Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: The Oxford vs the Derby Shoe

The Oxford vs the Derby Shoe

If you're new to men's artisanal shoes, it's important to know the difference between two of the most common style men's shoes, the oxford vs the derby.

Here at Norman Vilalta, we put together a short little guide for you to better understand the differences between an oxford and derby shoe:

The Oxford vs Derby Shoe by Norman Vilalta men's shoes in Barcelona, Spain
Above is an example of an oxford shoe, our Mario Cap Toe Oxford.

An oxford and a derby shoe are both types of formal footwear that are commonly worn with suits and formal attire. However, there are some key differences between the two styles of shoes that you should understand:

1. Lacing: One of the main differences between oxfords and derbys is the way the laces are closed. Oxfords have a closed lacing system, which means the facings, the section of the shoe that have the laces are sewn under the vamp (the front part of the shoe that covers the top of the foot). This creates a sleek, streamlined appearance.

In contrast, derbys have an open lacing system, which means the facings are sewn on top of the vamp. This gives the shoes a more relaxed, less formal look.

Note how in the oxford shoe above, the facings of the oxford, the area of the shoe where the laces are located, is covered by a leather piece at the vamp, which restricts movement of the lacing area.

On the derby in the photo above, the area with the lacings is in a section of the shoe that can be opened up since the leather pieces are sewn on top of the vamp.

2. Toe shape: Another difference between oxfords and derbys is the shape of the toe. Oxfords often have a more pointed, chiseled toe, which gives them a more formal, sophisticated appearance.

Derbys on the other hand often have a more rounded toe, which gives them a more casual, laid-back appearance.

3. Formality: Overall, oxfords are considered more formal than derbys. They are typically worn with formal attire, such as suits, tuxedos, and formal dresses.

Derbys, on the other hand, are considered less formal and are typically worn with more casual attire, such as khakis and sports jackets.

4. Occasions: Oxfords are typically worn to formal events, such as weddings, black-tie affairs, and formal business meetings.

Derbys are more versatile and can be worn to a wider range of occasions, including casual business meetings and more relaxed social events.

Above is an example of a derby shoe, our Coltrane Wingtip Derby.

In summary, oxfords and derbys are both formal shoes, but they differ in their lacing systems, toe shapes, and overall formality. Oxfords are sleeker and more formal, while derbys are more relaxed and casual.

To learn more about men's shoes and our high-quality Goodyear-welted shoes, read more articles from our blog on Understanding Norman Vilalta Shoes.

Or shop Norman Vilalta's collection of oxfords and derby shoes today.

Read more

The benefits of Goodyear-welted shoes
advantages of goodyear-welted shoes

The Benefits of Goodyear-welted Shoes

If you are new to the world of quality dress shoes, then you should understand the benefits of Goodyear-welted shoes, the construction method that we've selected for our ready-made Condal Collecti...

Read more
How long to break in a pair of Goodyear-welted Shoes by Norman Vilalta men's shoes in Barcelona, Spain
breaking in goodyear-welted shoes

How long does it take to break in Goodyear-welted shoes?

Breaking in Goodyear-welted shoes can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on the individual's foot and the shoe's design. Goodyear-welted shoes take time to break in because ...

Read more