History of Brogues

Written by Marc | 04/11/2016




The brogue has a rich history, what was once a humble working man’s shoe, has since turned into a fashion staple for both men and women worldwide. Initially made for Scottish and Irish farmers at the turn of the 19th century the brogue was used primarily for outdoor and country wear. They were first made of black leather and had perforated holes at the front for draining bog water that entered the shoes whilst working. Unlike today, brogues were always seen as working-class shoes – they would never be seen being worn by businesspeople.


The Jazz Era

Later, two-toned leather brogues were favoured by the fashion-conscious during the Jazz era. Later screen greats such as Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly wore the highbred brogues in many of their famous dance routines.

The 1950s

The younger generation adopted the shoe in the 1950s, popular with both boys and girls, the style exploded when a young Elvis Presley wore a pair of saddle shoe brogues in the film Jailhouse Rock.

The Modern-Day Brogue

The brogue has since gone on to be a fashion staple for both men and women, the functional perforated toes have now been swapped for a less functional decorative version and you can now get them in a vast range of colours.

Brands of Brogues:

Grenson – William Green began making shoes in a loft in Rushden, Northamptonshire. At this time, all shoe-making was done by hand. Some years later the first ever Grenson shop opened in Liverpool Street London. 2016 is the 150th anniversary of Grenson shoemaking, this brand with such rich history provides us with the highest quality of footwear and brogues possible.

Oliver Sweeney – Oliver Sweeney is driven to source the finest Italian leathers and guarantee products be hand-stitched to provide the best luxury product possible. The brand is known for being obsessed with style, quality and detail. Mixing traditional craftsmanship with contemporary designs to shoes and specifically brogues that never compromise on comfort.

Ted Baker The perfect brogue for the dapper chap, Ted’s beautifully crafted brogues are impeccable to touch. A quintessentially British brand, Ted Baker is famed for its quirky yet commercial fashion offering, high-quality design and detailing.


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