12 Best Oxford Shoes in 2018
Before you start looking for a new pair of Oxfords, you will want to understand what an Oxford is exactly. The term is used rather loosely in the modern age, but all true shoes of this nature will have one thing in common. Their eyelet tabs are under the leather instead of on top, which is referred to as “closed lacing” system. That said, there are few variations and exceptions to that rule which is why we have hybrids.
While you may have seen a similar style on different types of shoes, Oxfords are always classy and are a formal dress shoe in most cases. The Plain Toe Oxford can be worn casually, however, along with some other select styles. These days things are a bit more casual as you will quickly find out, but our list of the best Oxford shoes concentrates on the classic style with nothing too out of bounds. That means most of these will have a heel and are made from leather although some will look just as good with jeans as they will with a suit.
Good old Brown is still the main color of choice, but some brands do offer up Oxfords in a variety of hues along with the two-tone look. We have included a pair of shoes that should suit most Men and Women’s sense of style, so let’s take a quick look at our Top 12.
Top 12 Oxford Shoes Comparison Table
|Design||Name||Gender||Multiple Colors||Rating (1-5)|
|1. U-lite Women’s Perforated Lace-up Wingtip multicolor Leather Flat Oxfords Vintage Oxford Shoes||Women’s||Yes||4.8|
|2. G.H. Bass & Co. Men’s Parker Oxford Shoe||Men’s||Yes||4.7|
|3. Eastland Women’s Sadie Oxford||Women’s||No||4.7|
|4. BRUNO MARC MODA ITALY URBAN||Men’s||Yes||4.7|
|5. Calvin Klein Men’s Bram Diamond Leather Oxford Shoe||Men’s||No||4.6|
|6. Cole Haan Men’s Lenox Hill Oxford||Men’s||Yes||4.6|
|7. Johnston & Murphy Men’s Conard Cap Oxford||Men’s||No||4.6|
|8. Sebago Women’s Claremont Brogue Boot||Women’s||Yes||4.5|
|9. Clarks Men’s Armada English Oxford||Men’s||No||4.5|
|10. G.H. Bass & Co. Women’s Enfield Oxford||Women’s||Yes||4.4|
|11. Bed Stu Women’s Lita Oxford Shoe||Women’s||Yes||4.3|
|12. Ollio Women’s Flat Shoe Wingtip Lace Up Two Tone Oxford||Women’s||Yes||4.3|
How to Become an Oxford Expert
Oxfords are classy and cool, but you could look like a fool if you don’t consider a few things like toe, broguing, and laces.
Types of Oxfords
As mentioned, there are several different variations of the Oxford. For our purposes, we are staying classic which means you will encounter one of four types.
Two of the most common would be the Cap Toe Oxford and the Plain Toe Oxford. The Plain Toe Oxford often has facing and all the characteristics of the former aside from a piece of leather across the toe called a Cap.
If you want to keep things cleaner, a one-piece Oxford may be for you. These are made from “one piece” and are similar to a moccasin in a sense. They still lace up, but the vamp, toe and quarter are all unified and streamlined.
Last but not least would be the Wingtip Oxford, which is the most dressed up of them all with decorative perforations around the toe, quarter and vamp. Old-school Black & White Saddle Oxfords are another popular variation, especially if you want a two-tone look.
While there are many parts of a shoe, the heel is one of the most important. Ever purchased a pair of shoes and had your heels go hard or feel bruised? That could be due to the wrong type of heel or a poor construction all-around. Well, you won’t have to worry about the latter in our guide to the best Oxford shoes, but heel height is still of the utmost importance.
Most of the Oxford shoes on our list will have a low heel height of around 1” regardless of if they are for men or women. There are some that would be considered flats with no heel however on both sides of the gender fence. Obviously, these will be a bit more comfortable for some although not quite as classy in some cases. Women’s Oxfords can have heels far larger than 1” as well, so there is truly something for everyone in this area if you want to spice it up and do it differently.
Materials & Broguing
It goes without saying that a high-quality Oxford will be made from leather. That said, all leather is not created equal, and some Oxford shoes are not made from 100% leather.
Synthetics can be used on different portions of the shoe, and Suede has also been known to make an appearance. Depending on the brand you choose, you may also be able to pick up a new pair of Oxfords in wild colors like Blue, Burgundy or Green. It’s not just about Brown and Black anymore.
Another thing to consider is the broguing. Brogues are those perforated holes that you see on some styles of Oxford and tend to add some old-world style to the shoe. A full brogue will have broguing around the throat line, toe, and everywhere else. They are by far the fanciest, but there are also semi-brogues and quarter-brogues as well with the latter giving you a bit of perforation around the toe box and nowhere else.
Top 5 Best Oxford Shoes Reviews
The U-lite Women’s Wingtip Oxford has the classic style that made the shoe famous. There is broguing around the wingtip and a medallion across the toe. The broguing continues around the topline, quarter and vamp as well for full coverage. These Oxfords will stand out due to their style and their two-tone nature.
The U-lites are made from leather and sport a rubber sole with a lace-up vamp. The first layer has a sheep leather upper for additional comfort which makes things easy on the feet if you go with no-shows.
These Oxfords are available sized 5 through 10.5 and come in four different two-toned hues. You will not find anything too classic however as they include Brown and Blue, White and Blue, and Green and Yellow. There is also a Red, Yellow and Black version if you really want to spice things up.
While those wild shoes were for the ladies, there are plenty of color options when it comes to the best oxford shoes for men. The G.H. Bass & Co. Parker Oxford is our top pick for the boys, and it is one of the most comfortable shoes on our list regardless of gender.
In regards to the style, this is a plain toe Oxford with a bare front that gives it a clean look as you only have the saddle across the top. Technically, it’s a saddle shoe but still an Oxford as considering its style and the broguing across the saddle. On the inside, you will get a leather sock liner and a cushioned latex footbed for added comfort throughout the day.
Like our top choice for women, the G.H. Bass & Co. Men’s Parker Oxford comes in a variety of colors. The sizes range from a 7 to a 13, and there are six two-tone colors to choose from along with two solids in Dark Brown or Dark Tan.
When we talk about Oxfords, we often throw the word “classic” around a lot. Well, Oxford or saddles don’t get much more classic than this pair of shoes from Eastland dubbed the Sadie. The shoe features a soft leather upper with a fabric lining on the inside and a supportive shank to help keep your feet fresh throughout the day. The fabric lining obviously assists with that from a different angle, and the same can be said of the memory foam insole.
The heel on this shoe measures .75” and it has a synthetic sole which is quite comfortable. The Eastland Sadie Oxford is only available in the classic Black and White style in sizes 6 through 11. These shoes may not be as snazzy as some of our other picks but will look great with a wide variety of attire or at any 50s themed events you may plan to attend down the line.
This particular Oxford is what we refer to as a hybrid. That’s because it only vaguely resembles an Oxford with a similar style and those popular laces. Bruno Marc’s Modal Italy Urban Oxford is a suede shoe that comes in two distinct styles – Wingtip and Plain Toe. The plain toe Oxford does not have broguing but does have small perforations covering the entire front part of the shoe. It’s a different kind of look and is available in five hues with Navy, Grey, Dark Brown, Black, Tan, and Sand.
On the flipside, they also have this shoe in a more traditional style. This variant has full broguing across the topline, quarter and toe. It is a true wingtip and comes in the same colors as the plain toe version. Both models are available from size 6 to 13 and have a 1” heel and a non-skid outsole.
If you like the idea of a hybrid Oxford but didn’t quite dig the style of Bruno Marc’s shoe, we have something unique and class for you with the Calvin Klein Bram Oxford. These are dress shoes and will look amazing with a suit or when you are dressed up for a night out on the town. The all leather shoe is Black as the night with a smooth capped toe, heel cap and quarter. The vamp is a different story, however.
Calvin Klein opted for a diamond pattern for the vamp which gives the shoe its moniker and contrasts quite nicely against the smooth leather. Other details include a padded footbed, tonal topstitching, and derby lacing.
It is one of the slicker hybrid Oxfords on the market, and while you can only buy it in Black, you are in luck if your foot falls between a 7 and 13.