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What is a brogue shoe?


When looking for a classic men's shoe, most have already looked at the various shapes and styles of shoes. What often immediately catches our eyes is the so-called "broguing". But what is that exactly? Let's take a closer look at it in this article.

If you look for a classic lace-up men’s shoe, you often decide between Oxfords or Derby shoes. The primary difference between these two models is that Oxford shoes have closed lacing, while a pair of Derbies has open lacing.

Now that we’ve resolved the most essential differences between the different models, let’s get back to brogue details. What is a brogue shoe? And what is the difference between the amount of brogue details?

Brogues are the decorative perforation on dressed shoes. These decorations are also called broguing. However, the details do not define the shoe model. For example, an Oxford can also have broguing details, like The Adelaide.

Different levels of brogue

Broguing can be separated into different levels of amount of detail. There are four well-known levels of broguing:

  • Full Brogue
  • Semi Brogue
  • Quarter Brogue
  • Longwing Brogue
brogue-semi-full-morjas1 brogue-semi-full-morjas1
longwing-brogues-quarter-brouges1 longwing-brogues-quarter-brouges1

Origin of the brogues

This type of detailing originated in Scotland and Ireland. Shepherds and farmers used this special perforation as a functional feature. The small holes allowed water to drain from the shoes. Later, the shoe became the standard for English workers in the countryside. At some point, the shoe reached the aristocracy, and the perforation was used increasingly as decorative patterning.

Brogue details on The Derby and The Adelaide

For now, our Derby and Adelaide are the only models with brogue details in our collection. The Derby features a full brogue with two patterns— the “Lyra perforation” along the seams where two smaller holes and a more significant hole alternate, together with a decorative broguing in the centre of the toe cap, known as the medallion. The Adelaide, on the other hand, features a semi-brogue, which exudes a more scaled-back look.

You can explore the entire Brogue collection below.