An essential men's shoe style that many would agree should be a part of every gentleman’s wardrobe is the Oxford shoe. A timeless classic that sits proudly on shoe racks around the world, the Men’s Oxford Shoe is the most formal of footwear styles dating back more than two centuries and its title is associated to students from the famous English institution, Oxford University.
Originating from a half boot called the ‘Oxonian’ in 1825, the Oxonian boot featured narrow slits on the sides making it more comfortable to wear around campus than the fashionable high boots of the time. Other references of origin include Balmoral, a toe cap Oxford-style named after the Scottish castle itself.
Characterised by its closed lacing system with a low heel and exposed ankle, all men’s Oxford shoes have a similar silhouette except the Wholecut.
Today, Oxford shoes have developed over the years resulting in an extensive range of different Oxford styles with the toe cap and plain designs being most popular, especially as a formal dress shoe.
The Barker collection of Oxford shoes feature in the Handcrafted, London, Professional and BarkerTech collections which are made on various last shapes from a variety of materials and soles to choose from. Classic Barker Black Oxford shoes that feature in the Icon Series to celebrate the Earls Barton village shoemaker’s 140th anniversary include the Albert, Falsgrave, Lerwick and Winsford styles.
When it comes to a classic toe cap Oxford shoe the Barker Arnold, Bank, Malvern and Winsford styles have remained the most popular Oxfords in the Barker London flagship stores located at Regent Street, Jermyn Street, Canary Wharf and in the city. A practical Oxford-style from the Professional collection is Burford, made on the 469 last from premium calf leather and a durable British Dainite rubber sole.
If it’s an Oxford brogue you desire the Professional and London collection feature several styles of note including the Albert, Chancery, Covent Garden and Malton. The only shoe style dressier than the classic toe cap Oxford would be a whole-cut which offers refined style and is made from one single piece of leather. Recommended Barker Wholecut styles include the Armstrong and Nelson styles from the BarkerTech and Professional collections.
For an Oxford shoe with an imaginative design look no further than the Barker Creative collection, a range of Goodyear welted styles that are made using exceptional techniques such as hand-painted leather and contemporary detailing to make you stand out in the crowd.
The Barker Bailey, Butcher, Jax and Valiant are hand-painted styles made in the Earls Barton factory while the McClean is the most popular Creative Oxford shoe in the collection. Made on the 443 last from premium calf leather, the McClean features either intricate contrast suede or paisley laser detailing and comes in several colourways.
For ladies, the Barker Fearne, Freya and Sloane Goodyear welted Oxford shoes are highly recommended. Explore the latest Barker range of men’s and women’s Oxford shoes online and in-store.