A simple explanation of the difference between an oxford shoe and a derby shoe

An Oxford shoe and a Derby shoe are fairly similar, though there is one very important distinction between the two. Here’s a quick explanation of the difference.

What is an Oxford shoe?

An Oxford shoe is created with what’s called closed lacing. All that this means is that the flaps of leather that contain the lacing eyelets are sewn under the vamp rather than on top of it.

SAY WHAT? Read our guide to dress shoe construction terms.

oxford vs derby

What is a Derby shoe?

A Derby shoe is defined by open lacing. More explicitly, this means that the quarters, or the panels of leather containing the lacing eyelets, are sewn on top of the vamp, rather than under it.

oxford vs derby

What does this mean in terms of styling? To keep it simple, Oxford shoes are a more formal, dressier option, while Derbies are more casual.

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style

Photography by Rob McIver Photo


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