The Beginner's Guide to the Semi-Brogue

Subtle yet distinct, the semi-brogue is a style staple for fashion-minded men all over the world. Semi-Brogues balance the refinement of an Italian leather shoe while allowing room for character that makes a shoe stand out. Even though they are pretty decorative, the style has been around for so long it’s acceptable to wear in most situations. They especially shine in business casual situations.

Your basic brogue shoe is going to have a low heel, toe caps, heel caps, lace panels, and a distinct pattern of the perforations we call brogueing. Semi-brogues only have brogueing on the seams of the toe cap, vamp, and heel. The perforations emphasize the construction, and on a quality pair of Italian leather shoes that means something. Semi-Brogues are also in the middle ground as far as formality goes-- the secret is in the subtlety. It allows the style to pair well with suits as well as jeans and a polo.

The Semi-Brogue shoe was made famous by legendary shoemaker John Lobb, who introduced the style as an Oxford in 1937. Historically, the word “brogue” refers to the perforations on a shoe that were originally intended to drain water from the feet of peasant workers in the bogs of Scotland. Then the English did what they do best-- they stole the idea from Scotland and Anglicized it by using the brogues as decoration only. When the Semi-Brogue was introduced, men gravitated towards because of their relative simplicity compared to the full brogues and wingtips on the market.

With their peasant and sporting origins, brogues were considered a casual shoe up until the mid-20th century. As our everyday dress became more casual, the brogue suddenly seemed like the perfect option to wear with your city suits and slacks. Today, guys will pair their Semi-Brogues with jeans, chinos, and moleskin trousers for a classy but casual look.

Paul Evans’s Brando Semi-Brogue Oxford comes in three styles: Oxblood, Nero, Cognac, Chocolate, and Cafe Suede. Made from the finest Italian calfskin in their Naples factory. You can dress them up or dress them down; but perhaps the best thing about The Brando Semi-Brogue Oxford is you know you’re getting a quality shoe in a classic style that will last a lifetime.