The Spectator is the most common welted footwear design to use two different colours. This two-tone effect is created by using different leathers for the toe, vamp, facings and counters. The wingtip or full-brogue brogue pattern is the natural style for this effect because it already has different pieces of leather for these parts of the shoe.
Spectator: the term spectator comes from outdoor, sporting gentlemen, taking to this style of shoe for golf and cricket. After a while the shoe became popular with the spectators at these events and the name was adopted. View all our spectator shoes.
Co-respondent: an alternative name for a two-tone shoe is the co-respondent. This name, particularly in the UK, came from a perception that they were ungentlemanly and were worn by the “wrong sort”. This perception was encouraged by the most notorious affair of the 1930’s when King Edward VIII abdicated from the throne to marry Wallace Simpson. She was a divorcee and still married to her second husband when the King proposed marriage.
A co-respondent in English law is the term for a person named in a divorce suit as the wrongdoer. Both Edward and Wallace were fond of two-tone shoes and so the association became stronger between the bright shoes and marital infidelity. Fortunately these original misgivings are now only of historical interest. Our two-tone men’s shoes are now almost as popular as the simple black oxfords. View all our co-respondent shoes.
Saddle: although most two-tone shoes are based upon the brogue, there is another variation that is also popular; the saddle shoe. A single piece of leather is placed over the top of the shoe, as if it was a saddle on a horse, usually in a darker colour than the main body of the shoe. View all our two-tone shoes.
The monk shoe or monk strap has been around for a long time. It has a history dating back to the footwear worn by monks, usually a sandal but fastened with a buckle. This design allows for the top of the shoe to have a simple buckle closing which some people prefer to having laces flapping around. The closed, smooth nature of the design give it a formal look, but with the fun statement of the buckle.
The main points of the Monk are the different types of buckle and the number of buckles. The single Monk with only one buckle is the most traditional and formal option. The double monk with two buckles is maybe a little more fashionable at the moment. The Monk is also a shoe that looks really good in suede because of its mix between formal and casual. View all our monk shoes.
There cannot be many shoe styles that have as many names as the simple Derby. In America it is the Blucher and in the UK it is the Derby or less often the Gibson.
A Derby is defined by the way the lacing and eyelets close the shoe. The closing panels are sewn on top of the vamp giving the shoe a more solid appearance and more room for the higher instep.
Because the facings are on top of the vamp, there is added height and bulk to the shoe, which makes it a good platform for a more rugged style. This is why we often team the derby with a country design, such as those worn for country pursuits or rambling walks. View all our Derby, Gibson, Blucher shoes.
In the UK the term Oxford is often used to mean a toe cap shoe but the term actually refers to the way the shoe closes. If a shoe has a simple slit in the top of the shoe, with eyelets either side that pull together with laces, then you can call it an Oxford. This means that you can have Oxford toe-caps, Oxford brogues and Oxford semi-brogues.
Due to the fact that the facings are flat to the top of the shoe, as if they are a continuation of the vamp (in the case of whole-cut shoe it is the same piece of leather) the shoe appears to be almost seamless. This allows the design of the shoe to be very sleek, so you will find most of the longer lasts and pointed shoe designs will be Oxfords.
The elegant profile of the shoe means that it has naturally been adopted as the most common shoe style to be worn on formal occasions. Many businessmen will wear a black oxford such as Herring Knightsbridge to go with their suit. Similarly weddings, christenings and funerals, job interviews and formal balls are also common occasion where such a formal shoe will be suitable. View all our oxford cap shoes.
The origin of the name Oxford is believed to be Oxford University. A slit opening boot became popular amongst students and this basic approach to the fastening evolved into the current style.
The Brogue is one of the most iconic shoe designs for men. The term brogue refers to the punching of holes into leather: the more holes that are on the shoe the more brogueing it has.
Brogue: a shoe with punching on the toe, around the sides (wing-tip) and the rear counters is known as a brogue or full-brogue. View all our brogues.
Semi-brogue: a shoe where the punching is just on the toe cap and rear counters is a semi-brogue. View all our semi-brogues.
Quarter-brogue: a shoe that only has a single row of punching on the toe-cap is called a quarter-brogue.
The brogue style is the most flexible design because it is made from multiple pieces of leather. This allows different leather and fabric combinations – known as two-tone or spectator shoes – to be created. The most famous wearer and populariser of the brogue was the notorious Edward the Prince of Wales in the 1930s. It is now seen as an acceptable business shoe in black, or a relaxed but smart country shoe in brown.
At Herring we have made our own bespoke ranges for many years and the two-tone is the core of our in-house designs. Our Fencote is one of our most popular shoes, showing that two-tone can be very tasteful, rather than brash. Similarly our own Herring tweed brogues are easy to wear with many colours, incorporating greens, browns, reds and blues.
The unusual fact about the brogue is that far from starting as a formal shoe, their origins began in the muddy fields of Ireland. It is thought that the perforations were originally added to allow water to drain out of the shoes – maybe they were the forerunner of the modern Crocs?
We are always looking for the next interesting modification we can make to our brogues, because they are so flexible and yet so classic that we never get tired of them.
If this has piqued your curiosity, then you can view all our brogues here on the main Herring site.