Brogue shoes are ‘oxford-looking’ types of shoes with decorative holes perforated around the cap toe, back, and around.

The term ‘brogue’ is technically not a type of shoe. It refers to the decorative holes in a shoe caused by the perforation of its base leather – typically an Oxford or a monk strap. Today, you can find broguing on virtually any leather dress shoe ( loafer, oxford, slippers, monk strap, etc.). The holes were once functional, with the primary purpose being to let water out of the shoe. The term is a nap to the shoe’s origin in the Scottish Highlands (bro is Gaelic for footwear).

Broguing in the 21st century has nothing to do with its original purpose or meaning but everything to do with style. In that, the holes are not functional.  A full-brogued oxford will make it less formal and an exciting player in a man’s semi-dress wardrobe.

The common combination of a contrasting upper base of a full brogue shoe with either tweed, flannel, cheviots, or simply a different color of leather makes a brogue shoe both casual and fancy.

It’s wise not to wear brogue shoes to an evening, black tie event, or any event of that nature. Brogues are not as visible on brown leather as in black or very dark colors. So, if you want to show the broguing, go with brown.