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WHAT IS AN OXFORD SHOE?

Oxfords are characterised by their low heel, exposed ankle and their closed lacing system, whereby their eyelet tabs are sewn under the vamp of the shoe to create a sleek, streamlined silhouette. It’s this smooth and elegant design that makes Oxfords considered the smartest of men’s dress shoes and a footwear staple for formal occasions, black tie events and business attire.

WHAT’S THE HISTORY OF OXFORD SHOES?

Oxfords are derived from the Oxonian shoe created by Oxford University students back in early Victorian England, who sought an alternative to the high or mid-calf boots commonly worn at the time. While originally featuring a higher boot heel and side slits, the Oxonian developed over time to feature laces on the instep and a lower heel, forming the Oxford we recognise today.

While less formal shoes like Derbys or brogues can get away with standard criss-cross lacing, the traditional way to lace Oxford shoes in keeping with their elegance and formality is straight bar lacing. Using a thin, round shoelace, ensure the laces of your Oxfords sit completely horizontally and parallel to each other in neat straight lines.

HOW TO LACE OXFORDS

While less formal shoes like Derbys or brogues can get away with standard criss-cross lacing, the traditional way to lace Oxford shoes in keeping with their elegance and formality is straight bar lacing. Using a thin, round shoelace, ensure the laces of your Oxfords sit completely horizontally and parallel to each other in neat straight lines.

WHAT MAKES AN OXFORD AN OXFORD?

So, when it comes to what makes an Oxford an Oxford, there are a few key defining identifiers: their smooth exterior, low heel, exposed ankle and closed lacing system.

It’s this last characteristic that differentiates them from other popular men’s shoe designs, such as Derbys. While similar in appearance, Derbys have, in direct contrast to Oxfords, an open lacing system that gives them a looser fit and less formal aesthetic than the elegant Oxford.

Additionally, while traditional Oxfords have a smooth leather upper, there are several variations of the shoe that incorporate different shoe designs into their aesthetic, including Balmoral Oxfords, Wingtip Oxfords and Oxford Brogues. While this can be confusing, the key way to distinguish an Oxford from any other shoe design is to look to the laces. If they’re closed, they’re Oxfords.

HOW VERSATILE ARE OXFORD SHOES?

Whether it be a wedding, funeral, business meeting or important function, a pair of polished leather Oxfords are undoubtedly the shoe to opt for if you’re suiting up for a formal occasion. You can’t go wrong with a pair of Oxfords and it’s this versatility that makes them such a footwear staple. Due to there being many variations on the classic style, you can also find Oxfords that provide different levels of formality, including suede designs and contemporary two-tone styles. What’s more, from classic black and brown to light tan, two-tone and burgundy, Oxfords are available in a wide array of colours, enabling you to find the perfect pair to match a versatile range of outfits.

SHOP BY COLOUR

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There are a number of shades you can opt for when suiting up for a smart occasion, but what colour shoes should you wear with your suit? At Cheaney Shoes, we’ve created a guide to help you avoid a footwear faux-pas… WHAT COLOUR SHOES SHOULD YOU WEAR WITH YOUR SUIT

WHAT IS FULL GRAIN LEATHER?

Full-grain leather is a luxury material, imparting strength, beauty and character. Different from top-grain leather, it is an untampered material that has not been put through any processes to take away from its appearance or durability… WHAT IS FULL GRAIN LEATHER

THE CHEANEY GUIDE TO CARING FOR LEATHER SHOES

Found your perfect pair of Cheaney leather shoes and want to keep them in their best condition? From polishing and cleaning, to softening the leather and using shoe trees, at Cheaney we’ve got all the tips you need for properly caring for leather shoes and prolonging their lifespan… CHEANEY GUIDE TO CARING FOR LEATHER SHOES

ASK ALEX: SHOE POLISHING: A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

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HOW TO CARE FOR SUEDE SHOES

The common myth is that suede shoes are notoriously difficult to keep looking their best. However, don’t be put off as this really isn’t the case; whether it’s a new pair or you need to rejuvenate an old, at Cheaney, we’ve created a definitive guide on how to care for and protect suede shoes to ensure they remain in excellent condition for many more years of wear… HOW TO CARE FOR SUEDE SHOES

SHOP BY FIT

HOW SHOULD AN OXFORD SHOE FIT?

A well-fitting pair of Oxfords should feel like an extension of your foot and be comfortable to wear all day. However, with their closed-lace design, Oxfords have a closer fit than other shoes and do not have much room for adjustment, meaning they can easily fit too tightly. The best way to check your Oxfords fit correctly is to ensure there is approximately 1/8th of an inch between the facing tabs at the top of your laces.

Like all dress shoes, it’s also important to ensure your toes aren’t pressing against the end of your Oxfords and the heels fit closely and don’t slip when you’re walking. You should also ensure your foot feels snug around the middle of the shoe and not too loose, as leather naturally softens and will give a little after a few wears.

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