Brogue boots are a more casual and practical version of the brogue shoe. The added height protects feet from the wet and cold while the detailing keeps them a step above other boot styles.
They are a versatile footwear option, with the ability to get worn during professional, casual, and fun occasions. The boots are a smart pick when you want to look your best, but the weather prevents the wearing of dress shoes.
You can purchase these boots in leather, suede, and tweed in a variety of colors and styles. A huge perk to these boots is the ability to wear them with practically anything.
The following is an in-depth look at the footwear and how to buy the best brogue boots.
Brogue refers to low-heeled footwear that gets traditionally made of multi-piece leather uppers decorated with serrations and perforations, known as broguing. Initially, they were thought to be inappropriate for anything but outdoor or country purposes but have since transitioned into a well-rounded style.
Brogue Boot Styling
You can find brogues in four toe cap styles:
This longwing is a Derby style with a pointed toe cap and wings extending the length of the boot, meeting in the middle. It was a wildly popular style in the 1970s.
Here is an Oxford-style dress boot with broguing along the toe cap edge. This boot type is void of decorations in the cap center. As the most formal boots with broguing, they are perfect for professional attire and classy occasions.
The semi-brogues have a highly decorated toe cap around the edge and in the center. This style was first produced in 1937 by John Lobb Ltd to give customers something with more style and pizzazz than a plain Oxford, but not as ornate as a full brogue.
Full Brogue or Wingtip Brogue
Full brogues, or wingtip shoes as they get frequently called in the U.S., have a pointed toe and wings that run the length of the boot on each side that end near the ball of the foot. From above, this design gives a “W” appearance to the toe cap, which is reminiscent of bird wings, hence the name “wingtips.”
There is broguing along the edge and center toe cap on a full brogue. A wingtip style without a brogued toe gets called an austerity brogue, while a boot that has wingtip-style serrations and perforations is known as a blind brogue.
Another full brogue style showcases the boots in two contrasting colors, typically a dark heel and toe cap with a light boot body. White and black or white and tan are popular combinations.
The closure type is not indicative of a brogue, allowing the boots to get designed with an array of closures.
Closure styles available are:
- Slip-on (with or without elastic)
How to Wear Brogue Boots
If you need a little fashion inspiration for your brogue boots, check out this complete guide for occasions and seasons.
- Ripped skinny jeans in blue denim, gray crew-neck t-shirt, blind brogue boots in brown leather
- Tan crew-neck t-shirt, brown leather belt, black watch, blue skinny jeans, brown leather semi-brogue boots
- Beige suede brogue boots, light blue t-shirt, blue knit hoodie, tan jacket, dark green corduroy pants, clear glasses
- Gray t-shirt, denim jacket, black backpack, navy blue jeans, dark brown suede brogue boots
- Mustard yellow varsity jacket, chambray short-sleeved shirt in light blue, dark brown watch, navy blue jeans, brogue boots in dark brown leather
- Black wool Fedora, black sunglasses, black shirt, black leather biker jacket, black leather belt, black skinny jeans, black leather brogue boots
Smart Casual Style
- Burgundy sunglasses, light blue dress shirt, tan print tie, houndstooth waistcoat, black leather belt, white jeans, tobacco leather brogue boots
- Navy turtleneck, navy striped wool suit, dark brown leather brogue boots, black sunglasses
- Olive jeans and shirt jacket, yellow button-up shirt, brown and tan two-tone leather brogue boots, brown sunglasses, red watch
- White dress shirt, royal blue knit tie, white print pocket square, burgundy blazer, gold watch, brown bracelet, purple plaid chinos, brown leather brogue boots
- Black leather brogue boots, navy slacks, black leather bag, black leather gloves, brown herringbone overcoat, charcoal scarf, horizontal stripe navy tie, white dress shirt
- Gray wool hat, white dress shirt, brown bow-tie, blue three-piece suit, brown leather brogue boots
- Brown leather briefcase, olive pork pie hat, brown leather brogue boots, brown leather belt, navy overcoat, dark brown waistcoat, white dress shirt, red and green plaid bow-tie
- Gray dress pants, black leather belt, white dress shirt, solid black tie, black coat with brown fur collar, gold watch, black suede brogue boots
Material: Leather uppers
Material: Leather uppers
Material: Leather uppers
Material: Calfskin uppers
Material: Leather uppers
Material: Genuine oxhide leather
Genuine oxhide leather
Material: Calfskin and deerskin uppers
Calfskin and deerskin uppers
Material: Leather uppers
Material: Calf leather uppers
Calf leather uppers
The 9 Best Brogue Boots for Men of 2021
1. H by Hudson Greenham Winter Boot
- 100% calf leather
- Synthetic soles
- Lace-up closure
- Speed hooks
These calfskin lace-up boots with a wingtip design and fine broguing along the edging are a classic style for any wardrobe. The delicate perforations enhance the elegant design of these dapper-leather boots.
If you need a sleek pair of dress boots, you need not look any further. However, these boots can also get worn casually, making them a versatile wardrobe staple.
As a bonus, these babies are cold padded for those chilly fall and winter days.
2. Clarks Montacute Lord Boots
- Full leather uppers
- Rubber sole
- Can get resoled
- Exquisite detailing
Discerning gentlemen will agree these boots are not only well made, but they are also a gorgeous specimen in footwear. You’ll make a powerful statement when you complete your ensemble with these.
Clark’s company began their shoemaking journey nearly two centuries ago with a pair of sheepskin slippers. The Clark brothers’ innovation and craftsmanship are still alive in the brand today, which is evident in this casually smart footwear.
3. Timberland West Haven Side-Zip Boot
- 100% full-grain leather
- Gripstick rubber sole
- 6.75″ from arch
- Ankle boots
- Contrast welt
Who hasn’t heard of Timberlands? The brand has a well-known reputation for producing top-notch footwear that lasts for years. It also likes to stay ahead of the trends, bringing its customers hip styles that are a must-have in your relaxed or casual repertoire.
This pair of side-zip ankle boots have reinforced stitching, contrast welting, anti-fatigue footbed, and brogue designs. These boots are a rugged yet comfortable option in full-grain leather. They also feature the Griptstick outsole for superior traction and stability. These are not formal or classy occasion boots.
4. Grenson Fred Commando Sole Boot
- Calfskin uppers
- Synthetic sole
- Eyelet lace-up closure
- Intricate brogue detailing
If your combat boots and a pair of classic brogues had a baby, it would be this pair of boots. It’s got that tough boot shape with high style designs that make this pair of brogue boots formidable footwear. Combined with black jeans and a leather jacket, you’ll be a well-styled man no one will want to mess with.
These boots are best with relaxed and casual wardrobe combinations.
5. Ted Baker London Men's Ankle Boots
- Leather and rubber mix sole
- Embossed uppers
- Contrast laces
- Purple back accent
- Ankle boots
Here are traditionally styled wing cap brogue boots with burnished textured leather. The outsoles are a mix of leather and rubber with a cleated forepart and sectioned heels. The laces are two-colored.
While these brogue boots are unique, they will be harder to style with the purple accents. Keep these to relaxed and casual wear days. With the right clothing choices, this pair can be the icing on your outfit cake.
6. CALTO Invisible Height Increasing Elevator Boots
- 5.75″ shaft from the arch
- Rubber soles
- 3″ heels
- Brogue Derby wingtips
- Genuine oxhide leather
This Derby style pair of brogue boots can also get considered elevator shoes as they contain a hidden increaser. You can add three inches to your height with footwear like this.
The insoles absorb impact while providing comfortable, cushioned wear. The outsoles are natural rubber that can get replaced with a regular heel if you prefer it.
The two-tone pattern and polished leather toe make for a handsome boot.
7. Mezlan Bexley Wing Tip Ankle Boot
- Calfskin and deerskin
- Rubber and leather sole
- Wingtip ankle boots
- Double goring
- Memory foam cushioned insole
Mezlan is a prominent shoe brand based in the “shoemaking capital of Europe,” Almansa, Spain. They handcraft their footwear with master-shoemakers. The brand is rooted in the past while forging ahead into the future.
Here, Mezlan brings an amazing pair of brogue boots, featuring shiny calfskin and soft, supple deerskin. Paired with the meticulous brogue details and toe cap medallion, this is one boot pair you have to own!
The price is definitely not for the faint of heart, but for the materials, style, and construction, it’s worth the price if you can swing it.
8. Allen Edmonds Dalton Boot
- 100% leather
- Wingtip boots
- True to size
- Cork insole
- Butyl double leather sole
- Available in 3 colors: Dark Chili, Oxblood, and Dainite Black
If you enjoy a custom fit, check out this pair of wingtip brogue boots from Allen Edmonds. The cork insoles mold to your foot, providing you with a custom fit for the lifetime of the footwear. They fit true to size and get handcrafted in the U.S.A. with 100% leather.
9. Loake Bedale Burnished Calf Leather Boots
- Genuine calf leather
- Victory rubber soles
- Contrast stitching
- Goodyear welted
- Leather lined foam insole
This famous style from Loake is known the world over. It’s a dependable yet elegant pair of brogue ankle boots. They have Derby-style lacing that provides flexibility in the fit. The breathable leather lining and padded insole offer a comfortable wear experience. With Goodyear welt construction, you can rely on these boots to last a long time.
Victory rubber outsoles give the wearer grip strength for traction with their unique tread design.
If you have a wide foot, go for this boot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Brogue Boots Fashionable?
Even guys who have a close, personal relationship with sneakers get excited about slipping on a pair of classy shoes or boots. That feeling of sophistication and refinement is heightened with the much-loved brogue style, making it a must-have footwear staple in your wardrobe.
Not only are they popular eye candy, but they are also practical and versatile. Most brogues can be worn for nearly any occasion, from a stop at the mall to a formal dinner with business clients. They can get paired with jeans, chinos, dress pants, and corduroys as well suits. The brogue boots also offer the ability to wear a dress shoe even if the weather is less than stellar.
You can spot this fashionable footwear on celebrities like Ben Affleck, Jude Law, and Justin Timberlake.
Can You Wear Brogue Boots With a Suit?
Brogue boots have a flexible styling ability. Wear them with a pair of jeans today, chinos tomorrow, and a suit the day after that. There’s just no limit to the wardrobe heights you can achieve with the proper brogue boots. They can get worn with suits in a wide variety of colors, styles, and materials.
Here are some sharp-looking brogue boot and suit combos:
- White dress shirt, violet horizontal striped tie, navy print scarf, dark brown coat with fur collar, navy check three-piece suit, black leather brogue boots
- Light blue dress shirt, navy plaid tie, brown wool suit, dark brown leather gloves, navy duffle coat, dark purple leather brogue boots
- Light blue dress shirt, navy vertical stripe tie, navy pocket square, tan double-breasted blazer, khaki dress pants, tan suede brogue boots
Brogue vs Oxford: What's the Difference?
Oxfords can be brogues, and brogues can be Oxfords. Let me explain.
An Oxford is a dress shoe style that features a closed lacing system. It gives the boots a sleek, slim appearance that blends seamlessly with suits. Brogues refer to the detailing or design work called broguing. Those designs get made by creating small holes, perforations, and serrations in the boot uppers, usually along the edging or on the toe cap.
You can purchase a dress shoe that is an Oxford without any broguing, or you can buy brogue shoes or boots in an Oxford-style that features broguing.
Brogue vs Wingtip: What's the Difference?
It is easy to get confused about brogues and wingtips stylistically. Brogues define any boot or shoe with perforation detailing. A wingtip is a boot or shoe that has a “W” shape on the toe cap. You can have a boot that has broguing and wingtips, or you can have each on their own.
Brogues are the pauper turned prince in the footwear world. Despite having humble beginnings, they have grown to become a popular style around the world.
Their versatility and ability to get worn even in inclement weather has garnered them a prominent position as a go-to boot for any occasion or fashion. If you don’t own a pair of brogue boots, it’s time to change that.