Basic style of classic gentleman shoes

Basic style of classic gentleman shoes

The basic styles of men’s shoes, now regarded as classic, were the product of 1880-1889 European shoemakers exchanging skills with each other. The shoemakers in London, Paris, Munich, Vienna and Budapest are renowned for their virtuosity and taste.

The style of shoe is decided by its structural feature above all, have a few big basic category. The first classification of style is based on the way the shoe is closed. Such as lace-up shoes (also divided into closed and open), buckle shoes or slip-on shoes.In the case of Oxford shoes, the back side is sewn under the front side (or middle side) and closed over the tongue. Which is sewn together with the front side (or middle side). And open type lace-up shoe, be like Derby shoe, front side (or middle side) with shoe tongue is an integral whole, back side piece is laid above of the front side (or middle side) . 

The second criterion for style classification is the number of shoe facials. The upper of a slipper is the simplest, made up of a single piece of leather. In the case of Budapest shoes, the front, back, and heel parts can be divided by a single line or dovetail cover, or a variety of patterns of muffs and enclosures.

The third criterion for classifying styles is whether they have brogue. Since the end of the 19th century, this decoration has had a profound impact on men’s shoe fashion. A limited number of classic shoe styles offer endless possibilities for new styles.

When choosing the basic type of new shoe, the designer always takes inspiration from the traditional basic style.

But in vamp design, the designer can use his creativity to a great extent: How the lines go, how the pieces work together, which decorations (brock, sutures, jagged lace, inlays), colors and surface textures go with each other, and what kind of splicing is possible. Although shoemakers all over the world follow the naming of these basic styles, virtually every shoemaker has numerous improved styles, each with its own name.


All brogue and half brogue

Early versions of the oxfords and derbies were plain to the extreme, with no embellishment. However, shoemakers soon began to decorate these simple classic gentlemen’s shoes with a variety of designs. Decorating shoes with punch patterns was actually a great invention of Irish farmers: In order to make the muddy and swampy shoes dry faster. They drilled many small holes in the toe and back of thick shoes.

In England, the shoes were first popular with foresters and gamekeepers, and later among the aristocracy who went hunting. When brogues made their way into the aristocracy’s wardrobe, a big change took place: the shoemaker began to make shoes with softer, lighter leather than before, and the lines of the shoes were noticeably more elegant. 

The original function of these punch holes (brogue) gradually lost and became pure decoration. 

The punching pattern of the head of the shoe is extremely exquisite, and the joint position of the front and rear sides and the neckline of the shoe are matched with the seam line of brogue. Hence the conception of all block and half block. The difference between the two is only in the shape of the outer package, all brogue is dovetail, half brogue is a font.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The all-brogue shoe became a type of athletic shoe that could be seen on golf courses in England. But it was in the 1930s that the most elegant man in Europe. The prince of wales, wore them on the golf course, causing a sensation. The prince of wales is such a fan of all-brogues that he often wears an elegant. Improved version of them for formal occasions and social functions. However, despite the example of the prince of wales, half-brogues and all-brogues are still not worn at formal social functions after 6pm.


Oxford shoes

Oxford shoes are the most elegant English gentlemen’s shoes, its signature feature is the closed lace-up way. The shoelace goes through 5 pairs of holes to make the shoe close perfectly, showing only the upper edge of the tongue. This type of shoe is ideal for a leaner foot with a lower instep. Pants are an extension of shoes, so the harmony between the two is very important. If black Oxford shoe is tie-in with black suit, can make the person that wears appears bearing is uncommon in ceremonious occasion; If match with plain colour trousers, can show the good taste in daily life of wearers.

Oxford shoes are considered to be a typical example of English gentlemen’s shoes.

This type of shoe was first produced in England in 1830, and was not named “Oxford shoe” until around 1880. When it entered the fashion stage and became known and popular. The prototype of the modern Oxford shoe was made by Lobb shoemakers in London about 100 years ago. And is still considered the most elegant style of gentleman’s shoe today.


Derby shoes (Derby)

The Derby shoe is an open lace-up shoe that is very popular in continental Europe. Marshal gebhard of Prussia ● lebrecht ● von blucher, duke of walstadt (1742-1819), he had followed Wellington to the battle of Waterloo, where he fought in the 1815 defeat of napoleon, and had these lace-on shoes made for his soldiers, which became known as “Bluchers” .

The derbies are an absolute comfort to leather shoe lovers who have wide feet and a high instep, with decorative finishes that reduce the weight of the shoe itself due to the outer seam (in double-stitched shoes) and the double sole. Open lacing means it’s easier to slip on and off than oxfords, and the gap between the ears is easier to adjust. Derby shoes are also available in different versions, namely, plain brogues, half brogue derby and all brogue.

Whatever the color, plain brogues, half brogue derby or all brogue, Derby shoes are shoes that can be worn from morning till night. 

With the right suit, brown Derby shoes in different shades are perfect for meeting and office situations. Worsted or chinos can be more casual. Derby shoes can also be ideal casual footwear, paired with jeans in the summer or corduroy pants in the winter. When attending a celebration or evening party, you can match a black, dark blue or grey suit with a black, dark blue or dark grey suit with a black, plain Derby for the same elegance as an Oxford. Classic Derby shoes have unlimited design possibilities.

Before the end of world war I, the Austro-hungarian empire had two capitals: Vienna and Budapest. The two cities have many similarities not only in architecture, literature and music, but also in handicrafts. Just as countless masterpieces have sprung up in the cultural realm thanks to a competition for honour between the two capitals. So have the craftsmen of both cities, such as the shoemakers. While the half brogue derby was a big hit in Vienna, the Budapest shoe was born at about the same time. 

To this day, the two shoes show many similarities. But there are important differences in shape and decoration: the Budapest shoe has a thick toe and the outer border is shaped like a heart rather than a straight line. The graceful arcs of the outboard wings extend almost to the outboard heel position on the vamp.

This rather stylish line is highlighted by the accompanying block. The heart-shaped curve also appears at the junction of the middle side and the waist piece, the waist piece and the outboard piece, which is also emphasized with rows of punching holes.

The shoes are also decorated with elaborate geometric designs.


Monk definition

Monk definition (literally “monk’s shoes”. So named because they are reminiscent of the sandals worn by monks) are an independent basic shoe style. Like Oxford shoes and Derby shoes, Monk shoes are also made up of front and back sides. And the biggest difference between the two types of shoes is that the two back sides of Monk shoes are fixed in one – from through a conspicuous buckle. The brazing buckle is installed on one of the back side. And the end of the other back side passes through the brazing buckle in a band. By adjusting the brazing band, the distance between the two back sides can be adjusted to meet the height of the instep. 

The vast majority of Monk shoes have an undivided smooth front side. The brazing buckle and brazing band on its very conspicuous. The buckles themselves are of various colors: gold or silver, square or round, smooth or patterned. The advantage of Monk shoes is that the buckle structure is simple to operate. Unlike the complicated lacing method of Derby shoes. The end of the drill band is exposed outside the shoe.

Monk shoes can be classic and elegant, but also can be casual sports, that’s also the monk definition. The most popular is melanin head Monk shoes, it is the ideal shoes for business people. If the trousers were long enough, no one would be able to tell whether the shoes were plain Derby or buckled monk. Other colors of Monk shoes can be paired with casual clothing, such as pullovers and pants.



Light and flexible, with soft leather and thin soles. They are so comfortable that the wearer can barely notice that the shoe is on. They are perfect for everyday wear.

Slip-on shoes (also known as loafers), in addition to their original simple form, now have wired seam structures. In 1979, diego DE la valle brought his Tod’s shoes to market. Taking advantage of their flexibility and lightness to the extreme. But the shoes with rubber pellet soles are actually moccasins. Instead of the hard leather used in the past to make outsoles and insole, Della valle USES a single piece of leather to make the sole and uppers, with distinct hand-stitched seams.

The Penny Loafer is also a basic slipper in style. It is unique in that it has a decorative leather crossarm across the tongue of the shoe. In the past, people used to put a penny under the crossarm. That’s how it got its name. The radians and decorations of the crossarm can be varied.

One drawback to the leather tassels that are common on loafers is that they are easily scraped to the hem of the pant.With this in mind, many customers choose to customize their own shoes without tassels.

One drawback to the leather tassels common on loafers is that they are easily scraped to the hem of the pant. With this in mind, many customers choose to customize their own shoes without tassels.


Summer sandals

In principle, any classic shoe can be made into a breathable summer sandal by using thin leather or braided leather for specific parts of the upper. Summer sandals made according to strict procedures, it is impossible to wear only one season. In European climates, machine-made shoes tend to last only a few months, while hand-made shoes last much longer. 

Surprisingly, in summer sandals, darker colors are more popular than lighter ones. A pair of black or dark blue Derby shoes with a braid upper can take the heat out of the wearer’s mind while attending a wedding. While a big-perforated Derby or peep-toe sandal is simply not the place to be. In contrast, the latter two shoes are more comfortable on a hot summer day or at a house garden party.



Our feet need more protection in cold weather. Boots can provide this protection, and the main thing is the boot’s back side. Which is 5 to 10 cm above the ankle. Boots can not only wrap around the feet, but also cover the calves. Both Oxford and Derby shoes can be made into boot-style shoes. And can be divided into plain brogues, half brogue and all brogue. The materials and techniques used to make the boots are the same as those used to make low-top shoes. The only difference is that the boots are double-soled and the outsoles are often made of rubber. Which can avoid skidding on wet ground in rain and snow. 

Boot upper can adopt shoe eye, tiger bone buckle or button as the closing way. Since the boot top can be almost completely covered by the trousers. The matching requirements for the boots and the corresponding low-top shoes are the same. However, boots are not suitable for certain occasions.

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