Best Dress Formal Shoes For Men
Commonly referred to as one of the most elegant types of men’s shoes, the Oxford was first made popular by the students of Oxford University around 1825. Before then, men’s footwear was dominated by boots. Soon, these lower cut shoes became the norm among gentlemen of the time.
The biggest determining factor of the Oxford is the lacing system. The Oxford features a closed lacing system, as opposed to an open lacing system (more on that later), meaning the leather upper is stitched to the rest of the shoe, unlike its Derby counterpart. Other characteristics include low heels and exposed ankles.
The derby, similar to the Oxford, is defined once again by its lacing system. While the Oxford features a closed lacing system, the derby hosts an open lacing system in the form of two quarters that are sewn onto the vamp.
The roots of the shoe aren’t entirely clear. Some trace it back to the 14 Earl of Derby, who had oversized feet and requested his cobbler create the open lace style to help him fit into his shoes. Whatever the case, many attest to the comfort of the derby shoe from the open lacing system, and similar to the Oxford, they suit just about any formal occasion
Here’s where we find comfort over fashion. While they certainly aren’t the most elaborate looking shoes, at least when compared to others in this list, they serve an important purpose: driving assistance. That’s because they’re typically lightweight and feature grippy soles with traction extending up the back of the heel.
The extra grip is meant to provide stability and control while working the pedals of a standard (manual) transmission without compromising comfort on longer drives. What’s also great about drivers is that, chosen correctly, they’re great summertime slip-ons that are both breathable and light.
Perhaps one of the most misunderstood shoes around, Brogues come from the process of broguing, or the ornamenting of shoes with heavy perforations or picking. Therefore, expounding upon the essence of the confusion, it stands that any shoe with perforations is considered a brogue, even if it fits the derby or oxford style.
The origin comes from Scotland and Ireland as a shoe suitable for wear while working in the outdoors. Originally, the purpose of the perforations in the shoe was to allow water to drain from the shoes. Today, brogues feature low heels, top caps, heel caps lace panels (like the Derby) and the presence of Broguing (or decorative) perforations.