When I think of oxford shoes, my first thought is of Lee Marvin in Point Blank, his beetle-crushing brogues in close-up as he crouches behind a couch before delivering a well-deserved thrashing to an unlucky burglar. Brogues and their kin, Oxfords, wingtips and saddle shoes, have come a long way since Lee stomped around in those Florsheims that weighed in at about four pounds apiece.
Clever Victorian lads at England’s Oxford University originated this classic style in between studying John Donne and boating on the river. Tired of high-lacing boots that took forever to get on and off, some enterprising chaps went down to the bespoke shoemaker in the High Street and asked him to whip up a pair of shoes that would lace up quickly and still look smart while wandering across the moonlit quad. This revolutionary shape evolved to include other variations, the more decorative brogue and the wingtip, and for more sporting occasions, the saddle shoe, originally designed for badminton, an extraordinary English sport wherein a feathery object known as a shuttlecock is batted back and forth over a net, in the style of tennis, but with much decreased velocity. Wearing two tone saddle shoes indicated that one was prepared to do sporting battle, while blokes in regular brogues stayed on the sidelines.
Credit by Ali of A NOBLE SAVAGE