The Oxford and the Derby are both classic styles of men’s dress shoes, but they have some key differences that set them apart.
An Oxford shoe is characterized by its closed lacing system, where the shoelace eyelets are sewn underneath the vamp (the front part of the shoe that covers the toes and instep). This gives the shoe a sleek, formal appearance and makes it a popular choice for formal occasions such as black-tie events or weddings. The rounded toe of an Oxford also adds to its formal appearance.
On the other hand, a Derby shoe has an open lacing system, with the shoelace eyelets attached to the top of the vamp. This gives the shoe a more casual and relaxed appearance, making it a good choice for everyday wear or semi-formal occasions. The toe of a Derby is also more pointed than that of an Oxford, which can give the shoe a more modern and fashionable look.
In terms of construction, Oxford and Derby shoes are also slightly different. Oxford shoes are generally made with a “closed throat” design, where the quarters (the parts of the shoe that cover the sides and back of the foot) are stitched under the vamp. This gives the shoe a more streamlined appearance and allows for a closer fit. Derby shoes, on the other hand, are made with an “open throat” design, where the quarters are stitched on top of the vamp. This gives the shoe a more relaxed and comfortable fit, but also makes it less formal than an Oxford.
Overall, the main difference between an Oxford and a Derby shoe is the lacing system and the overall appearance. Oxford shoes are sleeker and more formal, while Derby shoes are more casual and relaxed. Both styles are versatile and can be worn in a variety of settings, but the choice between the two ultimately depends on the occasion and the wearer’s personal style.