A Hume

A Hume
The A Hume Guide to Shoes – Do you know your Monks from your Moccasins?

The A Hume Guide to Shoes – Do you know your Monks from your Moccasins?

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It’s well known that the measure of a well dressed man is determined by his choice of footwear. Knowing your Monks from your Moccasins is the first step to becoming the proud possessor of the best dressed feet in town.

 

A Synopsis Styles

 

Balmoral

 

The term Balmoral came into use after Prince Albert wore some rather splendid Oxfords during a holiday to the Balmoral Estate. Essentially the terms are interchangeable and any debate amongst aficionados is simply a spat over which came first. Clearly you can see which side of the debate we’re on…..See Oxford for full description.

 

Brogue

 

There are many variants within the definition of the Brogue. We could bend your ear all day waxing on about the eccentricities of broguing. But as you’re busy we’ll be brief.

 

Essentially the term Brogue refers to the pattern of decorative perforations – the broguing. There are several types of brogue pattern and a brogue pattern can be applied to any style of shoe be it an Oxford, a Derby or any of the shoes below. Even a trainer – not saying it’s a good idea, but we have seen it.

 

The main patterns are:

 

Wingtip/Full Brogues

 

The Full Brogue

The main feature of the wingtip, or full brogue are:

  • Open 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. The edges are perforated.
  • A heel cap.
  • Broguing around the seams of the vamp, heel cap, toe and on the faces of the shoe.

 

Half/Semi Brogues

 

Half Brogue

The main features of the half, or semi brogue are:

  • Closed lacing, i.e. the faces with the eyelets are closed.
  • A defined, straight toe cap with perforated edges.
  • Decorative perforations on the toe.
  • Broguing around the seams of the vamp, throat and heel cap (if one is present).

 

Quarter Brogues

 

The Quarter Brogue

 

The main features of the quarter brogue are:

  • Closed lacing, i.e. the faces with the eyelets are closed.
  • A defined, straight toe cap with perforated edges.
  • Plain toe cap.
  • Broguing around the seams of the vamp, throat and heel cap (if one is present).

 

Ghillie Brogues

 

Ghillie Brogue

 

Most commonly worn with traditional Highland Dress, the main features of the Ghillie brogue are:

  • Closed lacing, i.e. the faces with the eyelets are closed.
  • No tongue.
  • Long laces that tie around the ankles.
  • 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. The edges are perforated.
  • A heel cap.
  • Broguing around the seams of the vamp, heel cap, toe and on the faces of the shoe.

 

 

Chelsea Boot

 

Chelsea Boot

 

The origins of the Chelsea Boot lie not in the well-heeled (apologies for the pun) London district but in the green paddocks of the Victorian shires where they were conceived as a jodhpur boot. Its defining feature is the elasticated gusset that makes it such a breeze to get on and off compared to the tedium of lacing.

 

Its re-birth as the Chelsea Boot dates back to the 50’s and early 60’s when London began to swing. The hip, arty, offspring of the shires country set made a beeline for giddy London and their parent’s Chelsea townhouses, where, in the spirit of youthful rebellion, they took to wearing their jodhpur boots. Street style was ever thus….even before the advent of fashion bloggers.

 

The main features of the Chelsea boot are:

 

  • Ankle high.
  • Formed in two parts: the vamp and the quarters, each using a single piece of leather.
  • An elasticated gusset located over the ankle bone joins the vamp and the quarters. They are stitched plainly and securely below the gusset.

 

Derby

 

The Derby

 

The Derby can take many forms, it might be nubuck, it might have broguing, wingtips, a plain toe cap or no toe cap at all. Its defining feature is its open faced lacing style.

 

The shoelace faces always form part of the quarters (the piece of leather that forms the mid-section of the shoe). The quarters are stitched to the vamp only at the sides, the lower section of the shoelace faces remain open.

The main features of the Derby are:

 

  • Open lacing, i.e. the faces with the eyelets are open.
  • The shoelace faces always form part of the quarters.
  • The toe cap can be in any number of styles, or formed by the vamp in a single piece of leather.
  • A Derby, may, or may not, have a heel cap.

 

Loafer

 

Loafer

 

The history of the loafer is somewhat disputed. No one can quite agree but it seems likely that it’s a hybrid of the Moccasin. An innovation made more robust by the addition of a distinct, harder wearing sole and a few styling tweaks.

 

All Loafers are laceless shoes. The uppers sit low on the foot at the sides and the vamp extends high up the face of the foot. The vamp and the upper are joined by raised stitching. They might sport tassels, a saddle (a band of leather across the vamp), a penny, or buckles.

 

The main features of the Loafer are:

 

  • No laces.
  • Uppers that sit low on the feet at the sides.
  • The vamp extends high up the face of the foot.
  • The vamp and upper are joined by raised stitching.
  • A distinct sole, and heel.

 

Moccasin

 

The Moccasin

 

No such doubt about the origin of the Moccasin. The Moccasin differs from the Loafer in two crucial ways. Firstly, there is never a heel on a Moccasin. Secondly, there is never a distinct sole.

 

Most Moccasins are soft-soled, laceless shoes formed from a single piece of leather wrapped around the sole of the foot, joined to what we would call the vamp by raised stitching. The might be decorated with tassels or beadwork.

 

The main features of the Moccasin are:

 

  • No laces.
  • Uppers that sit low on the feet at the sides.
  • The vamp extends high up the face of the foot.
  • The upper and sole are comprised of a single piece of leather.
  • The vamp and upper and are joined by raised stitching.
  • No distinct sole or heel.

 

 

Monk

 

Loake Monk

A Monk shoe is a laceless shoe that is secured by piece of leather, known as a monk strap that extends over the top of the foot and is fastened by a single, or multiple buckles.

 

Monk shoes may feature a straight toe cap. They tend not to have many flourishes, but are occasionally seen with broguing detail, wingtips and distinct quarters.

 

  • A laceless shoes.
  • Secured by a monk strap, featuring a single, or multiple buckles.

 

Oxford

 

Oxford

 

Oxfords are simple, elegant shoes. Originally a formal choice, the styling of Oxfords has evolved. There are patent Oxfords, full Oxford brogues – all manner of incarnations. The one thing they will all have is a closed lace.

 

If a shoe is to qualify as an Oxford the shoelace faces must absolutely be stitched neatly below the vamp. This is what gives them their elegant simplicity and formal clout.

 

The main features of the Oxford are:

 

  • Closed lacing, i.e. the faces with the eyelets are sewn under a seam known as the throat.
  • Smooth leather, either plain, patent or brogued.
  • Toe cap, or wingtip on a full Oxford Brogue.
  • Vamp
  • May, or may not have a plain quarter and heel cap.

 

 

Spectator

 

The Spectator

 

The Spectator is a two-tone full, or semi-brogue Oxford. A flamboyant shoe worthy of Gatsby that is attended by a host of pseudonyms derived from its association with certain loose factions of society.

 

It is said to have earned the nickname co-respondent due to its popularity among the sort of rakish fellows favoured by adulteress wives and likely to be cited in divorce case. As shoe styles go, we’d say the Spectator has certainly seen its fair share of fun.

 

The main features of the Spectator are:

 

  • Closed lacing, i.e. the faces with the eyelets are sewn under a seam known as the throat.
  • Two tone leather, either plain, patent or brogued.
  • Toe cap, or wingtip.
  • Vamp
  • Heel cap.

 

 

For more on the fine topic of shoes, see our post Oxford v Brogues – The Kingsman Controversy. We wade in on the fiercest footwear debate for decades and sort the whole thing out with a few well chosen words. Well, we like to think so anyway….

 

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