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.
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.
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.
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.