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Oxford or Derby? What's the difference?
December 2, 2014
When we talk about men's dress shoes, we distinguish between 2 types of shoes: Derbies and Oxfords.
But, so what's the difference between the two? Actually, it's quite simple! Explanations...
The difference is found with the lacing. On Oxfords, the lacing is done through an aperture which starts at the tongue of the shoe and runs up to the shoes upper (top of the foot). On Derbies, we find 2 pieces of leather independent of one another which we are going to be tightened with the shoelaces.
Not sure to have properly understood? Here is an image that will be easier to understand than a long speech:
In blue, a Derby model: Take a look at the base of the lacing - it's open. To the right, on the Oxford model, the base of the lacing is closed. It's really that simple!
Now that you know the differences which characterize these two models, what differentiates them in terms of usage?
If you wear a formal outfit (a suit, for example, preferably made by yours truly), favor Oxfords; inversely, with more casual attire, the Derbies find their place. Careful, however, as this rule (like all others) is made to be broken!
Regarding foot shape, this depends on the model. At Blandin & Delloye we use the same shape for the majority of our lines, be it Oxford or Derby; but all being equal, the Derby will better suit those with strong feet, as the shoe's upper will be more supple.
In order to see if you have fully understood the difference, here is a photo of a buckle model - yes, but an Oxford or Derby buckle?