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What is a Derby shoe?

By November 2, 2021No Comments

In the second instalment of our ‘What is’ series we are going to talk about the derby shoe. We covered the classic Oxford and now it is time for a more casual option.



The humble Derby, also known as a Blucher, Gibson or Lorne, is a style that is mentioned as far back as the late 1800’s. Mostly worn by the military during the Napoleonic wars it can be said that fashion took an air of military inspiration. Boots or Derby boots, which had only been worn by soldiers for half a century or more, once again came into fashionable prominence. There are many theories as to why the Derby shoe was developed but one of which we can be sure of is its generous fit. As this article from 1872 by St Crispin’s (the Christian patron saints of cobblers, curriers, tanners, and leather workers) notes; ‘The Derby or new tie shoe. Better than the Oxonian as the seam is not near the tender part of the foot. Especially good in summer, allows the foot to swell.’



The Derby shoe is a casual design, ‘Derby’ refers to the way in which the facings (the leather that the laces go through) are stitched to the shoe. Derbies are often known as ‘open lacing’, as the facings are stitched on top of the vamp (the area of the shoe by the tongue) meaning they can be opened outwards. This allows for more room and a better fit for those with a higher in-step.



Just like the Oxford shoe, here at Bradshaw and Lloyd we offer many different styles of the Derby shoe. The first being just a plain Derby such as the Barker Morden. A classic simple design, this plain black shoe works great for those dreaded ‘smart/casual’ events or even just to take to the office.

For something a bit more casual why not try the Sanders Henry. A great weekend or relaxing shoe. The Henry has a suede upper and Vibram rubber soles. Available in; ocean suede, tobacco suede and milkshake suede.

Lastly for a heavy country look. Why not take a look at the Tricker’s Bourton, considerably more expensive I grant you but the quality and style is worth it. A heavy Derby shoe that bears the brogue detailing synonymous with true country shoes. A half bellows tongue is folded and attached to the shoe to provide a watertight seal. Storm welt provides an additional waterproof seal between the shoe’s upper and sole. These shoes really are a go anywhere shoe.

Check out more of our Derby shoe range on our website and let us know what you think below.

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