A staple for every man’s wardrobe, a shoe for almost all occasions, formal and informal, is a black dress shoe. Or, if you are really that fancy, then it will be a brown dress shoe. But did you know, what’s the difference between the two most prominent styles of men’s dress shoes: Derby and Oxfords?

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Oxfords:

 

Sometimes called Balmorals, an Oxford shoe is characterized by Closed Lacing. The eyelets for this shoe are sewn under the vamp (the front of the shoe attached to the quarters). The closed lace front gives a sleeker appearance. It allows for a closer fit for the foot, holds the foot more snugly. A decent pair of black plain-toe Oxfords is the default and safest option for your go-to dress shoe.

See comparison in the above and below image[Left: Derby, Right: Oxford].

 

Derby:

 

Also known as Bluchers or Gibson sometimes, a Derby shoe is characterized by Open Lacing. It is a lace-up shoe where the eyelets facings are on the top of the shoe (front section of the shoe). It has an open front giving a more robust and versatile feel. This also allows for a variety of adjustments the shoe by pulling the laces tighter or looser. This means that a Derby shoe can fit a wider range of foot shapes.

See comparison in the above and below image[Left: Derby, Right: Oxford].

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