With the festive season approaching anyone with a Scots heritage ought to be wearing Ghillie Brogues to complement their kilt. The ghillie style of full brogue oxford has no tongue to facilitate drying and long laces that wrap around the leg above the ankle and tie below the calf to facilitate keeping the tie clear of mud. Despite the functional aspects of their design, ghillies brogues are most commonly seen as a component of traditional, formal Scottish dress and are worn primarily for social occasions.
Scottish ghillies are used by men and women for Highland dancing, and by men for Scottish country dancing. They are almost always black, although they often feature coloured stitching and eyelets. Highland ghillies, for Highland dances, generally need to be a bit larger than the foot, due to being worn with thick socks or hose; for National dances they should fit snugly as they are worn with thin socks or stockings.
Ghillies, or ghillie brogues, are also a type of shoe with laces along the instep and no tongue, especially those used for Scottish country dancing. Although now worn for dancing and social events, ghillies originated as a shoe that would dry quickly due to the lack of a tongue, and not get stuck in the mud because of their laces above the ankle.
In a perhaps more recent and certainly competing shoe-related use, Ghillie has also been used to describe laced shoes where rings or loops that project over the tongue are attached to the upper as an alternative to the use of eyelets punctured in the upper; this style is often seen on athletic shoes.
Loake produce a highly popular Goodyear welted Ghillie shoe with suitably long laces in a black polished leather. Visit Bradshaw and Lloyd's website to view this and many other formal styles of shoe from Sanders and Sanders, RE Tricker and Sebago.