What Makes a Brogue a Brogue?

Posted by Lee Fleming on

Brogue shoes

Northampton is known around the world for its shoemaking heritage with English shoemakers such as Barker, Grenson, Loake and Trickers continuing to make Goodyear welted footwear for over a century. A timeless shoe style synonymous with the County of Northamptonshire is the Brogue, a hole punched icon that over the years has became the archetypal English shoe.

The English made Brogue has evolved from a functional outdoor shoe to a city staple that can be worn for business or pleasure depending on the setting. The hard working origin of the Brogue can be traced back to Scotland and Ireland where the Brogue was originally worn as an outdoor shoe for removing bog water when crossing wetlands.  

Semi Brogue Shoes

From its purposeful beginnings the brogue has seen many disguises since its creation to the contemporary designs seen today on the street to the fashion catwalk. Although the construction and details of the classic English brogue remains similar modern brogues punching is an aesthetic detail only but the variation in design is vast and there are several different types such as the full brogue, semi brogue, quarter brogue and the longwing brogue. 

The beauty of the Brogue is its ability to change style with the different leathers and soles used whether it’s a polished business classic or rugged Country finish, the brogue suits both effortlessly.  

The Barker collection offers an extensive range  of mens brogues made from a variety of leathers and suedes on a choice of soles which can be explore in  the Barker Handcrafted, Country, Creative and Professional collections

Malton brogue

Finding a Brogue that suits your needs is made easy when browsing the Barker Brogues by collection as its easy to see the distinctive types of Brogue designs. For traditional leather men’s outdoor Brogues the Country collection is the best place to start exploring the Barker range of brogue shoes. Country collection includes the Charles, Kelmarsh, Calvay and Westfield which are all Goodyear storm welted and made from premium calf and grain leathers on functional soles such as Vibram and Dainite rubber soles. For brogue boots the Country collection Calder boot is highly recommended and made on the 460 last and is available in several colourways

For smart or business casual brogue styles the Handcrafted, Professional and BarkerTech collections offer a selection of Oxford and Derby brogues in several fittings on a variety of last shapes used in the Barker Earls Barton factory. 

Turing Black calf

The Barker Professional collection includes an extensive range of formal dress brogue styles from the long standing Albert and Alfred hi-shine styles to the latest brogue additions such as the Malton, Mirfield and Morpeth styles.  

The BarkerTech collection includes the Turing full brogue, made on the 493 last from premium calf leather and features Barker comfort technology which combines traditional craftsmanship and padded comfort whilst maintaining an elegant aesthetic. 


Imaginative brogue designs will be discovered in the Creative collection whichfeatures several iconic Barker brogue styles that reflects on the design boundaries of the Barker design team. The McClean Oxford brogue is one of the most popular brogue designs in the collection, made on the 443 last from premium calf leather with either suede or paisley laser detailing. Additional Creative collection brogues to consider include the Bailey, Johnny, Grant and Valiant styles. 

While exploring the Barker range of Brogues it’s worth noting the difference between Oxford Brogues and Derby Brogues (closed versus open lacing system) as this will be a factor in sizing and fitting. Barker Brogues are available in F, FX, G and H fittings across a selection of last shapes.