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Beverlyheels StyleFootwear: Oxfords

Footwear: Oxfords

Posted on Thu, Sep 28th, 2017

The Upper Crest - Oxfords

Think Oxford shoes, two things come to mind. Blue eyed British men and high tea parties. But the history of the Oxfords is pretty interesting. There are two theories of origin.

The first one describes the Oxford to have evolved from a style of boot. During the 17th century, high and tightly fitted boots with buttons were the most popular form of men's footwear. High heeled boots were also popular especially with King Louis XIV of France who had a modest height. Although it's not clear who exactly invented the Oxford shoes, but it seems that the students of Oxford University popularized the "half boot" called the "Oxonian" shoes around 1825. These used to be made with slits, that made their way to the front of the boot that eventually turned into laces. These boots were eventually shortened into a shoe.

The second theory claims Oxford to have originated in Scotland, where it is commonly referred to as "Balmoral" named after a castle with the same name.

No matter what the origin, Oxfords are considered as the most formal of men's shoes in today's day.

The shoe has one principal defining characteristic: the lacing system. Sometimes the term "Oxford" is used to denote any smart lace up shoe, including the ones with open lacing. Most British Oxford shoes today have 5 eyelet holes on each side, whereas American Oxfords often have 6.

The present day Oxfords essentially have, a closed lacing system, low heels and exposed ankle. All Oxford shoes share these essential features and although most have the eyelets on the quarter, a wholecut or seamless Oxford are the exceptions.

Wear them to black tie or white tie events, and put on patent Oxfords for tuxedo or tailcoat events.

Grab your pair at Beverlyheels.

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