Brogue: the history of one of most loved shoes

The classical footwear weared by the men, loved by women. Brief history of the brogue..

Women love high heels, men love Brogue. There are very few women that use heels every day, most of them pulls them out to impress with special effects during evening gallants, or parties, but during the day the flat shoe is the uniform to juggle the myriad of commitments, and from the last season the male shoes are the winner. Originating in Scotland and Ireland, the Brogue is a style shoe traditionally characterized by multiple-piece, sturdy leather uppers with decorative perforations (or ‘brogueing’). The perforations allowed water to drain from the shoes when the wearer crossed wet terrain. Brogues were traditionally considered a country footwear, not appropriate for more formal occasions. After it was worn at the Oxford University in the early 1800s, they are considered appropriate in most contexts. Brogues, usually called Oxford, are most commonly found in two laced closure styles (Balmoral or the Derby) and four toe cap styles.

Closure styles

The two variations on the Oxford laced closure style give the wearer an option for formal or less formal occasions. The Balmoral, the more formal Oxford, take is name by the castle in Scotland frequented by the royal family. It has a dosed throat lacing with four or five pairs of holes and can be identified by the quarters which overlapping at the tongue. This style of Oxford especially feets on any narrow foot. The Derby, or ‘bluchers’, the less formal Oxford, has an open throat lacing. The quarter sidepieces are attached on the outside of the vamp, allow- ing extra room for inserting the foot and doing up the laces. It is therefore more comfortable for a high instep or a wide foot..

Toe cap styles

When choosing an Oxford shoe, either the Balmoral or the Derby, ‘Capping it off’ becomes of prime importance. You can choose with ei- ther a ‘plain toe cap’, or with a ‘decorated toe cap,’ the Brogue ones. Its styles is defined by brogueing, or ‘punchings’ of various sizes, ar- ranged in decorative designs, including the full brogue (or ‘wingtip’ in the United States), semi- brogue and quarter brogue style. But be care- ful: the more brogueing found on a shoe, the more casual it becomes. It is, therefore, inap- propriate to wear a shoe with brogueing after six o’clock in the evening, a plain and black is the right choice for a man.

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