Oxford shoe

Oxford shoe

An Oxford shoe is a style of leather shoe with enclosed lacing. Oxford shoes are traditionally constructed of leather and were historically rather plain. The shoes originally appeared in Scotland and Ireland, where they are occasionally called Balmorals. The design of the shoe is often plain, but may include some small ornamentation or perforations.

The meaning of the terms Oxford and Balmoral vary geographically; in the U.S., Balmoral is synonymous with Oxford, and is the more generally used name; elsewhere, especially in Britain, the Balmoral is a particular type of Oxford where there are no seams (apart from the toe cap) descending to the welt, a style particularly common on boots.

As opposed to the other main type of men's laced shoes, the Derby, the two flaps of leather with the piercings for the laces are stitched together at the bottom. The shoes can be made from a variety of leathers for different situations, ranging from formal evening shoes of patent leather, to daytime shoes. These are most commonly black or brown, and may be brogued. The toes may be plain or capped (less formal). Some leathers, such as suede or patterned leathers, and brown leather, are less formal, while other options, such as black leather, are more formal; features of comparable formality are traditionally combined, making combinations such as 'black full brogue' or 'plain capless suede' unorthodox innovations.

More exotic colours and leathers are occasionally seen, such as purple or oxblood, and crocodile skin.

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