There are many people today who want to look and feel their best but don’t have the necessary tools to do so, and who would like to know the difference between different types of shoes but are lost in the details and give up. This is why in what follows, you can read a quick and smart guide to men’s dress shoes and see examples for the main groups of shoes.


Oxford shoes originated in Scotland and Ireland and are laced shoes characterized by shoelace eyelet tabs that are stitched underneath the vamp. Historically, these shoes were plain and made out of leather, but now they have many embellishments and colors. These are shoes that can be worn at formal occasions and usually have an elegant feel to them. They are timeless, versatile, go great with suits and are formal.


Oxford shoe by Gucci


Monk strap shoes are shoes that have no lacing, closed by a buckle and strap.In terms of formality, monk strap shoes are between oxford shoes and derby shoes. Monk strap shoes have either one strap or two straps. There is no rule to wearing one or two, but we would consider the strap in this case an accessory, so the bigger the guy, the bigger and more the straps, and the thinner the guy, the thinner the strap and strap number.


Monk strap shoe by Gucci


Derby shoes have the shoelace eyelet tabs sewn on top of a single-piece vamp. They are considered to be a little less formal than oxfords, because the open laces allow the shoe to open much wider and as a result, are easier to put on. We would argue that derby shoes are the definition of “business casual”.


Derby Shoe by Rachel Comey Marlin


Brogues and Wingtips are similar shoes, but they’re not quite exactly the same. Actually, they are not similar, but many people can’t see the difference, so here we are to clarify: brogues are any shoes  that have perforations on it. These perforations have, of course, decorative purposes. Historically, these perforations used to let the water out which would flood the shoes in the Scottish and Irish weather. Wingtips are any shoes that have a W shape design on the toe cap. A shoe with the W design minus the perforations is also a wingtip. There are also full brogues and semi-brogues.  full brogue is a combination of the W design and perforations, while a semi-brogue is mostly characterized by perforations on the toe cap and some serration on the edge of the cap.


Wingtip shoes



Loafers & Moccasins are slip-on shoes and are one of our favorites. The difference between loafers and moccasins is that they have different origins and are slightly cut differently. The big difference is that loafers have a distinct heel, so many would argue that the difference is basically in the sole. The cool thing about this type of shoes is that they come in such a huge variety that it’s hard to say precise if they are to be worn at formal occasions or at casual ones. It really depends on the fabric and the color of the shoe. Dressier loafers can be worn at formal occasions, while colorful ones that come in more casual fabrics, should be worn at work or casual occasions.



A Moccasin shoe



Loafer by Louis Vuitton


There you have it, the main types of shoes are now at your fingertips, or, toe’s tips.


Fraquoh and Franchomme






Further reading:

What is the difference between moccasins and loafers and how to wear them?

A guide to leather shoes

A guide to polishing shoes

6 ways to maintain your shoes in the winter

15 shoe facts

The guide to colorful shoes

A guide to houseshoes

P.S. What do you think? Which type is your favorite? Why?

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