A visit to the Cobbler, Oxford – Derby: 1-2 shot and drafted to IG September 2018
If there’s something i only recently understood, it’s the fact, that those who make your clothes, in this case, the shoes, are the keeper of secrets, me ordinary wearer of good quality clothing, has to precisely ask the masters for, to gain a little bit of insight. So i did in my recent visit to my cobbler (yes, i am fortunate enough to have the honor to call him „my“ cobbler, because i never went to anybody else in the last decade). I went there actually, because in the years we established a sort of customer relationship that goes further then the standard customer goes. He knows my style and therefore my needs in terms of good quality footwear and historic shoes like the ones he showed me this time. I have to add, that he usually reserves the Saturday morning for those special customers, like me, that want to know a little more about his craft and his art.
„Here’s an Oxford, made of an upper-leather that’s 70 years old.“ That obviously got me. Then he began explaining further more. In those days, they didn’t have the leather for a leather lining, so they used a densely woven linen lining as a second layer. The characteristic to this Oxford is furthermore the cap-toe, something seen rather rarely today. I had to ask him a very basic question: what’s the difference between the Oxford last and the more commonly seen Derby last? But looking at my shoes, it was evident: the Derby last has “open lacing” meaning that quarters are stitched on top of the vamp, meanwhile the Oxford shows a so called “closed lacing” system in which the quarters, the side tabs where the shoelace eyelets are punctured, are sewn under the front part of the shoe known as the vamp.
I am used to Derby, but nothing beats the elegance of an Oxford. So there i went out my cobblers shop as the proud owner of a cap-toed English Oxford.