The Oxford is an English shoe who's predecessor the Oxonian half boot was popularly worn at Oxford University in the 1800's. It is considered one of the most elegant men's shoes. A plain cap-toed oxford lace up is a staple of many businessmen's wardrobes. Variations of the classic include replacing the toe cap's punched holes with narrower rows of stitching, adding a medallion decoration on the toe, or embellishing the shoe all the way up to a full brogue oxford.
Oxford's closer fit is especially comfortable for men with narrower feet and lower insteps.
The Blucher, also commonly referred to as a Derby, is named after Gehard Leberecht, a Prussian General who helped in Napolean's defeat at Waterloo. The Blucher was first used by soldiers throughout Europe and later developed into a hunting and sporting shoe. It is recognizable by the forward extension of the quarters over the vamp. Bluchers are considered a bit less formal than Oxfords because of the slightly heavier appearance produced by the side straps.
The open lacing allows for easier adjustment allowing extra comfort for men with an extra high instep or wide foot.
Both Oxford and Derby/Blutcher Brogues are commonly made. Brogues are easily identified by their distinctive perforations and stitching. The style first became popular with Irish and Scottish gamekeepers and foresters but was soon adopted by aristocrats and nobility who used them on hunting excursions.
The broguings used to be actual holes meant to allow water to drain out of the shoes. Wing Tips are named as such thanks to their toe caps that are shaped like the spread wings of a bird. They are considered a bit less formal than cap toe models and historically not worn after 6 pm.
- Monk Strap
Named after the footwear worn by friars in the Italian Alps in the 15th century, the monk strap is made with an upper composed of 3 pieces together with a distinctive single or double buckle. The broad tongue allows for a closer fit and enables a more comfortable fit around the ankle. Monk straps are very versatile in that they can be very elegant when done with a clean vamp or can also be worn more casually. Monk straps are considered to be between loafers and lace ups in terms of formality.
- Boot & Chukka Boot
The Chukka boot is named after the playing period in polo and was first brought to the West from India by the British Raj. These are often produced in suede and calfskin, unlined with leather or rubber soles.
Boots and ankle boots have become popular due to their versatility and practicality. Considering that pants almost completely cover the quarters, boots can be matched with clothing outfits the same as shoes, but are generally not worn for formal occasions.
Also called "slip ons" and moccasins (sole and upper made of a single piece of leather), loafers have become popular with men due to the trend towards comfort and convenience. Loafers can be dressed up with decorative vamp designs and with fuller bottoms which give them more scale and stature. Tassel loafers were originally considered a more casual shoe but are often seen now paired with sport coats, but less so with navy or gray suits.
The first Spectators were worn by cricket players in the 1800's. During the Jazz age the shoes were sometimes called "Correspondents" since they were worn by shady personalities who often acted as correspondents in divorce cases. Spectators later were worn by yachtsman and at leisure sporting events and now are common on the golf course. Classic Spectators mix brown or black calfskin with white suede or buck.