The Derby Guide

Following last week’s Guide to Oxford shoes, this week we will take a look at the other classic style, the „Derby“.

The main difference is, that a Derby has a so called „open lacing“, which means that the quarters, the part of the shoe the lacing goes through sits on top of the vamp, the part that flexes when you walk.

This allows for quite a good adjustment of the fit through lacing the shoe more or less tight and is especially a recommendable shoe type for people with a high instep.

In this guide we want to give you a little overview of the most common Derby styles.

1. The Classic Derby

The classic Derby usually features 5 eyelets and has nicely curved quarters that allow for a classic look. Note how the quarters sit on top of the vamp. You can find this style with or without a cap.

1. Plain toe Derby by Crockett & Jones
2. Cap toe Derby by Crockett & Jones

2. The V-Front Derby

The V-front is a slightly more elegant take on the Derby. The Quarters have been cut out in a way so that the resemble the shape of a V pointing towards the topline.

1. V-Front Derby by Yohei Fukuda
2. V-Front Derby by Yohei-Fukuda

3. The „Blucher“

This version of the derby is named after the Prussian General Prince Blucher von Wahlstatt who is said to have invented this style as a robust shoe for his soldiers in the late 18th century.

Back then it was still carried out as a boot but the way the lacing was done has been transferred to a shoe that has since then become popular.

Blucher Derby by Crockett & Jones

4. The „Wholecut“

This is another very classic take on the Derby which features an apron on the vamp. You can find this style with a handsewn or machine stitched apron. Sometimes this style is also referred to as a Norwegian Derby or a hunting Derby. It is like the Blucher often found on more robust shoes that feature resilient leathers like Scotch Grain and are designed for autumn or winter and the countryside.

5. The Two or Three Eyelet Derby

Last we would like to take a look at a more elegant take on the derby. By reducing the number of eyelets, shoemakers transferred this style into a more elegant shoe that can even be found with evening wear or carried out in patent leather as footwear for a black tie event.

1. The „Uppingham“ by Gaziano & Girling in a patent version
2. Or seen here in dark blue calf