Black cap toe oxfords are the most formal men's shoes. And there is no shoe that epitomizes the traditional business shoe like a black cap toe oxford. Every man should own a pair of these. So let's take a look of this ultimate model. And 5 options to wear with your suit.
Black cap toe oxfords in a nutshell
Shoes with lacing can be roughly divided into two groups. Shoes with closed lacing and shoes with open lacing. Oxford shoes have closed lacing. This means that the two sides of the upper that are drawn together by the laces are sewn under the front part of the shoe. Therefore they close over a tongue consisting of a piece of leather sewn on beneath the lacing.
Shoes with closed lacing are in general more formal than shoes with open lacing. And the cap-toe oxford is the most formal shoe type there is. Oxfords date back to the eighteenth century. In the first place this type of shoes were called Balmorals, named after Balmoral Castle in Scotland. And in America shoes with closed lacing are still many times called with that name. Later the shoes were named Oxfords, after Oxford University. See the link to read more about the history of Oxfords
The perfect shoe for formal occasions
You can wear oxfords in almost any type of formal occasion. And if you are wearing a dark suit or a business suit, you can't go wrong by wearing a pair of oxfords. I personally think they are also a good choice to pair with a navy blazer and gray flannel trousers. But for the last one I would rather go for brown color than black. For casual combinations there are better options than oxfords. But if you are like me and like oxfords in general more than derby shoes, you can for example choose a pair made of suede which is always less formal than calf leather.
Black cap toe oxfords are the one and only choice for the most formal occasions. These include for example funerals or parties with a "dark suit" dress code. And you can also even wear black oxfords with a tux. Just remember to give them a proper polishing before you wear them.
In terms of formality punched toe cap oxford is a midway between the plain oxford and brogue. A perfect shoe for business by Italian Enzo Bonafe. Picture by Skoaktiebolaget.
5x black cap toe oxfords
If you don't yet have a pair of black cap toe oxfords, it is time to buy one. The market is wide. Almost every shoe brand have one or more models available. If you wear a suit on a daily basis I suggest to have two pairs. At least. And in that case recommend to invest to a fine pair of black oxfords. If you are only going to wear black oxfords for funerals or weddings it might not be worth it to invest hundreds of euros for this purpose. You can easily find a decent pair with a reasonable price tag.
As a short sum-up here are five options to check out.
In terms of quality footwear Spanish Carmina offers one of the best price-quality ratios on the market. Due the rubber sole this particular model is a good option for those who are looking for a shoe to be worn around the year.
If you are looking for shoes on a budget, Spanish Meermin is one of the top choices. The pair pictured is made on their quite sleek Elton last and finished with single leather soles. If you want something more classic and round check their Olfe last.
Simply the best. Gaziano & Girling's black oxford features nothing extra. It is just simple and plain cap toe oxford with high quality materials and finishing. If you are looking for a pair of oxfords to wear with your bespoke suit, this is it.
This Adelaide oxford by Alfred Sargent is one of my personal favorites. The 724 last is perfect for an oxford shoe. It is not too aggressive or elongated but definitely not too round or bulky. Punched toe cap and decorations give it a personal look.
British style for business men. Pair it with your chalk striped suit, white shirt and blue grenadine tie.