Oxford Shoe

Loake Churchill - a classic Oxford

Loake Churchill – a classic Oxford

Loake Aldwych - a classic Oxford shoe

Loake Aldwych – a classic Oxford shoe

The Oxford, occasionally called Balmoral, or even Bal (although this term generally refers to an Oxford boot) is considered by most to be the smartest form of men’s shoe. It is a lace-up shoe where the vamp continues all the way above the tongue to reach the front of the ankle and is separate from the tongue. Rather, the vamp is divided by a split over the tongue, and the laces pull the split together. Traditionally, it is laced as shown in the Churchill and Aldwych  shown here – with a straight row of parallel lines of lace, rather like a ladder. Its name comes from the Oxonian, a half-boot with side slits that was popular at Oxford University in the early 1800s. The only possible disadvantage of the Oxford is that it needs to be well fitted, as there is not much “slack” in the lacing. There is considerably more slack in the laces of a Derby shoe.