15 Best Oxford Shoes Reviewed & Tested

What’s exactly makes an Oxford style shoe? It’s a classically styled dress shoe, suited for business, uniform, or formal dress style, but can also be worn in casual settings when you want to step up your sense of attire. Starting out, this type of shoe was quite basic, usually made from brown or black leather. Nowadays, the Oxford is designed with added elements of style and fashion, suitable to the individual wearer’s tastes and needs. Newer elements include decorative perforations called ‘brogueing, different toe cap designs, and structures, as well as a variety of leather grain types and colors.

Last Updated: May 30, 2018
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By NicoleH:

The oxford shoe is a perfect style, versatile enough for casual or business dress. This list reflects the top 15 oxfords for 2018, from simple classic oxfords to the more colorful or brogued oxford.

Featured Recommendations

Clarks Tilden Cap
  • Clarks Tilden Cap
  • 4.8 out of 5
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  • In-built Ortholite insoles
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Bruno Marc Suede
  • Bruno Marc Suede
  • 4.6 out of 5
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  • Premium Suede Leather
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Viotti Oxford
  • Viotti Oxford
  • 5 out of 5
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  • Color Variety
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Selecting an oxford can say a lot about personal style and individuality, so when choosing one suited to you, keep in mind the intended situation for which you’d wear the shoe. Something like a black tie affair may have you selecting a more traditionally simple styled oxford with closed lacing, or if you’re looking to stand out amongst the crowd, a more colorful, decorative style would be suitable.

 

15 Best Oxford Shoes

 

1. Viotti Oxford

Stepping up style with modern sophistication, the Viotti Oxford has a pleasing aesthetic look combined with suave swagger. Coming in a rainbow of colors and textures, you can select between shiny patent or textile uppers. This shoe is more suited for those looking to make an announcement on their arrival at a gala or black tie event, and is sure to have heads turning!
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Variety
If you’re looking for an oxford that is different than anything you’ve encountered, the variety of hues and materials found in the Viotti will have you looking no further. From classic black to reds, pinks, and blues, this shoe boasts of individual taste and will bring attention to the wearer. Considering the variety of options available, you may be purchasing more than just one pair!

Sophistication
Bold meets suave in the styling of this shoe and turns up the notch in sophistication in terms of design. With an option for shiny quarters to accent satin paneling on the upper, you can add depth to your style with contrasting texture elements. Stitched with elegance and attention to detail, closed lacing indicative of traditional oxford shoe style keeps your foot firmly in place.

Cost and Value
This Oxford tends to fit a little snug, so size up if you intend to buy. Standing at an average price of many on our list, the Viotti is a great addition to your collection of footwear solely based on its styling, variety in colors and texture combinations, and jaw-dropping appeal.
Pros
  • Variety
  • Close Lace
  • Satin panels
  • Durability
  • Price
Cons
  • Fit
  • Narrow Toe

2. Bruno Marc Suede

Traditional oxfords were originally made with either black or brown leather. Modern styling has now included different leather grain into the oxford design, such as suede. Suede is a softer grain of the leather, more flexible and comfortable, but also tends to crease easier. The Bruno Marc oxford actually comes in two different styles of oxford shoe. Perfect for those looking to keep their wallet padded, these are stylish with casual or business attire.
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Options
The Bruno Marc Suede Oxford has been designed in two different ways. One reflects a classic oxford, but without the cap, and a decorative side stitch in the quarters. The second option has wingtips and brogueing on the toe and quarters to give an added boost of flair. Coming in a variety of neutral colors, you can pair these easily with any number of shorts or slacks.

Comfort
Cushioned with a padded plush insole, wearing these for the duration of an evening is nothing to worry about. You’ll also be able to insert an insole of custom design should you need additional support. The rounded toe allows the foot to flatten and expand when walking, giving ample toe room for strutting your stuff pain-free. With a slightly extended heel, you’ll feel supported, and the flexible suede material allows natural movement without restriction.

Cost and Value
Coming in on the lower end of the budget for an oxford style shoe, the Bruno Marc Suede oxford is a smart buy for those looking for a business casual pair of shoes. The variety of styling and neutral color selection allow ample options for any wardrobe. These can also be considered a great starter pair for someone new to wearing the oxford style of footwear, who aren’t looking to spend a lot.
Pros
  • Great price
  • Suede
  • Flexible
  • Options
Cons
  • Easily creased
  • Durability

3. Clarks Tilden Cap

Clarks brand has been designing footwear with function, comfort, and styling in mind since 1825. Boasting Ortholite insoles, a TPR sole, and classic oxford styling, the Clarks Tilden Cap is a brilliant option in traditional styling. Black, dark tan or brown leather options reflect old-world design, but innovative comfort construction gives this shoe a new world solution for the hustle and bustle of today.
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Styling
Classic oxford styling is reflected in the Clarks Tilden Cap. Stitching accents the cap toe and quarters, and a closed heel gives a sharp clean look to the shoe. Closed lacing completes the old authentic look, keeping a simplistic design which stays true to old-world roots. Supple leather hugs the foot, with an aristocratic sheen suitable for any occasion.

New World Function
Designed for a busy new age world, Clarks has given the Tilden Cap a few upgrades for comfort, while keeping the style in the forefront. The quarters sewn to the vamp have a slight cut near the tongue of the shoe, giving it flexibility for movement and walking. A lined and padded heel and inner will minimize blistering, and the Ortholite sole keeps your feet dry as well as cushioned during wear.

Cost and Value
If you’re searching for an oxford that keeps clean classic styling while combining freedom of movement and comfort to a shoe, search no more. For a moderate price tag, the Clarks Tilden Cap oxford is perfect for the go-getter on the run and is suitable for any business or formal occasion with its classic styling.
Pros
  • Functional
  • Comfort
  • Cushioned
  • Clean look
  • Leather
Cons
  • Price

4. Stacy Adams Dickinson

4. Stacy Adams Dickinson
Founded in 1875, Stacy Adams reflects American 1920’s style culture, when swing was king, and zoot suits reigned. Since then, the company has kept up with the times, adjusting design, sophistication, and styling of their shoes to suit the decades. The Stacy Adams Dickinson oxford transforms that 1920’s swing time feel into a timeless shoe for the ages to come.
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Classic
The Dickinson has been designed to reflect the traditional style of Oxford, with some decorative elements added. It comes in black or cognac shined leather, with slightly brogued cap toe and quarters. The simplistic design is suited to any kind of occasion, even a more casual setting, but will reflect a tasteful shoe selection indicative of someone who pays attention to smaller details.

Comfort
With a memory foam insole that provides full cushioning and shock absorption, this oxford will keep your feet happy for the duration of wear. Hidden eyelet lacing provides a firm fit to hold you into the shoe, and breathable linings help give the shoe a lighter weight and feel. A stacked heel supports a detailed stitched outsole with contrasting color, letting you stand tall and confident.

Cost and Value
Coming in a tad higher on the price range, the Stacy Adams Dickinson reflects a shoe for those looking for a timeless investment in footwear. The comfort and classic oxford styling make this a purchase well worth the money, that will last through the years.
Pros
  • Timeless design
  • Leather
  • Comfort
  • Brogueing
Cons
  • No arch support
  • Restrictive Toe

5. Stacy Adams Dunbar

5. Stacy Adams Dunbar
Making a dual appearance, Stacy Adams brings more charm and styling to their Dunbar oxford, as well as more color options to keep your swagger moving. The Dunbar strays from a traditional oxford look, with adorning wingtip design, brogueing, and a stacked heel. If you’re looking to up the detail and sophistication, this one’s for you!
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Detail
They say the devil is in the details, and if that’s true, then the Dunbar turns up the heat with it’s styling and attention to detail. With a wingtip design and patterned brogueing along the quarters and atop the toe, it demands a second glance. The Dunbar also comes in an indigo leather hue, a different color than traditional oxfords, guaranteeing an elevated appeal to your look.

Construction
Stacy Adams stays true to its dress shoe construction, keeping breathable linings lightweight, and an airsoft cushioning with a memory foam insole. The outsole contrasts with the shoe coloring, stepping up style, while synthetic sole construction allows durability to last. Rich glossy leather contributes to the shoe construction, giving it the status quo required for formal or business attire.

Cost and Value
Again on the pricey end of the spectrum on our list, it’s still a steal when compared to similar styles of oxfords that are available on the market. With the Dunbar’s exceptional attention to detail and styling, unique color options, and overall appeal, it’s still a great buy.
Pros
  • Memory Foam
  • Broguing
  • Lightweight
  • Color options
  • Detail
Cons
  • Runs large
  • Price

6. Predictions Saddle

6. Predictions Saddle
Looking for a vintage feel with a classic appeal? Predictions Saddle oxford style shoe won’t disappoint. Designed for a specific look in mind, the Predictions Saddle impresses with black and white coloring, brogueing, and contrast color sole. It steps back in time, indicative of poodle skirts, milkshakes, and drive in movies.
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Appeal
Who doesn’t love a classic saddle shoe? The Predictions Saddle reflects all the classical elements of oxford style shoe but has the black and white color contrast appeal made famous in the 1950s, when poodle skirts reigned with dates at the drive-in or diner. Still a classic look that can dress up modern day wardrobes, it’s appeal is an instant eye-catcher.

Retro Comfort
Keeping a retro look, but updating the comfort, the Predictions Saddle shoe has an outsole that’s flexible and lightweight, no more clunky feel when walking around. A padded insole cushions the foot for additional comfort. Durable quarters and toe won’t scuff, so the sharp color contrast will stay intact. Be sure to size up a half size though, as the shoe tends to run a bit narrow.

Cost and Value
Coming in on the low end of the pricing spectrum, the Predictions Saddle oxford is a steal with its retro styling and durability. Versatile enough to step up the style of any black and white affair, this shoe can be paired with bold color attire, and add uniqueness to your collection of footwear.
Pros
  • Retro style
  • Comfort
  • Cushioned insole
  • Price
Cons
  • Narrow Fit

7. U-lite Wingtip

7. U-lite Wingtip
Stepping up the saddle oxford style, as well as more traditional color options, is the U-lite Wingtip oxford. With closed lacing, reflecting traditional oxford styling, and color options that are range from traditional blacks and browns, to bold new age color contrast or choices, this shoe will impress in detail, color, and design.
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Unique
The U-lite Wingtip is versatile in its color options but also demonstrates uniqueness in the design of the wingtip and quarters, as well as brogueing style. With a raw edge cut design, the vamp, quarters, and heel reflect unique detail from other Oxford style shoes. Large and small perforations contribute to an eclectic brogueing, which accentuates any color contrasts between the vamp and quarters, adding to sophisticated styling.

Manufacture
Designed in the US, and manufactured in China, the U-lite keeps a retro feel to the oxford style shoe but increases the fashion versatility. Be sure to size up as the shoe tends to run narrow, but with a malleable construction to the shoe, it will break in to suit your feet, and have you stepping out in comfort.

Cost and Value
Depending on the color selection, the price of the shoe may vary from average to more expensive. However, if you’re a fan of a fashionable, versatile, and unique design, this is sure to capture compliments and second glances!
Pros
  • Colors
  • Styling
  • Brogueing
  • Fashion forward
  • Versatile
Cons
  • Price
  • Runs small

8. Ollio Wingtip Two Tone

8. Ollio Wingtip Two Tone
Ollios Wingtip Two Tone is another fashion-forward oxford, designed with a two-tone color, wingtip design, and brogue adornment. Great for business or dressier occasions, it can be paired with a number of skirts, slacks, or dresses for a retro feel with added class. Coming in a number of colors, the options are endless!
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Fit
The Ollio comes with a rounded toe, allowing ample room for the natural flattening of the foot when walking, or on your feet for a duration of time. Be sure to size up as the shoe tends to run narrow, but the lace up allows for additional room for wider feet.

Variety
Indicative of a classic saddle shoe, the two-tone coloring in the Ollio gives a striking contrast for a bold look and comes in a number of colors suitable for a variety of wardrobe combinations. From pink and white to more classic color combinations of black or brown and white, fashion lovers will love the versatility of this oxford style shoe. Wingtip design and brogueing accentuate the color contrast, giving increased flair and attention to detail.

Cost and Value
At the lower end of the price spectrum, the Ollio Wingtip Two Tone is a great addition to the wardrobe for fashion-forward thinkers. The two-tone color design creates a bold statement while keeping a classic oxford style shoe.
Pros
  • Variety
  • Colors
  • Fashion forward
  • Brogueing
Cons
  • Runs narrow
  • Synthetic

9. Bruno Marc Moda

9. Bruno Marc Moda
The Bruno Marc Moda is actually the leather version of their suede styled oxford and steps up the level of formality with faux leather uppers instead of suede. The shoe is available in two options, a traditionally styled cap toe with clean sleek lining and closed lacing, or, a fancier wingtip design completed with broguing detail. Coming in a variety of classic colors, options for any occasion can be found with this shoe.
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Options
Similar to their suede option of Oxford, this version offers a faux leather upper with wooden heel and non-slip sole. From tans and browns to a classic black color, you can select the traditional styling of the plain oxford with cap toe or wingtips with broguing. Closed lacing holds you into the shoe firmly, without heel slippage.

Intro-shoe
For those newer to wearing more formal or dress shoes, this is a great option that won’t leave your bank account begging for more money. With its sharp styling, it pairs wonderfully with dressier or business attire. Attention to smaller details like double stitching also contributes to its smart to look.

Cost and Value
The Bruno Marc Moda is a less costly option of Oxford, and perfect for those newer to wearing dress style or formal shoes. The construction of the shoe, although aesthetically pleasing, does have a limit to its durability over time. At the cost, you’ll be able to buy multiple pairs, or at least get a bang for your buck with this purchase while sorting out your own style when it comes to an oxford.
Pros
  • Price
  • Options
  • Colors
  • Sleek design
  • Faux Leather
Cons
  • Requires breaking in
  • Durability

10. Wanted Shoes Babe

10. Wanted Shoes Babe
Talk about options! Wanted Shoes gave a makeover to their oxford style Babe shoe with color, brogue detailing, contrast coloring, and two to even three tone hues. This shoe definitely has options for flashier looks, with silver and gold available, but still maintains a saddle shoe design. For the fashion-forward thinker, this shoe can complement your style when paired correctly with attire.
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Synthetic/Vegan
For those interested to find a beautiful oxford style shoe made from easy to care for materials, this one is for you. Synthetic uppers allow you to care with eas for these beauties should they get dirty. For those also looking for a vegan shoe, this is made without any animal product and keeps you stepping out in style.

Styling
Color, color, and more color! From reds to blues, to classic neutrals, browns, and blacks, this shoe has you covered for whatever color you fancy. Silver and gold are available as well if you’re looking to shine! Keeping a classy scalloped cut to the wingtips, and simple lace up, pair these with a variety of outfits to suit your individual tastes!

Cost and Value
This fall in the average to a tad more expensive on the cost side of our list for an oxford style shoe. However, Wanted Shoes Babe has some unique features that give it a great value. Being fully synthetic made and vegan-friendly, it keeps ethics foremost without lacking bold color and styling.
Pros
  • Vegan
  • Colors
  • Synthetic
  • Scalloped Edging
Cons
  • Narrow Fit
  • Arch support

11. Steve Madden Jamyson

11. Steve Madden Jamyson
No stranger to style, Steve Madden has been creating edgy urban styled shoes since 1990. The Jamyson elevates the traditional oxford to new heights with the attention to detail and coloring, while keeping the simple cap toe and clean lines of an oxford shoe. These combine sophistication with edge making it an eye-catching addition to your footwear collection.
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Brand Name
Steve Madden is known mainly for their sneaker style shoe, but recently the brand has included newer styles of a dress shoe, including the Jamyson. Those familiar with the brand will love this newer option, complete with the edgy detail Steve Madden applies to many of their urban-inspired shoes. Coming in classic black or brown, accents are found in detail given to the cap toe design and comfort heel.

Design
Classically styled to reflect a traditional oxford, the quarters are carefully stitched to the vamp, with accents in a contrasting color (brown option only). The cap toe is double stitched, with a wider additional leather band as an accent piece to the cap for flair. A padded cuff and topline will keep blistering away when walking for extended periods of time.

Cost and Value
One of the more expensive options on our list, Steve Maddens Jamyson is well worth the investment. Not only is it comparable in cost to other styles of the brand, but the edgy urban style keeps a modern flair to the oxford style. If you’re looking to dress to impress, this one’s for you.
Pros
  • Urban flair
  • Leather
  • Comfort
  • Brand name
Cons
  • Price

12. Calvin Klein Brodie

12. Calvin Klein Brodie
Calvin Klein is another designer name that has impressed a new age spin to a classic oxford shoe. The Calvin Klein Brodie consists of a two piece tailored shoe, with round toe and man-made sole. Plush EPI leather uppers wrap your feet in luxury while adding more durability for wear and tear over time.
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Construction
Textured uppers on the Calvin Klein Brodie give it a unique look that stands out from other oxford shoes. With blind eyelets on a lace-up closure, it keeps a sleek, smooth feel suited to business, uniform, or formal attire. Eyelets on the underside consist of metal rivet reinforcement, allowing even those that lace their shoes tightly reassurance these shoes won’t tear.

Designer Name
Calvin Klein knows style but also knows a good formal shoe needs to be comfortable. The foot is cushioned with a padded footbed, allowing long duration of wear without discomfort. A rounded toe keeps designer styling maximized, and a man-made sole demonstrates a quality in craftsmanship.

Cost and Value
The Calvin Klein Brodie may be on the more expensive end of a price, but for a designer brand shoe, it’s a steal. Lower in cost than other comparable designer shoes of similar style, these will leave you confidently stepping out to make an impression without breaking the bank. Truly a great investment.
Pros
  • Classic styling
  • Leather
  • Designer brand
  • Textured
Cons
  • Price
  • Narrow toe

13. Dadawen Canvas

13. Dadawen Canvas
The Dadawen Canvas shoe is a modern functional twist on the classic oxford style. Designed in bright colors with textile canvas materials, it’s lightweight and flexible. A great shoe to be paired with dressier attire, or for more casual scenarios such as parties, driving, or barbeques. A good all-around oxford style shoe.
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Appeal
Covered with a durable canvas instead of leather, the Dadawen give a more rugged and casual option to the wearer. From blues to reds, and colors in between, the color won’t fade easily, and the canvas makes these shoes breathable and lightweight, preventing the feet from excessive sweating. Perfect for summer or winter!

Construction
The Dadawen Canvas is a well constructed oxford, with contrast stitching in the welt and and contrasting laces to compliment. High quality canvas maintains flexibility in the shoe allowing for comfort when walking extended periods of time. The natural rubber sole gives added cushioning, and is built for durability.

Cost and Value
Lower in the price spectrum, the Dadawen Canvas is a cheaper option for an oxford style shoe. It reflects a more relaxed styling with canvas materials, than typical oxford high-fashion leather design, but still versatile enough to dress up an outfit, or keep it casual.
Pros
  • Sporty look
  • Canvas
  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Price
Cons
  • More Casual
  • Lacks insole support

14. Mio Marino Oxford

14. Mio Marino Oxford
Mio Marion has up styled the traditional oxford with a variety of new textile contrasts, side lace options, and colors in their Oxford shoe. Designed with 100% genuine leather, the Oxford is designed with a number of toe box style options, contrasting colors, extra grippy soles, or brogue detailing. And, with an added bonus to come with a water-resistant carry bag, you’ll be able to take these wherever you go without worry!
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Variety
The styling variety available with the Mio Marino Oxford ranges from high fashion to more casual, but still maintains quality leather design. Cap toe, Wingtip, or classical toe designs, lacing options on tops or sides of the shoe, it allows you to choose which style options speak to you! With single color, or the option to have contrasting color in the vamp and quarters, you can easily up your sense of sophistication with this shoe.

Quality
With 100% genuine leather adorning this shoe, quality can be seen in the smaller craftsmanship details of the shoe. Stitching of the cap toe, the brogueing along wingtips, and a sophisticated side lace reflect a brand that keeps quality at the forefront of their shoe design. The rubber sole is slip resistant, and on some selections comes with rugged texturing for added grip.

Cost and Value
Average priced for our list, but a steal compared to other brands and similar styles, the Mio Marino Oxford give enormous variety and quality in their shoe. Made with 100% genuine leather, the shoe boasts quality and craftsmanship and is a great addition to your collection.
Pros
  • 100% Genuine leather
  • Variety
  • Contrast coloring
  • Classic styling
  • Modern flair
Cons
  • Size up
  • Narrow Toe

15. Globalwin Dress

15. Globalwin Dress
Lastly is the Global Win Dress shoe. Made from synthetic leather, texturing options range from classic shiny posh leather to comfortable soft suede. Typical of traditional oxford style, this shoe also has the option for more decorative options such as wingtips and broguing. Completing the look the Global Win Dress shoe has a man made sole and textured sole to prevent slippage.
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Comfort
Keeping comfort in mind, the shoe demonstrates functionality in its design, with a soft cushioned topline and cuff around the ankle. The contrasting man made sole cushions each step while adding more flair to the traditional oxford design. A suede lining is soft on the feet and keeps them warm in the winter.

Styling Options
For a nominal cost, there are styling options in this shoe that give a variety of texture or feel to the shoe. Ranging from a typical shined leather to a rougher suede look, the shoe also comes in a variety of toe styling. Classic oxford toes, cap toe, or wingtips add individual flair to your selection, topped off with traditional color options for a dress shoe.

Cost and Value
At the low end of the spectrum, this shoe can be considered a great option for those not looking to spend a ton on their first pair of oxford style shoes. Keeping in mind the variety of styling options in the shoe design, it’s definitely worth a look!
Pros
  • Price
  • Options
  • Warm
  • Padded collar
Cons
  • Little support
  • Not for summer

Selecting a great Oxford shoe starts with simple, well designed classic styling. Simplistic clean looks can create a statement with sleek designing and top quality leather. Adding individual flair and styling may have you selecting bolder color choices, contrasts in textures or hues, variations in toe design and decorative brogueing. It just depends what kind of message you want your footwear to convey. From uniform formality to fun bold statements, your Oxford can say a lot about you!

Understand just what went into making an Oxford shoe, and the history of the style can help you decide which pair suits you best. And, with its simple designing, it’s a shoe you can always use to dress up a pair of jeans or slacks, but still be able to wear to more formal gatherings and fancy affairs. A well-made oxford will leave your feet able to step out in comfortable style, but they don’t always need to cost a small fortune.

Criteria for Evaluating the Best Oxford Shoes

Criteria Oxford Shoes

Shoe Components

The Oxford style of shoe originated somewhere in the UK near Oxford but also was reputed for having been founded in Ireland and Scotland and referred to as Balmorals. They reflected a plain, simple style of a dress shoe, made of leather with closed lacing. As footwear evolved, so did the Oxford, with newer styles emerging that reflected it’s classical design, but with small differences that would then start a new style that stemmed from the Oxford. Examples of those would be styles such as derby or brogues. 

Shoes are designed in various methods, but well-crafted shoes have several parts.

What’s in a regular shoe?

  • Vamp – in a classic dress shoe, the vamp is basically the top or upper part of the shoe that covers the instep and toes.
  • Quarters – part of the medial area of the shoe, these panels are usually decorative for dressier shoes and wrap around to meet the vamp from the heel to the middle.
  • Toe Box – part of the upper, and can reflect decorative design or shape.
  • Welt – Strip of plastic, leather, or rubber running the perimeter of the outsole, which allows for weather-resistant durability.
  • Sole – bottom of the shoe, usually made of a durable leather, plastic, PU, PVC, rubber, or wood.
  • Heel – under the back of the foot by the heel, in dress shoes this usually has a slight stacked platform for height. These can be a closed heel (even with the heel cap), or extended heels which go slightly longer than the heel cap.
  • Heel cap or Backstay – usually made from the same material the uppers are, and wraps around the back of the foot.
  • Topline, Cuff or Collar – top of the heel which is sometimes called the collar of the shoe, this is where the foot enters the shoe and can be padded for comfort against the ankle during wear.
  • Tongue – inner protective section of the shoe under the laces or closure that protects the foot. Usually made from the same materials as the uppers.
  • Laces and Eyelets – an example of a mechanism used to close the shoe to the foot, pulling the uppers together. Other options can be straps, buckles, or simply no mechanism such as slip-on shoes have.
  • Insole – sewn inside the shoe design itself, this usually provides cushioning and arch support to the foot during wear.
  • Outsole – directly in contact with the ground, this is attached to the sole, but runs the perimeter of the shoe, and is usually stitched to the welt and uppers.

But what exactly went into the Oxford shoe? It’s taken parts of a regular shoe design and styled them in a way to give sleek clean lines, and many times required a skilled level of craftsmanship.

Staples of Classic Oxford Design:

  1. Closed Low Heel
  2. Closed Lacing
  3. Exposed ankle
  4. Can have quarters or be wholecut/seamless.

Modern Oxford Styling:

  1. Different quarter panel cut and styles
  2. Brogueing – perforations in the leather giving a decorative accent. Semi Brogues or Full Brogues are defined by how many perforations there are. The Quarter Brogue has even less decorative holes and Longwing Brogues have perforations over the whole shoe.
  3. Variety of Toe cap designs.
  4. Contrasting Colors – black on tan, or hues of the same color elevate the sophistication of the shoe.
  5. Texturing – mixing sleek leather with a textured pattern can create a statement piece to your attire.

Types of Oxfords:

  1. Plain Oxford – simple, sleek, classically designed oxfords
  2. Wholecut – made from one cut of leather, usually more expensive, but indicative of quality craftsmanship.
  3. Saddle Oxfords – more decorative usually with scalloped panels and contrasting colors.
  4. Wingtip Oxford/Brogue -decorative toe, with brogueing along the panels
  5. Cap Toe Oxfords – simple decorative addition to the toe from additional leather to cap the toe, or stitching across the toe, giving a ‘cap’ appearance.
  6. Kiltie Oxfords -fringed leather replaces or hides the tongue of the shoe.

Wood Best Oxford Shoes

Craftsmanship

The type of leather in your dress shoe depends on how active you’re going to be. If you’re buying a shoe to wear to several events or every day to work, you’re going to want one that doesn’t crease easily. You want durable leather that looks smooth and can stand up to a long day of meetings or spinning bridesmaids around the dance floor. Most times, top grain leather is the most durable, and a good craftsman can make it thin enough to have a supple feel. Lowest grade leather is either piece combined together, or those cut from the belly.

Different types of leather include

  • Pebble grain leather – embossed with a raised pattern. This adds a texture purely from the leather itself, and what area from which it was cut.
  • Top grain leather – smooth in appearance, highest in quality.
  • Full grain leather – durable, doesn’t allow moisture in. This usually consists of 100% genuine leather grade material
  • Patent leather – shiny, creases easily and has been treated for an extra luxurious and quality feel.

The sole of the shoe is another factor that depends on what you’re wearing the shoe for. Almost always, you want a durable sole with a good grip. It’s hard to find a balance between a thick sole that protects your foot and one that’s breathable and allows your feet to get air.

Types of soles include:

  • Double leather – durable, protects well, indicative of handcrafted and high-quality shoes.
  • Rubber sole – has a good grip, not as breathable, more durable than leather made soles.
  • Crepe sole – a lighter sole with a rubber texture, less durable than rubber, but can be more so than leather.
  • Single leather – makes for a sleek shoe, but not as durable or protective.
  • PU or PVC – composite material synthetically made that allows cushioning and protection.

A double leather sole on a shoe is going to be more durable and protect the foot better. If your shoe has a rubber sole you will have more grip but the shoe isn’t able to breathe as well. A crepe sole is a lighter sole and made from rubber with a texture. A single leather sole makes for a sleek shoe, but don’t protect as well. PU and PVC soles provide protection and comfort.

A toe style on an Oxford can change the look of your entire ensemble. From a rounded toe to tapered, or a more square style toe, choose something that will compliment the outfit as opposed to making a statement on its own. It’s important to get a style that fits your personality and your foot.

Types of toe accents include

  • Wingtip – a rounded toe cap, with a point in the center of the toe pointing towards the laces, arching toward the toes and to the sides, which resembles the shape of a wing.
  • Cap toe – an extra piece of leather on the toe, or simple stitching across the base of the toe box across the top which gives a ‘cap’ to the shoe.
  • Plain toe – clean and simple, no stitching or brogueing, a classic of traditional oxford styling.

The way the shoe is constructed and pieced together shows craftsmanship and is a great way to tell if it’s a quality shoe.

  • The Blake Stitch:
    This connects the upper directly to the sole. This means you get a lighter shoe. It will be more flexible, but will also wear out quicker.
  • The Goodyear Welt : 
    Here we have a strip of leather, rubber, or plastic stitching on the outsole, the uppers, and insoles together. This helps the shoe mold to your foot and provides a weather resistant proofing. Shoes with this type of construction will last longer.

The Oxford style shoe has evolved to include several design elements to add flair and sophistication to your individual style. It may take time to sort out which are more suited to your tastes but can elevate your sense of fashion to reflect a runway feel. As a dress shoe, this is a staple to any collection of footwear, and by mixing and matching components of craftsmanship and styling, they can be suitable for any formal occasion as well as more casual settings. With versatility, history, and an almost unprecedented selection available, the Oxford shoe is a timeless piece!

Vintage Best Oxford Shoes

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What makes a shoe an Oxford?
A: An Oxford shoe has a low heel, a closed lace system, and exposes the ankle. There are several types of Oxford shoes. The Cap Toe which has an extra piece of leather, or stitching to suggest a cap, over the front of the shoe. The Plain Toe which is the cleanest of all the Oxfords and a simple choice. The Wingtip Oxford has a pointed cap on the toe. Kilties have a fringe of leather coming from the top of the shoe. A Wholecut Oxford is cut from one piece of leather.

Q: How Should an Oxford Shoe Fit?
A: With a selection of material that oxfords are available in, there are a few points for selecting the correct fit. Shoes made from suede, canvas, or malleable textile may have some give compared to a stiffer leather. The toes should not press up to the front of the shoe, which restricts your toes and can cause pain. The same is true if it presses into your heel. You want it to fit but not leave an indention on the back of your foot, nor should it slip on and off during movement. You want them to be comfortable when it comes to the width of the base of the toes. If you feel a pinch across the foot, they may be too narrow. Try a different style toe, or size up.

Q: How Do I Clean Oxford Shoes?
A: To clean leather Oxford Shoes, you’ll need a mild soap, a shoe brush, some clean cloths, shoe polish a leather conditioner and laundry detergent. Put an old towel down so the polish you use doesn’t get everywhere.
Take the laces out and wash them with the laundry detergent. Brush the shoes to remove any dirt and then soap them up. Use one cloth to wipe the soap off and then condition the leather. Let the shoes air dry, but not in the sun. When they are dry polish them and they’ll look great!

Q: How Do I Lace Oxford Shoes?
A: The eyelets where you’ll put the laces are located in the quarters of the shoe. With the closed system, the top is over this and the eyelets are underneath the top part of the shoe, this is called the vamp and covers the toe and instep. You lace the shoe across instead of like you would do a tennis shoe in a cross lace. Make sure the laces are thin so your shoe looks sleek and that they are the right length for your shoe.

Q: What Type of Oxfords Should I Buy?
A: If you want something for uniform, business, or formal attire select something classic, like a  brown or solid black Oxford.

Q: What Should I Wear With Oxford Shoes?
A: You can wear what you like with Oxfords depending on what fits your personal style. Traditionally Oxfords are a formal shoe, but some people like to wear them casually. You should make sure your pants just hit the top of the shoe so they can be seen. Colorful socks are always a good choice to finish your look.


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