On the face of it, the difference between Oxfords and Brogues is very simple indeed.
Oxford shoes are closed lace shoes. And Brogues are open laced shoes with perforations
A shoe with open lacing can never, ever be an Oxford. And a shoe without perforations can never, ever be a Brogue.
The main features of a plain Oxford shoe are:
- Closed lacing, i.e. the faces with the eyelets are sewn under a seam known as the throat.
- Smooth leather, either plain or patent
- Toe cap
- Plain quarter and no heel cap.
The main features of a Brogue shoe are:
- lacing, i.e. the faces with the eyelets are open.
- Decorative perforations on the toe.
- Wing tips, i.e. the piece of leather at the toe is formed in ‘W’-shape with long wings extending towards the heel of the shoe.
- A heel cap.
- Perforations around the seams and on the faces of the shoe.