The Shoe Files: Wingtips

Shoe pictured: the Wingtip Oxfords Rain

The sight of a pair of wingtip shoes is likely to put you in the mind of stylish 1920s gentlemen. Though the contrast wingtips seen in that period aren’t as widespread today, wingtips themselves are still a very much loved shoe design.

The Anatomy of Wingtip Shoes

Wingtips can be found on almost any type of dress shoe. They’re most common on Derby shoes and Oxfords, but they’re also found on Balmoral boots.

A wingtip design is created through the process of broguing. They’re made by attaching another piece of leather, in the distinctive ‘W’ wingtip shape, on to the toe area of the main upper of the shoe.

There are various different styles of wingtip, including classic, longwing and wingtips without broguing. Most wingtips extend along the sides of the shoe towards the heel.

The History of Wingtip Shoes

Wingtip shoes evolved as a specific style of broguing. Brogues were created in the countryside of Scotland. The holes added as part of the broguing were originally intended to allow water to pass out of the shoe.

Wingtips were given their name to reflect the bird wing shape of the ‘W’.

How to Wear Wingtip Shoes

This is a common misconception, but traditionally wingtips are actually considered less formal than plain dress shoes. Though they're now perfectly acceptable to wear at black tie occasions, they’re also ideal for smart/casual events.

Try pairing them with a classic suit or a pair of chinos and a blazer.

If you love the look of wingtips, you’ll be thrilled with our collection. Take a look at the Wingtip Oxford Drummond in the finest tan burnished calf; the Wingtip Derby Swansea in luxurious dark brown suede; the Wingtip Boot Islay in dark brown scotch grain; or the Wingtip Derby Rain in snuff suede.

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