I often get the question which shoe model is my favorite or which do I like the most.
I can not give a correct answer to this question. Because so many shapes I love and there is something special to each shoe model. I can remember that one of the shoes that caught my attention when I was little was the Oxford model. I was always watching my uncle polish his pair of shoes and store them carefully after every use in this wooden closet. Growing up with this, my love for shoes did not stop only at the Oxford shoes, but new doors always open from this :D.
The most formal of footwear styles that is thought to date back over two centuries was reportedly named by the students from the famous English institution, Oxford University. Other worldwide references include the ‘Oxonian’ shoe, and from across the pond the ‘Balmoral’ or ‚bal’.
Regarding the manufacturing technicalities, the Oxford, unlike its Derby counterpart, is defined by its closed lacing system, in which the inside and outside quarters are expertly stitched underneath the vamp, as opposed to over the vamp on the Derby. The tongue is then stitched in separately underneath the Quarters, Vamp and Facing, therefore making a style that is smart in appearance, and more suited to a lower instep.
Evidence shows, that in the early 18th century, bucklemakers’ deputation resulted in strap boots being retained for court, but most men turned to an early laced shoe for these more formal occasions. These laced styles gradually became low cut, with a short vamp and low heels, and were usually made in black calf. Having evolved from these laced boots, the closed lace system was then developed, which required a more exacting fit.
In the early 1900’s the open laced Derby, and closed laced Oxford dominated the Northampton shoe trade, although by this time there were notable changes in decoration, such as ‘Broguing’. Fast forward several decades (c.1985) and the boundaries of the English Oxford were being exceeded in the form of coloured suede and calf, lacing and contrast stitching. By this time, the most formal ‘6 eyelet’ versions were now generally being made with ‘5 eyelets’ but steadfast in society, black patent Oxfords were still considered de rigueur, for formal evening wear.
Our latest designs inspired by the traditional Oxford shoes bring up modern details such as textured leather, fine cutwork and contemporary soles.
I hope I could tell you some new things, and bring the world of men shoes close to you.
See you next time with another interesting story!