Certainly the most popular style of lace-up shoe, an Oxford shoe is a style of leather shoe with enclosed lacing. Oxford shoes are traditionally constructed of leather and were historically rather plain. The shoes originally appeared in Scotland and Ireland, where they are occasionally called Balmorals. The design of the shoe is often plain, but may include some small ornamentation or perforations.
Loake shoes, Sanders shoes, Tricker shoes and Sebago shoes all produce an extensive variety of Oxford style shoes in many leather colours and suedes. These can be viewed at Bradshaw and Lloyds's website.
The meanings of the terms Oxford and Balmoral vary geographically; in the U.S., "Balmoral" is synonymous with "Oxford", while "Oxford" is often used to refer to any "dressy" style of shoe, including the Blücher (Derby); elsewhere, especially in Britain, the Balmoral is a particular type of Oxford where there are no seams (apart from the toe cap) descending to the welt, a style particularly common on boots.
As opposed to the other main type of men's laced shoes, the Derby, the two flaps of leather with the piercings for the laces are stitched together at the bottom. The shoes can be made from a variety of leathers for different situations, ranging from formal evening shoes of patent leather, to daytime shoes. These are most commonly black or brown, and may be brogued. The toes may be plain or capped (less formal). Some leathers, such as suede or patterned leathers, and brown leather, are less formal, while other options, such as black leather, are more formal; features of comparable formality are traditionally combined, making combinations such as 'black full brogue' or 'plain capless suede' unorthodox innovations.