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How Do I Choose the Best Oxford Shoes?

Solomon Branch
Solomon Branch

Oxford shoes are made for both men and women, although they are more commonly made for men. Once considered casual shoes, they are now considered standard for formal wear, though they are still also made as a more casual-style shoe. The best Oxford shoes are made of leather, including the sole, and come with the laces on the outside of the vamp, as is the traditional style. They come in a variety of designs and patterns, so picking the best one will depend on what you want to wear them with as well as your personal preferences.

Today, the term Oxford shoes apples to a broad variety of dress shoes with laces. They are most commonly worn with business attire and more formal types of clothing, although some are made more like work boots to appeal to younger buyers. Regardless of the style, the best Oxford shoes will be made of real leather, including the sole, the outer portion of the shoe and the lining. Real leather is easier to repair if damaged, and will last much longer than most synthetic materials.

Oxford dress shoes are usually made of leather.
Oxford dress shoes are usually made of leather.

A good basic Oxford shoe will have a sole that at least a one-quarter inch thick, making it more durable. The sole should be stitched to the bottom of the shoe instead of glued, and the stitching that seals the sole to the upper part of the shoe should be barely noticeable. Oxford shoes are available in a variety of colors, but black is considered more elegant; it also tends to be easier to match black with other colors.

Oxford shoes are available in many colors.
Oxford shoes are available in many colors.

When purchasing an Oxford shoe, ask the sales person detailed questions about the sure to ensure it has all the attributes of a quality shoe. It’s always a good idea to try a shoe on, preferably with the style of outfit or clothing you will have on when wearing the shoe. The shoe should fit comfortably and not be too tight around the toe area. Stitching on the body of the shoe is optional, but, typically, the more stitching a shoe has, the less formal it looks.

Oxford shoes are one variety of men's lace-up dress shoes.
Oxford shoes are one variety of men's lace-up dress shoes.

You can generally find Oxford shoes at any store that sells formal shoes for men or women. If you purchase your shoes online, be sure to check if the store has a good return policy if the shoes don’t fit. In some cases, online stores will have a way to print out a measuring device to ensure their shoes will fit your feet properly.

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Discussion Comments

Rundocuri

@talentryto- Maybe you need to try on any Oxford shoes you are thinking about buying with several different types of socks. The texture and thickness of your socks can make a big difference in how the shoes actually fit when you wear them. Shoes that don't fit right with all the different socks you will be wearing them with are likely to cause foot pain.

When I try on any pair of shoes in a shoe store, I try them on with thin trouser socks and heavier dress socks. Since I will be wearing the shoes in warm and cool weather, I need to make sure that they will fit comfortably with different kinds of socks. I walk around the store for a while in each pair to see how they will feel when I am actually wearing them. Any pair of shoes that doesn't feel right with the different socks will not work for me. This may also be your problem with the Oxfords you are buying.

Talentryto

It seems like every time I find a pair of Oxford shoes I like, they end up causing my feet to hurt. When I try them on in the store, they seem to feel fine. However, after I begin wearing them for a period of time, they don't feel so good. Is there something I could be overlooking when I shop for new Oxfords?

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    • Oxford dress shoes are usually made of leather.
      By: fabi33
      Oxford dress shoes are usually made of leather.
    • Oxford shoes are available in many colors.
      By: Speedfighter
      Oxford shoes are available in many colors.
    • Oxford shoes are one variety of men's lace-up dress shoes.
      By: Kadmy
      Oxford shoes are one variety of men's lace-up dress shoes.