles and focusing on brand versatility.

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G.H. Bass Review

Logan Flat Strap Weejuns

man standing on chair with GH Bass shoes

Loafers have been popping up in all sorts of different looks, with high-fashion streetwear being one of the most recent additions. It turns out, classic style is classic for a reason. It just works.

The Logan Flat Strap Weejuns from G.H. Bass are what seem like the best representation of what the brand is known for: well-made, classic leather loafers. Let’s take a look at the specs.

Leather upper, leather sole, moc stitching, unlined, and hand-stitched in El Salvador. The insole has a bit of cushion in the instep and in the heel, as well as some perforation to keep things cool. 

The stitching on these seems durable, and the leather upper also feels like it will last. They’re still a bit stiff after a few times wearing them out and about, but I’m excited for how they’ll feel once they’re broken in.

These shoes also feature the classic flat strap and penny holder, which I love on a pair of loafers. Will I stick a penny in there? Maybe one day—for now, I’ll let the shoes shine without any extra hardware.

man laying on couch wearing GH Bass shoes

One thing to keep in mind about these shoes is the fit. I have long, narrow feet; and not only do these shoes run a bit large, but they also run a bit wider than many other shoes, meaning that they tend to slip without further modification. 

Luckily, a tongue pad was enough to solve the issue and get these bad boys fitting right. They’re generally made of felt or leather, and run about ten bucks for a few pairs.

While these shoes are comfortable when they fit right, they’re dress shoes, so you wouldn’t catch me walking around the city all day in them. If you insist on putting some miles on these, an insole would be a must.

GH Bass loafers on colorblock background

Overall, I’m a fan of these shoes. They look great with jeans and I wouldn’t think twice about throwing them on with more formal attire. With socks or without, these are a pretty versatile addition to anyone’s wardrobe, and their classic styling fits into a wide range of looks.

G.H. Bass Logan Flat Strap Weejuns

G.H. Bass' Weejun Loafers put an emphasis on versatility, featuring genuine leather, classic flat-strap styling, and classic moc stitching. The loafers are hand-sewn in El Salvador to boot.

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Layton Kiltie Weejuns

Man in GH Bass loafers putting feet up

When feeling out a new brand, sometimes it’s best to stick to the classics, which is why the other pair I snagged from G.H. Bass were their Layton Kiltie Weejuns.

These shoes aren’t too far of a cry from their Logan Flat Strap Weejuns, but there are some small details that make a big difference in the look. 

For starters, the most obvious difference between these shoes and the flat strap alternative is the Kiltie and tassel styling on the vamp. While the structure and materials of the shoe are the same, as is the fit and the insole, these additions alone give these loafers a different flavor.

Another difference between these shoes and the Flat Strap Weejuns is the lacing around the top, which is slightly more reminiscent of boat shoes. 

man wearing brown GH Bass loafers by lake

With the same addition of tongue pads to make these slightly large and wide shoes fit on my narrow feet, these shoes felt the same as the others: high-quality and comfortable, but not something I’d walk around in all day without a word from Dr. Scholl.

I picked these up in tan, and I’m glad I did. The Kiltie and tassel on the shoe soften the look up a bit, making them less streamlined and punk-friendly than the black, flat strap version. I like this contrast because these tan Kiltie loafers pair phenomenally with neutrals as well as the odd pop of color.

No socks for a summer look, or socks with a fun pattern to add a little whimsy to your outfit. The versatility of these shoes is where they shine, in my eyes even more so than in black.

Man on chair wearing GH Bass Weejun shoes

Although these don’t differ that much from the Flat Strap Weejuns on paper, they offer different styling options and a much different overall look. I’m just as satisfied with these as I am with the Flat Strap Weejuns, and because of my tendency to rock neutrals, I’ll probably get even more use out of them.

G.H. Bass - Layton Kiltie Weejuns

The Layton Kiltie Weejuns are a versatile loafer for year-round style. They feature genuine leather, kiltie and tassel styling on the vamp, contrast stitching, and classic moc stitching.

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What do Other Reviewers Say About G.H. Bass

Brown and Black GH Bass Loafers

I honestly can’t think of many brands that are just as well-received by punks and rockabillies as by golfers and politicians. I certainly never saw a president in a pair of Doc Martens.

G.H. Bass has been all over the place in street fashion, with trendsetters applauding their classic look, comfort, and versatility. And although I do make an effort to care for my shoes, there’s a vast number of the streetwear crowd that claims their Weejuns look even better after they’re a little beat up.

This brand also receives positive reviews from more buttoned-up customers, many of whom regard their shoes as American classics that they wouldn’t hesitate to get resoled (when the time comes).

My Thoughts Overall On G.H. Bass

What I Like

  • G.H. Bass is a classic American brand with nearly 150 years in the footwear game. A legacy like that doesn’t come from a low-quality product.

  • Their shoes are made of high-quality materials and are serviceable by a cobbler, so you can enjoy them for years to come.

  • The price of their shoes is a good value for the quality you’re getting.

What I Don’t Like

  • Their shoes run a little large, which isn’t a huge deal, but it’s something to keep in mind.

  • The smooth, dressy leather soles on these shoes, which are great in more formal settings, take away a bit of utility and grip on the streets.

Who is G.H. Bass for?

There aren’t many brands, short of high-dollar designers, that are pushing loafers into a more fashionable light. G.H. Bass is for those who are looking to add some flair to their street style looks, pick up some high-quality shoes for the office, and pretty much everything in between.

Bass Weejuns are also best for those with slightly wider feet. They can fit narrow feet, but they tend to slip around unless they’re modified with a cheap tongue or heel pad.

The Verdict

I’m always looking for little touches to jazz up an outfit and versatile shoes that I can add to my workhorse collection.

I would just as soon rock the Logan Flat Strap Weejuns in a rockabilly style with a white tee and some rolled jeans as with a suit, which is a space that not many shoes can occupy successfully.

The Layton Kiltie Weejuns, on the other hand, look great with just about any neutral you throw at them, and they can really ground an outfit with some more fashion-forward pieces on top. Looking to wear that big new hat or interesting shirt without being too loud? Throw them on with these and call it a day.

Overall, I’m a fan of these G.H. Bass shoes. The quality speaks for itself, and the versatile look makes a pair of Weejuns or two an invaluable addition to your shoe rack.

G.H. Bass

G.H. Bass is a classic shoe brand originating in 1800s Maine. They've been making shoes for nearly 150 years, offering many different shoe styles and focusing on brand versatility.

Shop G.H. Bass
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

FAQs

Does G.H. Bass have physical storefronts?

G.H. Bass currently only has one physical store in the U.S., which is located in New York. If you’re in the U.K., however, they can be found in many more stores. G.H Bass is widely stocked in departments stores as well.

Does G.H. Bass sell clothing?

An offshoot of G.H. Bass, called Bass Outdoor, sells a full range of hiking and outdoor gear.

Shop This Post

G.H. Bass Logan Flat Strap Weejuns
A classic, formal loafer with surprising versatility
G.H. Bass Logan Flat Strap Weejuns
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G.H. Bass - Layton Kiltie Weejuns
Loafers for year round style and versatility
G.H. Bass - Layton Kiltie Weejuns
Check Best Price
If you click these links and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.