In the US, you often hear people referring to oxfords as balmorals. This is completely wrong. Unless, of course, that specific oxford is a ‘balmoral oxford.’ However, 99 times out of 100 it is not, especially as balmoral oxfords are so rare these days. So, let us quickly break down the argument of balmorals vs oxfords.
What Is A Balmoral?
A balmoral, as the video explains, is any shoe that has a seam that extends from below the facing (where the instep is) to the heel counter (the back of the shoe). Technically speaking that line should be uninterrupted. It can have a dip but should be one sweeping seam, as you see in the boots pictured here. More typically a balmoral style will be associated with a laced shoe or boot. But can also be a balmoral button boot or even a balmoral monk strap. And I have even designed a balmoral loafer.
A balmoral can be an oxford. But an oxford is not always a balmoral oxford.
What Is An Oxford?
An oxford is a laced shoe that has a closed facing. A closed facing is when the quarter pieces (where the eyelets are) are separate but come together at the bottom. An oxford has many styles. The one pictured is a traditional cap toe oxford. You can have a wholecut oxford, a balmoral oxford, an adelaide oxford, and so on. All different, but within the same family. Referring to the above shoe as a ‘balmoral’ would be a mistake as it does not have the balmoral line. It is simply an oxford.