Oxford shoes are arguably the most popular dress shoes for men. You will see them in business suits wearing them.

You will see them at social gatherings in evening wear. Oxfords are worn even in casual business settings because of their versatility in style, colour, and material.

What is an Oxford Shoe?

Many people mistakenly believe that a toe cap defines the oxford shoe. It is understandable, as the term “Oxford” use interchangeably to describe a wide variety of different shoes. However, the reality is that their lacing so names oxford shoes.

An Oxford shoe is one that has the loops attached to the bottom of the vampire rather than the top. It gives the fancy impression that there are no gloves at all. What you see above part of the shoe are the holes that the laces go through. It creates a characteristic and elegant look that is not interrupted by small metal rings. If a shoe has a simple slit at the top of the shoe with loops on each side that are tight with the laces, you can call it an oxford.

As their lacing characterizes oxfords, it is possible to design them as toe shoes, whole grain shoes, brogues, saddles and even as a spectator. The term Oxford has nothing to do with fit or construction. It is a style that indicates where the eyelets should place about the vampire.

History of Oxford Shoes

Although no one has officially documented the origin of Oxford shoes, it is a belief that they appeared in Scotland and Ireland two hundred years ago. It is thought that they were once named Balmorals about Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire.

The name Oxford is a believes to originate from Oxford University, where men wore side-slit boots known as Oxonian boots. These can be ankle or knee boots that are cut slightly smaller than the foot and only need the open side to be worn.

The side slit moves to instep to facilitate boots that weren’t as high as the ankle, let alone the knee. These shorter boots were laced up in the way we know today as the Oxford style and eventually evolved into formal shoes which refers to Oxfords.

Also Read : Types of Toe Shoes and their Shapes

Variations and Types of Style of Oxford Shoes

The shut lacing of the Oxford shoe makes it a very stylish shoe that works well in a variety of formal settings. Over the years, shoemakers have improved Oxford to create individual variations.

Whole cut Type

The Whole cut Oxford shoe is so named because it is made from a single piece of leather. Therefore, there are no seams except for the back seam, which holds the piece of leather together. The shoes are generally elegant and classy. Whole grain products are considered classic, conservative, and ultra-formal.

Cap toe Type

Cap toe style is possibly the most common type of oxford shoes for men. It got its name from the piece of leather sewn on the front of the shoe. Suitable for everyone except the most formal situations.

Brogues Type

The brogue is a boot or shoe with a low heel and a multi-piece construction. It usually consists of a sturdy leather upper and has decorative embellishments that give them their name. They were considered initially primarily for work and outdoors.

Balmoral Type

The Balmoral is Oxford-style with an elongated toe that extends in a W shape along the side of the shoe. It usually doesn’t include any additional bragging details and is an excellent formal choice with a twist.

Saddle Type

Saddle shoes, also known as saddle shoes, are among the most casual of all Oxford varieties. It gets the name from a decorative piece of leather in the middle part that gives the appearance of a saddle on the back stallion. They are the best addition to school uniforms and a casual shoe for less formal work environments.

Spectator Type

Also known as the co-sponsor shoe, the viewer is a type of two-tone shoe typically constructed as a full or half brogue. The viewers date from the late 19th century as evening wear for men. They became increasingly popular in the 1920s and 1930s when people didn’t dare go out without right clothes. The onlookers are easy to spot thanks to their contrasting tips on their toes and heels.

Selection of Materials and colours for Oxford Shoes

Good quality oxfords are most often come from genuine leather, with calfskin considered to be the most flexible and durable when properly cared. Due to the popularity of the style and its many variations, you can purchase oxford shoes made from several materials including suede and polished or shiny leather.

When it comes to colour choices, black oxford shoes are the most common because of their formal style. A pair of black cap oxfords are often considered the epitome of an everyday formal and professional shoe for environments where men prefer dark suits. The plus point of black goes with almost anything.

If black isn’t your choice, there are a variety of shades and tans to choose from that can be as rich and dark as chocolate or as light and airy as persimmon. Brown or tan oxfords, Not always as formal as black shoes, are good choices and look amazing with blue, grey, or dark blue suits.

For something else, you can make a statement with colours like blue and green, although they are suited for more everyday situations than more conservative blacks and browns.

How to Lace Oxford Shoes

Oxfords naturally use closed strings, which gives them a more formal look. The most popular method is to lace them from the bottom so that the pointed crosses are hidden under the vampire. The second option is to lace up oxfords from the top. This makes intersections clearly visible and is considered less formal and more visible.

As a general rule, lace-up from the bottom when a more formal and understated look like desires, think about business meetings, weddings, and funerals, upper laces are acceptable in flashier, fashion-conscious environments where you want to make a statement.

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