When it comes to shoes, men have extremely varied options for all occasions. However, the most common are two classic styles, reinvented over time: Oxford style shoes and Derby style shoes. Depending on the color, the skin used and the details with ornamental role, both styles can vary between extreme casual and elegant and can successfully complement the office attire, gala or casual jeans.
With so many options, choosing the right pair may seem difficult, but in reality, there are some notions of style that make these shoes much easier to fit into a category. So, the next time you are looking for shoes to wear on a specific occasion, you can return to this short guide for inspiration.
How we recognize Oxford style shoes
Oxford style shoes are often considered the most elegant men's shoes, and their defining feature is the closure. Become famous due to the style approached by the students from the famous English university, Oxford - Oxford shoes are distinguished by design elements, but also by details related to the manufacturing process.
Specifically, the sides of the upper part of the shoe are sewn so that they fit perfectly above the toe, the tongue of the shoe remaining hidden. These shoes always close with a lace, and when the laces are untied, the side faces form a "V", with the toe facing the toe of the shoe. The classic version of the Oxford shoe is easily recognizable by the very close laces in the upper part. In the case of the Oxford model, this is possible due to the special manufacturing process through which the toe - the front of the shoe (the vamp) is sewn over the quarters - the sides, from laces to heels. Thus, by closing the ankles, the shoes stretch perfectly and sit on the impeccable foot. Other features that differentiate this model are the thin heel and the way the ankle is exposed.
From a stylistic point of view, the black Oxford style shoe is considered the most elegant men's shoe, being the ideal choice for galas, ceremonies and formal receptions. Because it is an easy-to-match pattern, it is currently available in a variety of colors, from brown and copper to burgundy and navy blue. For example, the brown variants do not only match perfectly with the costumes, but also with the casual outfits.
There are even more models of Oxford shoes. Classic Oxford shoes are those whose toe is distinguished by a simple seam on its toe. Oxford semi-brogue shoes are decorated with manual edging in the area of the toe, lace or rod, and full-brogue shoes are characterized by much wider and more curved embroidery on the front, back and side, the seam that differentiates the toe of the shoe reaching the middle of the sole.
In the selection of Loake Goodyear Welted, from the internationally renowned footwear brand, which you can find at SARTO, you have the opportunity to opt for a pair of authentic Oxford shoes. Specialists recommend Oxford shoes created by the Goodyear Welted process because the manufacturing technique makes them more resistant and better adapted to the needs of wearing (because they let the foot breathe).
How Derby shoes differ from Oxford style ones
There are many people who confuse Oxford shoes with Derby and vice versa. While Oxford-style shoes are differentiated by the close closure system, Derby shoes are at the opposite pole, with a remote closure system, thanks to the ankle stitches sewn over the heel, along with the laces for the laces (which are positioned on the ankles).
If we take a closer look at the two types of closure, we notice an interesting difference. Unlike the near Oxford shoe system, in the remote Derby shoe system, the lace-up parts are not connected at the bottom. They are joined by laces, which usually creates a slight gap between the two when the laces are tied. For this reason, Derby shoes are a more casual option than Oxford shoes, which through the very close closure system are imposed as a more formal option. In addition to the closure system, Derby shoes also have differences in heel level which is more massive than that of Oxford shoes. Instead, the two models have in common the way the ankle is exposed.
The main reason why it is worth having a pair of Derby shoes in the collection is the lightness they offer to the wearer. Moreover, although they are considered more casual (in the sense that they are not the number 1 recommendation in case of a black tie event), they perfectly complement a more elegant suit.
As with Oxford shoes, there are a multitude of colors and designs of Derby shoes, and SARTO advisers will help you choose from the Loake collection the pair of Derby shoes suitable for your clothing style.