oxford-shoe There’s nothing worse than a man not knowing his shoes.

Okay, wait, there is A LOT worse, but in an attempt to never have you in that situation, I thought it was time to complete my ‘menswear 101‘ education on shoes, with the only major style I haven’t yet covered, the Oxford. I picked up these Oxfords (so shiiiny) from the new Tread and Miller collection, and thought I would use them to help demonstrate the difference between an Oxford and a Derby – For those who think a Derby is a type of horse race read here.

dscf0504textThe reason I thought this post necessary, is I’ve often heard guys referring to Brogues, as Oxfords, when this isn’t always the case. Not every brogue can be an Oxford, nor can every Oxford be a brogue. For some quick clarity, brogueing is the perforation detail given to the shoe – but more on that here.

An Oxford, quite simply is determined by the lacing mechanism. Oxfords have closed lacing. See simple.

Okay, not so simple I get it, this whole shoe thing is actually pretty complex, and more so to explain. Closed lacing, simply means that the eyelet tabs are stitched underneath the vamp of the shoe so that they aren’t visible. In contrast, the Derby, features “open” lacing, which means that their eyelet tabs are stitched on top of the shoe’s vamp

dscf0530dscf0549dscf0518dscf0573mediumSo where did the Oxford come from? Well, there should be no surprise that they originated in Scotland – I say this because it seem that back in the 1600’s Scotland was a serious hub for mens fashion and EVERYTHING originated there! They were called Balmorals back then – after the famous castle.

They became known as Oxfords, when a bunch or rebellious Oxford students fought against the evil oppression of knee high and ankle high boots (called Oxonians) in the early 1800’s. Imagine a world where rebelling meant not wearing a particular shoe? Weird.

The oxford shoe, is perhaps the most formal of all formal shoes. The closed lacing gives the shoe a neat appearance perfect for when you want to bring a further dash of dandy to your look. If you’re not sure what I mean, here’s a little tip.


If you’re looking to up your formal shoe game, I’m gonna suggest a pair of oxfords. I’m even gonna suggest you give these Arthur Jack Atticus Oxfords a try – Full leather, uppers, block heel, almond shaped toe, they tick all the boxes. Oh, and be brave, get the burgundy.

Want R100 off your purchase? Thought you might. Just sign up the newsletter on the Tread and Miller site and boom, you get R100 voucher. Enjoy!

Okay. Stay fancy.

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