Men's Brogue Shoes: To Brouge or not to Brouge | Matador Shoes

Men's Brogue Shoes: To Brouge or not to Brouge

Would you wear Men's Brogue Dress Shoes?

Brogues used to be the type of men's leather shoes that your father or grandfather would wear. But they are now coming back into fashion and many guys are wearing them with skinny jeans and without socks. You can even buy brogues in two tone colours and with a combination of suede and leather.

Have you ever wondered where the humble brogue shoe comes from? The word brogue comes from the Gaelic word “brog” which originated in the 16th century and means leg covering. The brogue style shoes of today can be traced back a few hundred years to the countryside in Scotland and Ireland.  The locals needed hardy strong shoes that could withstand the wet conditions and the pattern design with the holes were invented so the water would drain out of the shoes. So the design pattern on the shoes were not only for decorative purpose’s but had a practical use as well. The shoe is traditionally a low heeled study shoe, made with wide rimmed soles and with study leather uppers that have detailing or “broguing”. They may have started out as outdoor or country men’s footwear but these days brogues are worn as business or casual men’s shoes. 

Brouge shoes are found in many different variations of detailing and decoration with different style toe caps. The most common toe cap styles are the full wingtip, semi wingtip, quarter wingtip and longtip. They come in different shoe forms with the Oxford being the most popular followed by the derby and monk strap. A traditional style brogue with leg straps that you often see in traditional Scottish dancers is called the “Ghillie”. These are only worn these days for social get togethers.

The most common brogue you will see men wearing is an oxford shoe with a serrated and ornately perforated toe cap and end cap, with "wings" that extend from the toe cap towards the middle of the shoe. This design is now referred to as the full brogue or wingtip in Australia. There is also another type of brogue that is a popular type of dress shoe known as “spectator shoes” These are two tone wingtips often made with different leather colours or by having one section of the shoe made with suede.

Semi brogues are brogues with a regular rounded toe cap instead of the wing cap but still retain the serrated edges and ornate holes the center, made as a more refined alternative to wingtip brogues. Matador Shoes Agustin model is a semi brogue.  The quarter brogue is similar in shape to the semi brogue except that they do not have the detailing at the middle of the toe cap but still retain the serrated edging.

When it comes to wearing brogues all the previous ways and ideas have been thrown out the window in the past few years. Many men’s fashion designers have been mixing them up with different ways of wearing them and shoe designers have come up with twists on the traditional designs. The best thing to do is use your imagination and try mixing and matching your brogues with the different styles of clothes you have. My only advice when it comes to brogues is that they are not really men’s wedding shoes. Brogues are one of those shoes that have so much character that they either fit the occasion or they don't. Different varieties of brogues can add style to an otherwise boring look or tone down the formality a notch. So how do you know to brogue or not to brogue? The answer is brogue at your own discretion.

This blog is brought to you by Matador Shoes. We have a selection of men’s leather dress shoes available to buy online in Australia. Check out our website: www,matadorshoes.com.au to see our men’s shoes online and our selection of brogues.


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