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A Brief History of the Brogue

Posted by Jones Bootmaker on

A Brief History of the Brogue

The brogue, a stickler for tradition that ticks all the hallmarks of a footwear icon. Instantly recognised with its distinctive punching and serrated trims. Transcended through the centuries, the brogue has slowly altered the footwear rules with its very own rags to riches story. Projecting handsomely suave detailing to your well-cut suits or a dash of offbeat cool to your weekend repertoire, when it comes to committing to a classic the brogue has it all.

Now repeats after us, if it isn’t brogue, don’t fix it.

The History of the Brogue

Born from humble beginnings, the brogue originated as a working man’s shoe made for Scottish and Irish farmers in the 19th Century. The name derives from the Gaelic word ‘brog’ translating to ‘rough or stout’. Rudimentary in design, the original brogue was made purely for function. Crafted with untanned animal hides and a series of punching to allow effective drainage in the wet, boggy conditions of the land. From the grit of the marshes to the glitz of Tinseltown, over the next century, the brogue became a familiar style through the jazz era and went on to dress the greats of Hollywood such as Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.

Through recent years the brogue has revolutionised the dress-codes of working gents in the city. Once considered a country shoe for the working class, the brogue is now a familiar sartorial staple, diminishing the once ‘cardinal sin’ of brogues in the business districts. Accompanying city professionals for their office to evening agendas to country boys donning classic tweed to casual denim.

What Makes a Brogue?

Characterised with distinctive punched holes and pinked trims, the brogue has made an indisputable mark across the globe with its iconic silhouette whilst putting Great British craftsmanship firmly on the map. Considered more a decoration of a shoe than a shoe, the brogue translates across all footwear styles including derbys, oxfords, monk shoes and boots. Helping every gent to master every occasion, it is good manners to dress well after all.

The Full Brogue

Also known as a wingtip, the full brogue is determined by its wing-like shape, starting at the toe the broguing extends across the quarters, punctuating the collars at the heel of the shoe. Team black leather brogues with the sharpest of tailoring, a winning look for a day at Ascot.


Black Leather Full Brogue

Black Leather Oxford Full Brogue  £129 Shop Now >

The Semi Brogue

The half-brogue is gently accented with subtle punching. Ideally suited for smart casual edits. Known as the semi-brogue, it is characterised with familiar punching and pinked trims. Think tan brogues matched blue tailoring or a touch of tweed, the ideal suiting for grooms.


Tan Semi Brogue

Maynard Chestnut Leather Half Brogue £84  Shop Now >


The Quarter Brogue

The most subtly decorated, the quarter brogue simply features perforations and trims along the toe cap’s edge. Considered less formal than full brogues the quarter brogue holds its own in smart-casual dressing, wear with colourful socks for a contemporary touch.


Tan Leather Quarter Brogue

Leather Quarter Brogue £129 Shop Now >


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