There are many types of men’s shoes: Moccasins, Loafers, Topsiders, Monks and Oxford shoes… Each shoe type has its own history and the degree of formality. A lot of men are buying men’s shoes without realizing what they have chosen. This article is just for you if it’s not your method and you want to know exactly what is on the shelves in a shoe store.
First of all, you need to remember a few funny words that you do not need in the nearest future, if you do not plan to make a career of a cobbler, of course. These are a proper terms of the parts of the shoe. Just look at the picture and note the name as there is nothing to explain.
Let’s proceed to the types of men’s shoes directly. The presence or absence of the laces makes the classification. The two main types of men’s shoes are: the shoes with laces and shoes without laces (Slippers). In addition, somewhere in between are Monks – the shoes with straps and Topsiders – the shoes that are classified as slippers but with lacing.
Men’s shoes with lacing
Shoes with lacing are divided into shoes with closed and open lacing.
Derby shoes and most of the boots have the open lacing. The shoe has an open lacing when the side parts of the shoe (quarter) are sewn above the front part (vamp) and the tongue is a part of a vamp.
And vice versa, the shoe with closed lacing are those where the quarter parts are sewn under the vamp forming the Latin letter V, the tongue is sewn under the quarters and lacing. As a result, the closed lacing shoes look as if they were made from a single piece of leather. Oxford shoes have closed lacing.
The Derby shoes
Derby shoes are not the type but rather a kind of shoes with an open lacing which serves as the base for other types of men’s shoes. In other words, Derby shoes are a synonym to open lacing shoes. Derby shoes are less formal than Oxford; they are more versatile and it is easier to put them on just because of its open lacing.
It is considered that the name comes from the English Earl of Derby, as he was the first to design Derby shoes because it was hard for him to put on the boots.
For a long time Derby shoes were considered casual. This is partly true despite the fact that modern Derby shoes are quite exquisite nowadays. At the same time you can wear slightly decorated Derby with a business suit. Of course they are perfectly combined with jeans.
The Oxford shoes
Oxford shoes appeared in Oxford in the early 19th century and became popular due to the Oxford College students. Students wore those shoes with laces to express their own style while most men preferred boots.
Oxford shoes are elegant and thinner than Derby shoes and are considered to be more formal shoes for special occasions. Oxfords are sublime style. Typical men’s Oxford shoes are made of black leather and are well suited to the striped suit or a tuxedo. Dark brown Oxfords are perfect to fit black, dark blue or dark brown suit.
The Blucher shoes
Americans call Derby shoes Blucher because of the desire to simplify everything. Blucher shoes are those with open lacing but they have their own specific character and it’s obvious. Blucher shoes do not consist of separate elements, as opposed to Derby, where quarters are separate pieces of leather sewn to the vamp. Look at the picture and you’ll understand.
Blucher shoes were named after the Prussian Field Marshal Blücher (Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher) as it was him who ordered to design them in the early 19th century for the soldiers of the Prussian army.
Blucher shoes are stylish enough not to wear them with a business or festive suit and they also go perfectly with jeans or a Country style suit.