Brogues Glossary
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Brogues were stout leather shoes from Ireland or Scotland - the word is derived from the Gaelic for shoe. A full brogue has the toe, side and heel decorated with punched and serrated leather.

Brogues come in the closed front Oxford style or the open front Derby style. The example shown is Loakes Braemar.



A semi brogue has a toe cap and is decorated with punched and serrated leather. The heel, in contrast, is plain. Sanders often refer to these as punched leather shoes.

Semi-brogues come in the closed front Oxford style or the open front Derby style.


An Oxford style shoe has a closed front, the eyelet tabs being stitched under the vamp; and will normally range from a simple toe cap, to a semi-brogue or a full brogue.
Derby or Gibson

Derby or Gibson

A Derby or Gibson style shoe has an open front as opposed to an Oxford closed front and will normally range from a simple toe cap, to a semi-brogue or a full brogue. Derbys have eyelet tabs stitched on the top of the vamp.
The Last

The Last

The last is the wooden form around which the shoe is constructed. The leather is formed around the last and left to settle to the shape for up to 6 weeks. The last determines the shape of the shoe. If you have bespoke shoes made a last will be made up to the shape of your foot. Some lasts will have wider mid-sections - others pointed toes. If a shoe made on a particular last fits you comfortably, then any other shoe made on the same last should be equally as comfortable.
Goodyear Welted

Goodyear Welted

The Goodyear Welted method, the origins of which can be traced back over three hundred years, is widely regarded as the best way of putting together the components in a premium quality leather shoe. This picture from Loakes shows a Goodyear Welt.

The name Goodyear Welted comes from the long strip of leather - called the welt - that is stitched to the upper and the insole of the shoe. The outsole (sole) is attached separately to the welt. This unique construction gives Goodyear Welted shoes their superior performance properties.

The more a Goodyear Welted shoe is worn, the more comfortable it becomes as the leather components gradually mould to the shape of the foot. And because the components are stitched rather than glued together, all the natural properties of the leather are retained, giving improved thermal insulation, durability, flexibility and shape retention, as well as the best possible breathing conditions for feet.

It is also possible to re-sole a pair of worn Goodyear Welted shoes or boots by stitching new soles to the existing welts, thereby increasing their life expectancy.

Blake Stitched

Blake-stitching is often used by Italian shoemakers as this method can make for a very light, thin-soled shoe. However, Blake-stitched shoes are not as durable, water resistant, or as easily repaired as a welted shoe. They are however, considered superior to a cemented shoe which is simply glued together.

Blake-stitched shoes have an upper, an insole, and a sole but they do not have a welt. The insole and upper are attached to the last. Then the sole is glued on and a single row of machine-stitching is used to stitch through and attach the sole, the insole, and the upper.