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Derby vs Blucher

derby vs blucher

Shoes are often linked to men’s personality not from now but from early days. Now, people
are more into fashion and the fashion industry is also evolving fast and keep changing. In the early days where formal shoes are only allowed in offices now, the scene is totally changed, now people wear them on all different occasions and casually. And the shoes that can fulfill people’s needs without spending a lot of money on multiple pairs are derby shoes and bluchers. Though the shoes are available on market for a very long time, still people get confused between which is which shoes and there is no shame in that because the structure of these shoes is almost the same. But still, there is a difference between derby shoes and bluchers that is very slight. So, to solve this confusion read this derby vs blucher article. Don’t forget to read the interesting story that led to blucher’s invention.

Derby vs blucher

Derby shoes

A Plein Derby.jpg
By Wikipedia-ceOwn work, CC0, Link


One of the earliest shoes in the market derby shoes became popular in 1850 when it is only used in wild but as fashion evolved in the 20th century the shoes had made their entry into the real world of local men and women. Derby shoes are semi-formal shoes that have an open lacing system.


The name derby also refers to the eyelets of the laces on the shoes. Derby shoes are always compared with its cousin oxford, but despite their similarities both are different shoes, oxford is more formal than derby shoes.

Often people get confused in differentiating both the shoes. The best way is to look at laces, if the shoes have a close lacing system then it’s likely to be oxford shoes, if vice versa then it’s derby shoes.

Derby shoes become more popular in recent years just because of the big shift of the fashion industry towards casuals and semi-formals. Now people prefer comfortable and casual shoes that can work with most of the outfits and what’s better than derby shoes.

Where shoes like oxford only can be worn with complete formals, derby shoes can be worn with different outfits from casual, semiformal to formal. Unlike any formal shoes, Derby shoes are comfortable shoes and can be worn for a long
period of time.


Derby shoes provide a lot of options based on someone’s preference. Every men has its own unique style, it may be classic or casual derby shoes work for all.

A lot of different derby versions are present in the market today and one can choose according to their preference. In case, you don’t know the types of derby shoes present today let’s know what we have.

Plain derby

As the name suggests plain derby is the simplest derby shoe version out there which
doesn’t contain any extra fancy stuff like broguing, cap toes, or heel caps. Plain derby shoes only contain vamps and quarters as a feature, these boots are the most formal option in derby shoes.

Though the shoes are formal but still matching plain derby shoes with a black tie or suit is not a good idea when you have oxford as an option.

Besides, that plain derby shoes can be worn with suits in the office or with semi-formals on a date. But in some regions of Austria black patent leather derby shoes are also worn on black-tie events.

Plain derby shoes are present in types and different colors but the classic one is black color, in case you want to buy casual plain derby shoes then go with the suede leather version.

Wingtip derby shoes

One of the versatile options in derbies, also the casual version of derby shoes. As the name
suggests the shoes have pointed toe caps in the shape of W or M.

Wingtip shoes also contain extra elements like bringing on the center and edges of the shoes.

Wingtip derby shoes are present in different types of leather with different styles and ranges. While the shoes are more casual and can not be worn with formal dresses like suits.

Mock toe derby

Mock toe derby shoes have their own identity. The shoes are also known as Apron toe derby shoes though both are somehow different. As the name suggests these shoes have apron like leather piece sewn on the top of the vamp.

Though the apron and moc toe derby shoes are considered as same still one difference between both of them is that moc toe derby shoes do not have any extra piece of leather sewn on the top of the vamp, moc toe has its own moc const.

Moc toe shoes lie in the semi-formal category means they are not as formal as a plain derby but not as casual as wingtip derby shoes. In my suggestion avoid wearing moc toe with suits or with black tie, you can experiment with all different outfits like blazers, semi-formal shirts, and cotton pants.


Shoe-Blucher-Black with rubber sole.jpg
By Wikipedia-ceOwn work, CC0, Link


Often times blucher shoes are mistaken as derby shoes because of slight differences.

While in some languages derby is known as blucher but if you look at both the shoes closely you see a slight difference and i.e in derby shoes there are two quarters that are sewn together and vamp.

Where in bluchers only one single piece of leather is sewn over vamp. This is the only difference in both shoes though both shoes have an open lacing system.

Blucher shoes are more comfortable and easy to pull off shoes than derby shoes because that’s the reason why they are created.


Bluchers are often regarded as a British style because of their versatility and elegance. But
the reality is far from this. United kingdom plays a very low or no role in blucher invention.

Bluchers was invented in Prussia which was a militarized ruling country whose territory later distributed among different countries like Poland, Germany.

During the times of the Napoleonic war, one senior officer took the derby shoes and made them redesigned in a way that can fit their soldiers’ feet with different sizes.

Not only that, the main reason why the shoes are pushed to redesign is to make them easy to pull off or on during wartime.

To fulfill the all requirements, the maker added the two flips at the end of the ankles in a way that they can be laced together.

By doing so the eyelets of the shoe’s laces became parallel and what it did was lead to the wider opening for the foot.

Another benefit of this invention was that now you can adjust the width of the shoes by loosening up laces or tightening the laces.

When both the goals were achieved the boots became more comfortable and easy to pull
off. This new small invention in boot also lead to renaming for the shoes and the shoes were named as blucher.

Time from its invention the shoes steadily made their way into the fashion industry. Men’s bluchers were first to make it’s way into the market, after the huge popularity of blucher shoes later women’s bluchers are also introduced in the market.

Since then bluchers have evolved in a way that now they are present in different styles ranging from plain to fancy.

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Plain bluchers

Just like plain derby shoes plain bluchers are more on the formal side and don’t feature any extra fancy elements on the top of the vamp or toe.

Whole cut bluchers

Whole cut bluchers are unquiet and different from all other versions. It has an upper cut
made of single leather and features no quarters.

Though the blucher has an open lacing system, still whole cut bluchers have mostly closed lacing system. These shoes lie in formal category and are often confused with oxford shoes.

Wingtip bluchers

Just like wingtip derbies, wingtip bluchers features bringing on the sides, front, and wheel of the shoes. These shoes are informal of all and likely to be matched with casual outfits.

Semi brogue bluchers

These type bluchers are best for day-to-day lifestyle as you can pair them with most of the outfits. In these shoes, broguing is done on the toe of the shoes. Semi brogue bluchers are in trend because of their versatility and comfortability.

Hi, gurbi is a fashion blogger, designer, and fashion consultant. He is 25 yrs old man who love the world of fashion.