You could have the most elegant suit on the street when it comes to formal wear. But fail to pair it with the right pair of dress shoes and you may as well consider it a fashion failure. It is crucial to get the right dress shoes for formal wear.
While dress shoes come in many styles – such as Monk Strap or Derby, Loafer, Loafer, and Loafer, the most well-known and popular style of shoe is the Oxford. It dates back to the 17th century when King Louis XIV ruled France.
It is a very important style of footwear that every man should have (at least one pair, but ideally more), so we thought it was time to compile a guide with the best available pairs (and those that don’t cost a fortune).
First, some history.
What is an Oxford Shoe?
What is the difference between an Oxford shoe versus a typical leather lace-up shoe? The lacing system is the key to understanding this difference. Oxford shoes have a closed lace system, whereas traditional Derby shoes use an open lace system. Compare the two styles and you will immediately see the difference.
An Oxford shoe’s uppers are made up of quarters (rear section of leather) and the vamp, which are separate mid-leather sections that are stitched over each other. The two leather quarters should form a ‘V’ shape when the laces are tied. Are there lace holes? The modern British Oxfords have 5 eyelet holes per side, while American Oxfords typically have 6.
How to Identify Quality Oxford Shoes
Now that you are able to tell the difference between Oxfords and standard leather dress shoes, it is time to look at the most affordable options available. The shape is the most important aspect of the shoe. We are going for rounded-toe Oxfords that exude modern tailoring without the pointy shoe trend that should have been lost with the elves.