Know your dress shoe designs. Shoe shapes, styles, and more!

Know your dress shoe designs. Shoe shapes, styles, and more!

John NguyenMay 4, '17

Do you ever hear about a monkstrap - two toned - longwing brogue shoe? There are various shapes, styles, and designs that can describe a shoe. By knowing what they are, you can better describe the kind of shoe you're looking to buy. This guide is designed to get you talking like a shoe pro!

Shoe Toe Shapes

Round Toe / Pointed Toe


The toe of the shoe has a rounded shape. If the shoe has a really narrow toe tip, we call it a pointed toe shoe.



Square / Chisel Toe



Square toe shoes aren’t as elegant or formal as round toe shoes. It’s called a square toe because the end of the toe is flat. It gives the shoe a more aggressive look.

Shoe Styles


Plain Toe


There’s nothing on the toe of the shoe. It’s clean, classic, minimalistic, and timeless. This is a safe choice to go with for any occasion. This is the most formal shoe style.





The cap toe is distinguished by horizontal stitching that goes across the toe of the shoe. It is the most popular shoe that is worn by businessmen all over the globe. You will mostly see them on derbys. While its purpose is mainly for business attire, it’s also elegant enough to be worn with a tuxedo.


Apron Toe & Split Toe


You will mostly see the apron toe style on loafers. It is characterized by a seam that runs around the top perimeter of the shoe making the shape of an apron. The split toe is an apron toe shoe that has an extra seam the runs down the middle of the toe. These styles are meant for business casual or smart casual wear.


Wingtip Toe


The wingtip toe style is most appropriate for business wear. You can tell a shoe has a wing tip toe style from the W shaped stitching that runs over the toe of the shoe and extends down the sides of the shoe.


Whole Cut


The entire top of the shoe is made from a single piece of leather. Because of this, it is usually more expensive than a plain toe or cap toe shoe because it requires more skill to make. There are no seams and the shoe has a closed lacing system. It’s just one smooth face. This is as clean and sleek as it gets! Make the shoe with patent leather and you’ll have a shoe that screams elegance.



On top of the shoe.



Tassels are mostly seen on loafers. Some consider it unnecessary, and whereas some see it as a sign of someone who really knows their fashion.




Just like how monk straps can be applied to many shoes, kilties can be attached to any shoe too. It is distinguished by the iconic fringed tongue that hangs over the shoe laces.

Brogueing Styles

Broguing is a decorative design on the shoe. It is created through various patterns of holes. Generally, the more broguing you have on your shoe, the more casual it becomes.



This is a plain toe shoe style where there is broguing done only on the tip of the shoe.


Quarter Brogue


The Quarter Brogue is characterized by the a line of broguing that runs horizontally across the cap toe of the shoe. This design is reserved and simple.


Longwing Brogue


Longwing brogues are mostly seen on the derby shoe. It is characterized by the long W shaped broguing. The broguing takes on a similar shape of the stitching on the wingtip toe style, however it extends noticeably further towards the toe of the shoe.


Semi Brogue


The semi brogue is also known as the half brogue. You can tell it is a semi brogue when you can see that there is broguing on the seam of the cap toe, a medallion,  and broguing around the laces and sides of the shoe.



Full Brogue (also known as Wingtip Brogue)


This brogue runs along the wingtip toe seams. The toe of the shoe is usually completely covered with broguing or a medallion. Additionally, this style has broguing around the laces and ankles of the shoe too.


Last Words

When you're choosing or designing a shoe, there are countless ways to mix and match them. Now that you know what styles you can choose from, you can design a shoe that is unique and personalized to your own taste.


This is a demonstration of what is possible when you know your shoe styles. From content to creation, we made a mix between a wingtip and a cap-toe.


Here at DV Clothiers, we can make bespoke shoes for you in any design that you like. What kind of style is your favorite? Leave a comment below or share this your ideas with your friends!

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