When going for a pair of laced-up shoes, the selection often boils down to two icons: The Oxford and The Derby, both champions in their own right. 

Tracing its origin back to Scotland and Ireland, and gaining its name from being a shoe often worn on the campus of The University of Oxford back in the 1800s, The Oxford is by many considered the mother of all dress shoes. Thereafter, The Derby has appeared as a less formal version of The Oxford, offering unmatched compatibility with both formal- and casual wear. Easy to pair – easy to wear.


The general distinction between the shoes is how the lacing is constructed as a part of the shoe. The lacing of both shoes is constructed into the quarters of the shoes. While The Oxford has its quarters sewn “in” or integrated into the vamp – something often called “closed lacing”, the quarters of The Derby are sewn on top of the vamp. See pictures below.

Even though this seemingly futile detail constitutes the distinction between the two kinds of shoes, they are often crafted with some quite defining individual characteristics such as broguing (the dotted patterns on the shoe), the dimensions of the outsole and the instep. How The Oxford and The Derby can be perceived in terms of compatibility with certain clothes is mainly decided by two main factors: 

  • The material of the shoe, leather being more formal and suede more casual.

  • The Broguing on the shoe; more broguing generates a less formal shoe.

With this in mind and after years of development, we offer our own take on The Oxford and The Derby, each with their own distinct characteristics.

The Oxford

Crafted on a single leather sole for a sleek and timeless impression. Cap toe for an elegant yet versatile look. Offered in Black, Brown and Burgundy Calf, as well as Brown and Medium Brown Suede, for both formal and casual impressions. 

Shop The Oxford here

The Derby

Crafted on a sturdy rubber sole with a storm welt so that you can feel reassuringly solid underfoot, also giving the shoe a more substantial impression. Brogue details handstitched on the finest calf and suede leathers which we source locally from our tannery in Valencia, Spain. Offered in classic colors on leather and suede, for both formal and casual impressions.

Shop The Derby here

Voilà! Now you know the difference between an Oxford and a Derby. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on live chat if you have any questions or want to learn more about the world of shoes.

Oxford and Derby shoes

Handmade in 128 steps. 61 dedicated working stations with artisans behind every stroke.

Related articles