The brogue silhouette is a classic design, characterized by its layered uppers and perforated details, and styled with a low heel. A popular option for both casual and formal events, brogue shoes and boots are the perfect options to add style and character to your ensemble.
The roots of the brogue shoe trace back to a rudimentary shoe originating in Ireland and Scotland, which was crafted from untanned hide. Iconic perforations that adorn modern brogues come from the original Irish shoe, which features small holes in the footwear to allow water the drain when the wearer walked through water-logged terrain. But today, the perforations merely add character and detail to brogues which give the silhouette its unique style.
Traditionally, brogue shoes were considered to be outdoor or country footwear only, and not socially acceptable for either casual or business wear. Today, however, brogues are stylish and fashionable for all events, relaxed and formal. Brogues have also evolved over the years from their traditional form, and you can now find brogue style boots, dress shoes, sneakers, and women’s heeled styles.
It is a personal preference on how to lace your brogue dress shoes, and many people choose to lace them in whatever way they find more comfortable or which style they appreciate the look of most. However, when it comes to traditional brogues, we believe that simple straight bar lacing is the best option. Straight lacing offers an elegant and sophisticated style, perfect for more formal occasions that ensures a neat appearance.
If you’re shopping for the perfect dress shoe, you may start to feel overwhelmed by the number of silhouettes available. So, if you’re wondering what exactly makes a shoe a brogue, then we have put together the key information we think you need to know. Brogue shoes are any style that features ‘broguing’, which simply refers to the ornamentation of the shoe's perforations. Therefore, any shoe that features broguing is officially a brogue shoe, meaning that Oxford shoes can also officially be classed as a brogue as well.
Brogues are a very versatile shoe option, making it a popular and staple choice for all occasions. For a casual look, pair your brogues with jeans and a sleek overcoat, however, take care to pick a simple pair of jeans so that the look doesn’t become overwhelming. We recommend a slim, straight pair of jeans paired with a shirt, t-shirt, blazer, or sweater. If you’re looking for brogues to wear to a more formal event, then simply dress up your brogues with a stylish pair of suit pants or trousers and match them with a shirt and blazer. To complete the effortlessly smart ensemble, choose a refined pair of brogues in a classic colour, such as black, brown, or burgundy, to ensure you look downright dapper.
If you have decided that brogues are the absolute ideal silhouette to suit your style, you may want to consider what colour will suit you best. Of course, choosing a classic black or brown colour means that you can swap and change your outfits to match the shoes, but if you’re looking for more advice on specific colours, then read our full guide on what colour shoes to wear with your suit.
At Cheaney, we are proud to craft our shoes using full-grain leather, a quality material that imparts strength, beauty and character. Unlike top-grain leather, full-grain leather is an untampered material that isn’t put through any processes that take away from its appearance or durability. Find out more about full grain leather in our full guide today.
When choosing a perfect-fitting pair of brogues, they should feel like an extension of your foot and be comfortable to wear all day. If you’re choosing a closed-lace pair of brogues, then you need to consider that they will not have much room for adjustment, and generally fit too tightly. To make sure they fit correctly, we recommend leaving approximately 1/8th of an inch between the facing tabs at the top of your laces.
You also need to ensure that your toes are not pressing to the edge of the Brogues, and so that the heels fit closely enough so that they don’t slip while walking. The middle of the foot should also feel like a snug fit, as leather naturally softens over time and will offer more give after a few wears.