The eternal question: How are Oxford shoes different to Derby shoes?
Despite their being terms which are used frequently, in general few people know the answer. In our shop in Mallorca we have heard everything: that the Oxfords are just Brogues, or that Derby shoes – or Bluchers – are made with a simpler construction. Others, simplifying, call all handmade shoes for dress “Oxfords“. All this is way off, wide of the mark and does not hold up to the truth.
So here you have it, if you are a little lost on the matter. There’s a simple explanation. Oxfords are formal shoes for dressing smart, more elegant, and they are the best option to go with a tuxedo jacket or suit. They may have perforations – as do the now so called “Brogues.” They may be plain, with a toecap, “Wholecut“, etc. What makes a shoe an Oxford is the system of doing up the laces – how the holes for the laces are set out. On the Oxfords, the part further down is fixed and does not allow the shoe to be opened in this area.
On Derby shoes, the lower part can be opened which makes them more appropriate for bigger feet, or feet with a higher instep, because they give more slack for the best fitting when you tie them up, or untie the laces and take the shoes off. Derby shoes are less formal than Oxfords, and therefore are more looking better for moments of leisure. They are ideal for wearing with chinos and a jacket, jeans or similar garments.
Well, that’s easier than it sounds, isn’t it?