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Shoes by Gaziano & Girling, photo by Leffot

In the world of shoes, there are many names given to all of the different types of oxfords. ONE of them is ‘wingtip,’ set to describe the W shaped cap that’s side extensions have been described as ‘wings.’ Again, this is simply one type of oxford, which is the base name for all shoes that have closed lacing system.

For example, the shoe highlighted has many names. It is an oxford. It is an adelaide (for the separate piece of leather that makes up the lacing area). It is an adelaide oxford. It is a wingtip. It is a wingtip brogue. It is a spectator/co-respondent for its two-tone nature. But it is only a wingtip because of the shape of the cap on the toe area. That specific shape gives it that specific name.

Now I have no idea where this came from but there is a generation of older men that call every single frinkin’ oxford ‘a wingtip.’ And it drives me crazy for some reason. They are calling cap toes ‘wingtips’, they are calling plain toe semi brogues ‘wingtips,’ and they are calling shoes have that nothing to do with an actual wingtip a ‘wingtip.’ And I believe it’s because they think that the word wingtip, actually means what the word ‘oxford’ means. And I wonder where that came from? Funny thing is that even when you tell them that it’s not a wingtip, but rather an oxford, they still call it a wingtip. Like guys that call it Allen Edwards, even after you say ‘no, it’s Allen Edmonds,’ and they reply, ‘yea Allen Edwards that’s the one!’

The below is NOT a wingtip. It is a cap toe. It’s an oxford. It’s a balmoral oxford. It might be considered a ‘brogue.’ But one thing it will never be is a ‘wingtip.’

So gents, for those of you that call everything a ‘wingtip,’ try to understand that the word that you are looking for is ‘oxford’!!!


Gaziano & Girling shoes


3 thoughts on “Pet Peeves in The Shoe Industry Part 7: People That Call All Oxfords ‘Wingtips’”

  1. The same people – and a lot more, in my experience – call a blucher (or basically anything that’s not a boot, a sneaker, or a loafer) an Oxford, so there you go.

  2. It’s even worse than that – I’ve been noticing that a lot of people (even supposed menswear professionals) call a wing collar on a shirt a “wingtip”… Drives me mental.

    Also, I was incredibly disappointed when Colin Firth’s character in “Kingsman: The Secret Service” got the definition of an Oxford wrong. Ruined my suspension of disbelief.

  3. Yup. We’ll never know why nonsense always spreads like there is no tomorrow but wisdom doesn’t… Sign of the times….

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