Oxford vs Brogue, Must Know Differences in New World Order

Oxford & Brogue
Oxford & Brogue, Know The Differences

A discussion between Brogue vs Oxford shoe rose recently when in a 2014 movie named ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ came with dandy agent’s famous line “Oxfords, not brogues.” This brings today’s post, which is all about clear differences between Oxford & Brogue.

Oxfords vs Brogues

So what’s the difference between a Brogue & an Oxford shoe? Does these names differs them from each on a significant point or whether they have any connection even? The answer is simple; all oxfords are not brogues but all brogues are oxfords. The secrets lie in ornamentation of shoes & occasional use of them. Let us dig deep to get a better idea about oxford shoes & brogues in modern days.

Oxford & Brogue, Know The Differences
Oxford not brogues

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If you search oxford shoes in Google, you may get near about 452,000,000 results. But if you dig deep a bit, there are few queries related to the discussion as most of the concern people like agent Harry does bother about the actual knowing, before selecting their shoes from wardrobe, as they don’t want to get offended later by selecting a wrong one for a beautiful day. It is not about the superiority rather selecting the right one for a right occasion. So what exactly agent Harry meant in the movie is kind of a concern for any men, either he searches for oxford shoes or derby shoes, oops.. read it as brogues now, not Oxford vs Derby shoes, you will find the answer later in this blog. The thin differences between Oxfords vs Brogues are drawn below.

Design: Brogue vs Oxford

Oxford is kind of a dress shoe which has closed shoe lacing design, where eyelets are kept under the vamp, rather on top of it to hold the shoelaces. Believed that this gives oxford shoe a much clean & sleek look and should go with formal look like with complete suits.

On other hand brogue is having open lace design and also at initial days it has more ornamentation with crafted small perforations on upper & sides. Any shoe with this type of open lace design & craftsmanship was called brogue, even it is an oxford type. So brogues are oxford but oxford are not! Means they are not mutually exclusive in this Brogue vs Oxford war.

As started with the agent discussion, what exactly did Colin Firth’s sophisticated character meant by oxfords, not brogues? I hope that’s a bit clear now.

Oxford vs Brogue
Oxford shoes with close top

Dress line: Brogues vs Oxford Shoes

Oxford shoe is famous since 1800 in Oxford University. These days it has bigger spans in global market. For ages oxfords are preferred with black tie doesn’t matter if it’s plain or cap toed.

Oxfords trends are slim & catchy. So in early days men used to favor oxford shoes for its sleek & catchy look, which used to make the user smarter than other men. Today oxfords are still strongly favored for dark tie clothing. The norm is, if the shoe is plain, the dress is more formal or vice versa. So men use oxfords more rather brogues for formal parties.

Cap toe oxfords can be worn in casual occasions as fashion has changed its lanes quite a few times in last centuries. Offices are more casual these days than old formal days. So fashion has adopted or changed its rule, wear any cheap or pricey but comfortable dress men’s shoes with sport coat & cotton pant is fully ok. I remember my friend went for his brown cap toe oxford with casual button down shirt in his graduation party.

Brogues though considered as casual one, it has changed fashion lanes also. When brogues were only worn in fields near any country side those days are gone. In fact brogues were actually designed to pump out the water through tiny holes in any wet day or wet land and dry out feet sooner. These days they don’t go in wet land or field but in parties with casual outfit. They are must have type best oxfords shoes doesn’t matter cheap or pricy dress shoes. Wear it with cotton or chinos from your wardrobe and move for a grand dinner is ok. Even you can wear it with half fold jeans to create a positive impact about you in other’s mind.

Brogues vs Oxfords
Brogues with open top design.


Many variations are available these days on brogues, which are wearable in various occasions. More detail design oriented brogue is considered for more casual outfit.


They are wearable as a business casual one mainly. These semi brogues fill up the gap between formal & relaxed dress line, which was a demand in earlier days. Though considered as traditional dress shoe still semi brogues take their spaces well from others, will recommend wearing it with daytime suits for better comfort look.


Wingtip adds sophisticated catchy look to any men these days. That is why a pair of wingtip is a must have shoes for any men. The M or W design on toe to side really gives it an artistic look. The choice is anonymous for wingtip to be in any men’s list. They are stylish one for any casual day or night. As demand is very high, quite often we see wingtip shoes as best seller in retail or online. Wear it with khakis, jeans in your full day event to have the elegant look day long. Comfort for eyes, care for feet ensured as most comfortable dress shoes.

Selecting right one

Where are you heading today? Is it official dinner or casual dinner with friends? Your answer will determine your shoes. If its official dinner, choose a closed lace design, if else go for open lacing design. Means our recommendation for official party is for sleek men’s oxford shoes, for any other casual occasion, take you brogues from wardrobe with chinos, khakis or folded jeans.

Being correct gives you the edge over others. On a traditional day be traditional; on casual occasion get the casual one, which is why the spy wanted to be correct in the Kingsman movie. His words reflected like his job, no second chance on a risky job rather being not only correct but perfect with everything like dress code, choosing oxford on formal occasion over derby (another name of brogues actually).

Let watch a video on Derby vs Oxford:

Final words: Oxfords vs Brogues

Fashion has thumb rules(just forget Oxfords vs Brogues war for a second), that is breaking the rule is one of the rule among them. You don’t need to wear only dress oxfords shoes with suits, these days’ people use derby as well. Style is ever changing, so swap your dress code a bit, try new things, see which goes with your casual folded jeans, be comfy on it. Rules are made to be broken sometimes, but to break you need to know the rules first. However once you select your shoes, you may use on & off but don’t forget to give it a better life span by taking care of it, you may look our care for leather shoes blog post.

That doesn’t mean you can only wear oxfords with suits (though this would look the sharpest) or you can only wear brogues with jeans (though this is most classic). Style is alive and ever-changing. There is no problem breaking with tradition, wearing either in formal or informal occasions, but you have to know which is which and master the rules first. Hope you like our war of Oxford vs Brogue, much thanks from “Oxfords, not brogues”.


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