Men’s Dress Shoes: Difference Between Oxford , Derby & Blucher Shoes Explained

Men’s Dress Shoes: Difference Between Oxford , Derby & Blucher Shoes Explained


Welcome! In this video, I’m going to show
you the difference between the three most popular men’s dress shoes; the Oxford, the
Derby and the Blucher. In the US, the term Oxfords is often times used to describe any
kind of dress shoe but that is simply incorrect. Oxfords are the most formal of men’s dress
shoes and they were invented in England and named after the city of Oxford where they
first appeared around the 1480s where men switched from boots to exposed or low cut
shoes that wouldn’t cover the ankle. It’s the best shoe to wear with business suits,
tuxedos or informal suits and sport coat combinations. Oxfords come in all kinds of variations, there
are brogues, whole cuts, there are cap toes but basically, the most defining feature of
Oxford shoes is their closed lacing system. If you look here you see, it’s only open on
top but it is closed down here. On the other hand, an open laced system is open at the
bottom. Oxfords are only this, closed lacing shoes. The Derby is defined with its open lacing
systems. It means that it’s open at the bottom. It’s a much better shoe for people with bigger
feet because it simply fits more comfortably around it and much more comfortable to walk
around. Derbys are slightly less formal than Oxfords and hence, they are better for sport
coat combinations, chinos and jeans especially in Brown. Personally, that’s the way I wear
them. In England and the US, Derbys are usually a little less formal than Oxfords so for black
tie and White tie events, you would choose an oxford shoe rather than a Derby shoe. People often get confused about the difference
of a Derby and a Blucher because basically both have an open lacing system. In all honesty,
I think it is totally fine to use these terms interchangeably. If you really want to point
out the difference is that the Derby is basically a piece of leather on the side that is joined
in the back and goes all along the other side. On the other hand, a Blucher simply has a
slight piece of leather sewn on both sides and both feature the open lacing system. They look very similar and they are very similar
and hence the distinction between a blucher and derby is basically irrelevant. As a well-dressed
man, you want all these three kinds of dress shoes in your shoe closet. Personally, I probably
have about the same number of Oxfords and Derbys or Bluchers. You can also have slightly
more oxfords or slightly more Derbys and bluchers. Depending on the size of your foot and the
degree of formality of your wardrobe. If you have more informal garments, have more Derbys
and bluchers. If you wear more suits or have a white collar job, you should have more Oxfords.
The pairs you see here are all shoes from my collection. This black cap-toe Oxford is
one of the first shoes men should have because it goes with any kind of suit, you can wear
it with black tie and you can mirror shine it and I only recommend, you get a pair. The
Derby here in the middle is actually is the first pair of Goodyear welted shoes i bought
back in 2002. It has been resold many times, I’ve worn it on four different continents
and take a look. It’s still great and it’s a perfect example of why you should invest
in quality rather than in quantity. The Blucher here is a new shoe in my collection and I
haven’t worn it that often. One of the easiest ways to change the look of the shoe is to
change its shoelaces and so I always play around with different colors depending on
my mood and the formality. If you want to be super formal, go with the black oxford
and black shoelaces. If you want to change the look a little bit then use some lighter
colors, it looks very different.

100 Replies to “Men’s Dress Shoes: Difference Between Oxford , Derby & Blucher Shoes Explained”

  1. I have never heard it pronounced "blou-cher." I go with "bloo-ker" however "bloo-cher" is also acceptable for some.

  2. Hello – I thoroughly enjoy your videos.  A quick question if I may…   It appears that you lace the blucher in a criss-cross fashion and the oxford in a bar pattern.  Is this a "rule",  or am I reading too much in to this observation.

  3. Hi,
    Fantastic video. Who is the maker of the black oxford captoe shown in the video (1:11)? The ones with the grey laces.

  4. Classically speaking the Blutcher is a Vedtshoen construction and not a goodyear construction which leads to a different style as the upper actually is stitched to the sole and not to a welt

  5. Hi, would like to know if there are any differences between flat heel oxfords and ones with heels that stick out? The occasion or style? Most shoes I see have the heels that stick out. Are the flat heels considered uncool or something?

  6. Awesome videos, very in depth and informative compare to other youtube channels. It would be even better if you do more videos about suits.

  7. Excellent vid, never knew there were such differences. Can you explain what is the best type of shoe to wear at a wedding especially if its for the Groom to wear? Thanks.

  8. Really good video! to be honest I had no idea about it! you explained very well. I'm looking forward to buy it, after see this video I have decided buy Derbies which are a little informal. In the oder hand i'm currently studying english and you have a really good tone lol

  9. This is a great video. I have a question here. How much of the shine on the shoe can be considered appropriate for the purpose of an extremely formal interview?
    The interviewers would be the 'who is who' of the world of bureaucracy.

  10. Why do Americans insist on pronouncing derby derr-bee instead of in the correct manner-; dar-be

  11. Are you saying a shoe like the Allen Edmonds Leeds wouldn't go with a business suit?

    http://www.allenedmonds.com/shoes/mens-shoes/dress-shoes/leeds-cordovan-derby-shoes/SF9501.html?dwvar_SF9501_color=9591#sz=18&start=36

    Here is a link for an Allen Edmonds Cap-toe Oxford, but it actually looks like a blucher.

    I think the below is a blucher, isn't it?

    http://www.allenedmonds.com/shoes/mens-shoes/dress-shoes/atl-cap-toe-oxfords/SF3940.html?dwvar_SF3940_color=3940#start=8

  12. I enjoy your excellent video. Can you recommend some suggested brands of oxfords in the $150-$300 range?

  13. Dear Sven,

    I am a lady who is interested in quality menswear on her spouse's behalf. As we will soon participate in events that require very formal wear, I thought I refresh my knowledge on standards and styles.
    I would like to say that I have found your videos extraordinary, and very helpful! (a cheerful side-remark: these are such matters what a lady should be familiar with as well)
    It was such a pleasure to see them, and it is such a pleasure to encounter fineness and quality. Thank you for making these videos and keeping such values alive!

    Kind regards,
    D M H

  14. Hey, in the video you said that derby's were better for bigger feet? Do you mean people with flat feet or just a bigger sized foot? Like a size 12 or more?

  15. Sven, I am surprised and amused that you, as a person of Northern European extraction, would pronounce the word "blucher" (blooker) as you do.
    I love what you do and thanks for it. I am the most stylish guy in my seniors' residence because of your videos.

  16. I got to learn quite about on shoes that I hadn't in all my life up until this point. May I seek your advice on what type of shoes I should wear since I travel on bike mostly. I love wearing formal shoes.

  17. All of our shoe stores in our area only have very cheap cap toe oxfords.  Are there brands you would recommend and trust if I were to order online?

  18. I am one of those women who often laments that men's clothing and shoes (and haircuts) are made better than women's from better quality materials in better colors for greater longevity and comfort. Can you compile – or point viewers to – a similar guide for women's shoes – which seem to be all about fashion (not the same as style): 'wear it now and toss it'? How have man-made materials and glued soles made it so far into the expensive shoe market?

  19. What I consider first and foremost when I look at one's appearance is the person's good personality. The clothes is only secondary. You can wear expensive clothes but poor personality degrades everything.

  20. Hi, can you please tell me what is the brand of the shoes in the below link i am in love with, thank you in advance. https://www.gentlemansgazette.com/shop/accessories/black-grosgrain-faille-evening-shoelaces-tuxedo-fort-belvedere

  21. I always thought my favourite pair are Derbys, but they are unexpectedly Bluchers … Thanks!

  22. Hi Sven, I was wondering if you could explain to me what makes a men's shoe, a cambridge. I loved your detail description of the oxford and how it differs from the Derby & Blucher, but I am completely baffled by shoes that are labeled Cambridge.

    Thank you 🙂

  23. I'm a girl that just got a job selling menswear shoes in a luxury department store with no clue about menswear, I can't tell you how much your videos have helped me!

  24. Jamie Merridale – Your statement is quite the oxymoron. Exquisite with a colorful metaphor. Typical of today’s mindset and the starvation of good etiquette.

  25. Thank you, Sven for this very informative video. it is the ONLY one to very clearly explain the difference between the three. I look at all your videos. Keep up the great work.

  26. At the shop today I was talking to the sales man about his Derby shoes though I was calling them Oxford… I feel so uncouth.

  27. A great video on the difference between the shoe's characteristics, but the pronunciation of the word Blucher is wrong. Blucher was a famous Prussian general, thus the pronunciation should be German- with an *h*: (Bluher).

  28. Would you recommend bar lacing for derby shoes or cross lacing? Or does it matter based on the formality if the rest of the outfit being worn?

  29. Which oxford shoes brand do you recommend ?
    Which ! Are good in price and can be available with international delivery like Dubai

  30. Don't let today's liberal agenda fool you. You dress well, walk, and talk properly, many good doors for your career do open for you. It's not about trendy labels or the expensive things, it's all about how well you can wear them.

  31. I have never liked the derby and find them to be unnecessary. If I want to be formal I wear oxfords, if I want to be casual I prefer monkstraps or various boots.

  32. I hate to ask you because I feel even though other people have made videos for it, I feel that you are optimal when explaining, but is it possible you could make a video on Goodyear Welt v. Blake Stitch?

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