5 Best Men’s Brogues: Rugged Meets Classy

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by  Karlton Miko Tyack | Last Updated: 
best men’s brogues

Looking for dress shoes that are more exciting than standard Oxfords? Brogues are a great choice, but many models are too flashy—costumey even.

Stick to our five classic choices and add some range to your shoe closet.

Best Overall
  • Minimal perforations make these shoes suitable for a wide range of personal styles and dress codes
  • Features like roomy toe box and supportive steel shank offer spec-forward functionality
  • Beckett Simonon uses premium full-grain leather and a high-level of hand craftsmanship
Best Wingtip Brogues
  • Traditional and lively brogue design balanced out with dark yet vivid colorways
  • Calfskin leather is soft yet strong, with a smooth, tight surface
  • Range of sizes and sole options provide a level of customization
Best Budget
  • High quarters and abundance of perforations give an extra rugged aesthetic
  • Florsheim employs eco-conscious tanneries for the Ruccis
  • Immediately comfortable due to combination of soft lining, cushioned footbed, and rubber outsole
Best Suede Brogues
  • Slip-on design is convenient, secure, and unique
  • Clean and decorated, these shoes are dressy enough for suits and casual enough for shorts
  • Handcrafted in Italy using premium suede
Best Upgrade
  • Chic taper and semi brogue design create a timelessly elegant dress shoe
  • Goodyear-welted construction serves up long-lasting, resoleable durability
  • Fully hand made by artisans using the most premium calfskin leather

Usually, when it comes to dress shoes, there are guys who like brogues and guys who don’t.

If you’re in the latter camp, you’ve probably made up your mind about brogues using one of the following justifications: I don’t wear kilts. I don’t play croquet. I’m not a cowboy. The perforations are too flashy.

Let me challenge your stance by telling you that you simply haven’t found the right models.

They come in a wide range of interpretations, and I truly believe there’s a pair of brogues for every type of guy. Read on to see which of the five I found will change your mind.

And if you already love brogues, read on to see which to add to your collection.

How Did I Come Up With My List?

This list took two weeks of research, scouring shoe stores, department stores, the internet, and trying on as many pairs as I can get my hands on. Between an entire adult life working in a formal office and the hands-on, direct research the past two weeks, I definitely tried on close to a hundred pairs.

Naturally, I spoke to colleagues, scoured reviews, and consulted with leather experts and shoe experts in the industry. After all, no one foot is like the other, and we all have different personal styles.

That being the case, this list is organized by our top overall pick, then into four other categories each representing a specific strength.

4 Types of Brogue Shoes 

The main design element that defines a brogue shoe is the decorative perforations throughout the surface, otherwise known as, you guessed it, broguing.

These perforated shoes originated in and around the rainy British Isles, for farmers, so that their footwear didn’t get flooded with bog or rain water. In more recent history, broguing has been and is still used for decorative purposes solely. In the ‘30s, they were popular on the golf course (where they’re arguably the most popular today), and with a zoot suit.

Since broguing can be applied to any style of shoe, brogues are a sort-of sub-style. You can find this ornate quality on any dress shoe, from Oxford to derby. Between that, and the fact that broguing comes in at least four formats, there really is a style for everyone.

Here are the four main types of brogues.

1. The Wingtip Brogue

A wingtip shoe is one in which a W-shaped piece of leather is stitched to the top of the upper. A wingtip brogue shoe is one in which perforations line the edges of that W.

Not all wingtip shoes have broguing on them, but the ones that do are usually the most ornate and heavily-perforated types of brogues.

2. The Longwing Brogue

A longwing brogue also has the W-shaped piece of leather on top of it. However, instead of the arms of the W moving into each side of the shoe, then down into the sole, each arm goes all the way around the shoe before connecting in the back.

It gives it a longer look than the standard wingtip, and looks almost like a W-shaped ballet flat connected to a dress shoe.

3. The Semi Brogue

A semi brogue doesn’t have that extra W-shaped piece of leather on it. This means less perforations and a cleaner, more formal look.

Typically, the usual parts of the shoe will still be brogued, including the area around the eyelet stays the collar, and the toe. The decorations on the toe are specifically called the medallion.

4. Quarter Brogue

Since the quarter brogue lacks this medallion as well as a wingtip piece, it’s the dressiest style of brogue.

Depending on how overall minimal a specific model is, you can even wear a monotone semi-brogue with a tuxedo.

5 Best Brogues for Men

Best Overall: Beckett Simonon Grant Adelaide

Thanks to their distinct, minimal take on the traditional brogue, the Beckett Simonon Grant Adelaides have loads of crossover appeal. Though if you do want a more tried-and-true brogue, they also make that in the form of the Yates Oxfords.

If you’re a brogue fan, the perforation around the eyelet stays and collar feature a sophisticated exchange of bigger circles and two smaller ones. Meanwhile, the deep-set stays give the upper the dimensionality you often want from a brogue. Even more, the sawtooth edges provide further intrigue and topography. 

The almond-shaped toe box ensures the design isn’t too sleek and uptight, the way a sharper edge might look. It also provides extra room, adding to the comfort factor.

And if you prefer less ornate shoes, the bare look of the Adelaides gives it a sense of formality not seen on typical brogues. Still, it isn’t sterile and has plenty of personality. 

Since this is Beckett Simonon, you can count on some reliable specs, like the riveted steel shanks for stability and an SBR rubber heel that tempers shock while adding grip. On days I’m late for work, I find that the caps on Simonon shoes make them really easy to run in. Besides, there’s an odor-controlling Vachetta leather lining.

The Simonon brand was founded by long-time leather goods professionals, which explains why the full-grain leather on the Adelaides is so supple. Its wax job is truly topnotch, and makes all of the colorways really vibrant. Even the black looks like an elegant onyx, instead of just dull murkiness.

All of that, plus the fact their Blake-stitched construction significantly shortens the break-in time compared to if they were Good-year-welted, results in a pretty impressive report card on all fronts. I know Goodyear-welting is the gold standard, but between the shanks and the durable leather, these shoes punch way above their price point.

What I Like

  • The uniquely minimal yet still dimensional design suits a wide range of personal styles, while also providing function, perfectly exemplified by the almond silhouette being both unstuffy-looking and physically roomy.
  • This highly functional shoe is equipped with useful features like the riveted steel shank which offers support and balance.
  • Beckett Simonon shoes employ premium full-grain leather and a high-level of hand craftsmanship.

What I Don’t Like

  • The brand uses a small-batch, made-to-order business model, which is great since it cuts middlemen and allows them to charge you as close to the actual cost of making the shoe. However, this also results in unpredictable waiting times, so it could take over a month for your shoes to arrive.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

Reviewers are thoroughly impressed with the fact these ~$200 shoes are so well-crafted with high-end materials, including hand-cut leather and hand-sanded soles.

The shoes, and the brand as a whole, get a lot of shout-outs for using tanneries that are gold-rated by the Leather Working Group, meaning they use eco-friendly and sustainable practices.

The main con I see on these reviews is that wide-footed folks mention a longer and more painful break-in process. They’ll get there eventually, but you might need the help of a shoe stretcher.

The Verdict

Ever the bridge-builders, the Beckett Simonon Grant Adelaides are chic enough for the brogue-hesitant, and even many brogue haters, to dip their toe into the design. They’re also still dimensional and unstuffy enough for many traditionalists.

On top of their adaptable aesthetic, the price tag definitely tears down a few barriers when it comes to accessing well-built, hand-crafted, full-grain leather dress shoes. Around $200 isn’t in everyone’s range, but the Adelaides would easily be well over $350 if not for Beckett Simonon’s minimal overhead business model.

Best Overall
Beckett Simonon Grant Adelaide

With a sleekly bare but still exciting take on the traditional brogues, Beckett Simonon’s Grant Adelaides are easy to like, regardless of personal style. Made with beautifully waxed full-grain leather, their Blake-stitched construction and embedded steel shanks make these high-value shoes both comfortable and secure.

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Best Wingtip: Velasca Trombee

Extravagant in their use of decorative perforations, the Velasca Trombees are highly-detailed and traditional brogues through and through.

From the surface of the toe to every single place with stitching, the ornate broguing is placed anywhere it can be. Even the edge of the tongue is adorned with a sawtooth finish, further cinching the design’s almost whimsical personality.

Instead of this resulting in an overly loud pair of shoes though, the construction adds an air of class. The Trombees are made with calfskin leather, which on top of being both soft and durable, have an exceptionally smooth look and feel.

Each colorway is dark and classy. Even the brown version is more like a vivid coffee shade, instead of a warm-toned wood brown.

Additionally, you can choose between solid leather outsoles or strong but lithe rubber outsoles, and from sizes as small as a men’s 5 and as big as a 14.

What I Like

  • The full traditional brogue design is complex and lively, yet balanced out by the dark, monotone, and classy colorways.
  • They’re made of calfskin leather, which has a tight grain, creating an attractively smooth surface, allowing the broguing to really shine.
  • With their wide range of sizes and the fact they’re available with leather or rubber soles, the Trombees offer a level of convenient customization.

What I Don’t Like

  • The sawtooth-edged tongue is visually compelling, but difficult to keep in place while lacing up.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

Reviewers rave about the leather quality, traditional design, and the overall service you get from Velasca.

Several report fast shipping and excellent packaging. Some personal touches include a card and return label, making returns and size swaps easy and immediate.

The Verdict

If you love traditionally detailed brogues, the Velasca Trombees are for you. They’re also great options if you have smaller feet since they go all the way down to a size 5, or if you want the choice between leather or rubber outsoles. 

Top these customization features off with a calfskin leather construction and great customer service on Velasca’s part.

Best Wingtip
Velasca Trombee

The Velasca Trombees are traditional and ornate wingtips, a perfect pair if you love decorative details. The tight calfskin leather is lush and strong, and the choice between leather or rubber outsoles allows you to accommodate the shoes to your specific needs and lifestyle.

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Best Budget: Florsheim Rucci

Not only are the Florsheim Ruccis our budget pick, but they’re also wildly comfortable. These sub-$150 dress shoes are fully cushioned, with an agile yet supportive footbed that, at least in my experience, needs little to no break in. 

The interiors are lined with Florsheim’s Suedetec, which basically keeps your feet in a perfect-temperature hug. Meanwhile, the athletic rubber sole protects you from fatigue and shock, extending the comfort elements to every angle it can come at you.

Style-wise, I love how high the quarters sit above the vamp. It almost looks like a saddle on a horse, adding a ruggedness to the traditional dress shoe silhouette.

Though Florsheim is a go-to brand for budget footwear these days, people often forget that it “grew up” with other American heritage brands that are today still considered high-end. Florsheim may have gone the affordable route, but they maintain a lot of their classic design sensibilities. The Ruccis are a perfect example of this.

What I Like

  • The design adds a rugged, almost cowboy-esque contouring onto the dress shoe shape, for a unique and balanced look.
  • For these shoes, Florsheim employs eco-conscious tanners that are gold or silver rated by the Leather Working Group, which is especially impressive at this price point.
  • Thanks to the Suedetech lining, cushioned footbed, and rubber outsole, the Ruccis are immediately wearable and provide all-day comfort.

What I Don’t Like

  • These shoes only come in two, very similar colorways.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

First off, Florsheim does a really effective job of organizing the reviews on their website. They even aggregate commonly mentioned pros and cons to give you an at-a-glance idea of what people think about each shoe.

Speaking of, reviewers love the design and immediate comfort of the Ruccis.

There seems to be some inconsistency regarding the fit, many mentioning they’re too narrow and others saying they’re too bulky. Make sure you know whether you’re a wide or narrow, as both options are available.

The Verdict

The Florsheim Ruccis are a comfortable and supportive shoe right out of the box, all at a ~$130 price point. Visually, the slightly brawny design suits you if you prefer a less prim and proper dress shoe.

Best Budget
Florsheim Rucci

With their dynamic contours, the Florsheim Ruccis are more on the rugged side of the spectrum. You can also wear them right out of the box thanks to their comfortable combination of soft linings, comfortable yet secure insoles, and strong rubber outsoles.

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Best Suede: Allen Edmonds Lucca Slip-on

Allen Edmonds Lucca Slip-on
Image Source: Allen Edmonds

Believe it or not, there are indeed slip-on brogues, and the Allen Edmonds Luccas combine best practices from a range of different shoe styles. They have the easy-going aesthetic of slippers, the slim elegance of loafers, and the fun elements of brogues, allowing you to wear them with a wide range of outfits.

There are few brogues on the market that you can wear with shorts that don’t lean into dandified croquet player territory. If that’s your style, that’s great. However, since you can wear the Luccas with shorts and a suit, anyone can get a lot of mileage out of them.

Of course, as slip-ons, they’re time-savers as well.

Allen Edmonds has been around since the ‘20s, and unlike so many heritage brands, have stuck to their guns when it comes to quality construction. The Luccas, as such, are handcrafted by Italian craftsmen using high-end suede.

What I Like

  • The slip-on construction is convenient and a unique design when it comes to brogue shoes.
  • The minimal look is relaxed enough for casual outfits, but classy enough for suit trousers.
  • These shoes use exquisitely-napped suede and are handcrafted in Italy.

What I Don’t Like

  • They aren’t available wide and their regular width is already pretty narrow.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

Reviewers are impressed with the Luccas’ ability to be worn all year long, along with their general adaptability. 

Many mention how there was little to no break-in, which is likely thanks to the Blake-stitched construction and padded insole.

There are some complaints about a squeak that comes from this padding. My recommendation is to give it some time. These shoes may not need to be broken in when it comes to comfort, but you’ll find that once they’ve conformed to your feet, that the weird air pocket that causes the squeak will go away too.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for a brogue for all seasons, from turtle-neck to shorts season, the Allen Edmonds Luccas uniquely and effectively fill that need.

As slip-ons, they’re convenient, with a laid-back vibe. However, the slim silhouette and refined suede also make them decidedly dashing.

Best Suede
Allen Edmonds Lucca Slip-on

The Allen Edmonds Lucca Slip-ons are versatile year-rounders that are as relaxed as they are sophisticated. They’re easy to slip in and out of, are hand-made in Italy using premium suede, and can be worn in a range of dress codes.

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Best Upgrade: Carmina Semi Brogue

As high-class as any standard-designed, well-built Oxford, the Carmina Semi Brogue is also a touch more swanky, and a bit more thrilling. From its medallions to the beautiful sawtooth edges throughout, these posh dress shoes are all about the fine details.

The silhouette is chef’s-kiss sharp, with a fine taper but a softly squared-off toe.

Carmina is a group of fourth-generation craftsmen in Mallorca that focus on timeless, excellently-crafted shoes. Naturally, the tight-grained, calfskin leather looks and feels buttery yet strong, and has the balanced aroma of natural sweetness and tobacco smokiness.

And unsurprisingly, these Semi Brogues are fully Goodyear-welted, so they’ll last you forever.

What I Like

  • The chic taper and semi brogue design create a timelessly elegant dress shoe that can be worn even on formal occasions, which is rare for brogues.
  • The Goodyear-welted construction serves up long-lasting, resoleable durability.
  • These shoes flaunt a genuine artisanal quality since they’re fully hand made by artisans in Mallorca.

What I Don’t Like

  • As with any full-grain, fully-welted shoe, the Carmina Semi Brogues will subject you to a long break-in period.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

Reviewers absolutely love the quality of leather on these Carminas, many claiming it’s immediately noticeable right out of the box.

I mention how the distinct taper into a square toe provides a style factor. However, many reviewers also report that these proportions make for a balanced fit throughout the shoe. It’s fitted enough that it feels formal, with plenty of breathing space in the toe area.

The Verdict

The Carmina Semi Brogues are posh dress shoes that, unlike so many brogues, can be worn in the most dressed-up occasions. They’re pieces of art, hand-built using the best materials. 

If you can swing the luxury price point, these investment pieces are worth every penny.

Best Upgrade
Carmina Semi Brogue

A dignified combination of a tapered body and soft-squared toe make Carmina’s Semi Brogue stately enough for any formal occasion. They’re hand-built in Mallorca using luxurious calfskin leather and Goodyear-welting.

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The Decorative Aesthetic

Thanks to a clever design that gives it a lot of crossover appeal, the high-value Beckett Simonon Grant Adelaides get our pick for best overall. 

Our Top Pick
Beckett Simonon Grant Adelaide

With a sleekly bare but still exciting take on the traditional brogues, Beckett Simonon’s Grant Adelaides are easy to like, regardless of personal style. Made with beautifully waxed full-grain leather, their Blake-stitched construction and embedded steel shanks make these high-value shoes both comfortable and secure.

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If you’re on a budget, or if you love a more rugged-looking brogue, go for the Florsheim Ruccis. They’re also the most comfortable.

Speaking of comfort, the Luccas from Allen Edmonds are well-cushioned and are conveniently easy to slip in and out of.

Allen Edmonds Lucca Slip-on

The Allen Edmonds Lucca Slip-ons are versatile year-rounders that are as relaxed as they are sophisticated. They’re easy to slip in and out of, are hand-made in Italy using premium suede, and can be worn in a range of dress codes.

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The Carmina Semi Brogues are timeless and classy, an investment piece that will last you forever. Meanwhile, the Velasca Trombees are another calfskin option, featuring a bold wingtip design.

Truly, there are a wider range of brogue shoes out there than most people realize. 


What is the difference between Oxford and brogues?

Oxfords are a closed-lace dress shoe. Brogues are any shoe that have decorative perforations on the uppers. That being the case, there are Oxford shoes that are also brogues.

What makes a brogue a brogue?

Any shoe with decorative perforations are brogues. They’re usually along seams and the collar, or on the toe. The toe perforations are called the medallion.

Are brogues formal or informal?

While there are dressier brogue shoes, adding the ornate perforations overall makes the shoe more casual. So even the dressiest brogue wouldn’t be as formal as one without the extra details.

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