The History of the Oxford Baby Shoe
At Kit and Kate, we love our Oxfords as they are the perfect baby shoe! However, we thought that we should share with all of you the history of this classic design. Naturally, because they can look quite formal, Oxfords are perfect for little babies and toddlers as to look so adorable, often like a miniature version of their parents. Could you imagine some lovely black oxford baby shoes? Don't forget that they aren't just for boys as girls looks just as cute in them.
What is an Oxford Shoe?
First of all, we should talk about what an Oxford shoe actually is. Oxford shoes are characterized by shoelace eyelets tabs that are attached under the vamp, which some call "closed lacing. This is a little different from Derbys, or bluchers, which have shoelace eyelets attached to the top of the vamp.[Originally, Oxfords were plain, formal shoes, made of leather, but they evolved into a range of styles suitable for formal, uniform, or casual wear. These days, Oxfords are made from a variety of materials. People often buy them in calf leather, faux and genuine patent leather, suede, and canvas. They are normally black or brown, and may be plain or patterned (brogue). They are sold in all kinds of stores and online as well, worn by adults, kids, children and these days even toddlers.
In the UK, "Oxford" is sometimes used for any more formal lace-up shoe, including the Blucher and Derby. In the UK and other countries, the Balmoral is an Oxford with no seams, apart from the toe cap seam, descending to the welt, a style common on boots. Shoes with closed lacing (Oxfords/Balmorals) are considered more formal than those with open lacing (Bluchers/Derbys). A particular type of oxford shoe is the wholecut oxford, its upper made from a single piece of leather with only a single seam at the back. As you can see, it really is confusing what an Oxford shoe really is! When you start talking baby Oxfords (ie baby shoes), then it gets really confusing! So, we’ve decided not to worry too much and just create something that we love and hope that you do as well!
History of the Oxford
Legend has it that Oxfords first appeared in Scotland and Ireland, where they are occasionally called Balmorals after Balmoral Castle. Many say though that the shoes were later re-named Oxfords after Oxford University, which in our opinion sounds much cooler JOxfords were derived from the Oxonian, a half-boot with side slits that gained popularity at Oxford University in 1800. Unlike early shoes, Oxfords were cut smaller than the foot. The side slit evolved into a side lace that eventually moved to the instep, as students rebelled against knee-high and ankle-high boots. The toe cap can either be lined with two narrow rows of stitching, perforated holes along the end cap stitching (quarter-brogue), perforated holes along the end cap stitching and on the toe cap (semi-brogue), or a semi-brogue with the classical wingtip design (full-brogue).
This shoe style did not appear in North America until the 1800s. In the United States, Oxfords are termed "Bal-type" as opposed to "Blucher-type". In France, they call them “Richelieu”.
Our baby Oxfords of course are quite different from the shoes that you’ve read about up here. For a start, they are super soft and comfortable, and always made from natural leather. Why? Because we believe that it is the best material for baby shoes. We also make them with extra large eyelets, and sturdy laces. Last but not least, our shoes feature soft leather soles with non-slip pads. Fun, comfortable, classy and durable. Our four favourite words! Most of our Oxfords can also be personalised with a custom monogram for the perfect pair of baby shoes. We also make them in toddler and children sizes.