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Brogues, wingtip or cap toe: all about different shoe toe caps

The difference between the different types of leather shoe toe caps lies mainly in their structure and decoration. Plain toe, full brogue, wing-tip, apron toe or cap toe, the different terminologies that exist to describe the front end of your shoes cover a wide range of possibilities.

Whether you opt for full brogue derby shoes or wingtip Oxfords, your dress shoes are a reflection of your lifestyle, moving the focus between a business or more casual daily routine. To help you make the right choice and never be out of style, let's take a look at the details of each style.

01 The timeless elegance of the plain toe

No visible seams - that's the definition of minimalism. Pointed or rounded, on derbies or Oxfords, the plain toe ensures a sober, elegant look that's perfectly in tune with the codes of the professional world. If your daily routine is a succession of meetings, afterworks and appointments, the plain toe will be your best ally.

Plain toe Oxford shoes Lance 61 Melvin & Hamilton
Plain toe Derbies Bond 1 Melvin & Hamilton

02 The sobriety of the cap toe

With the front toe separated by a single seam, the cap-toe shoes are also a must-have for any business wardrobe. The toe of this model is rather simple: rectangular or slightly rounded, with no embellishments or extra details. While typical cap-toe shoes have a classic look, they can also be more elaborate, with perforations all along the main seam or with floral motifs so-called semi-brogues.

Straight toe-cap

Straight toe-cap Oxford shoes Lance 23 Melvin & Hamilton
Straight toe-cap Monk shoes Lance 1 Melvin & Hamilton

Perforated straight toe-cap

Perforated straight toe-cap Derbies Dave 1 Melvin & Hamilton

Semi brogue

Semi brogue Oxford shoes Elvis 62 Melvin & Hamilton

03 The timeless wingtip

The wingtip, perforated or full brogue, is characterised by a leather piece whose lines, similar to the curves of the letter M, stretch elegantly towards the back of the shoe. Shoes with a wing tip can be worn in formal contexts while adding a subtle touch of originality. This style can be a good compromise between the simplicity of a cap toe or plain toe and the more complex structure of an apron toe derby.


Wingtip derbies without perforations Bobby 3 Melvin & Hamilton
Perforated wingtip derbies Emil 3 Melvin & Hamilton
Chaussures richelieu à bout golf perforé Selina 24 Melvin & Hamilton

Full brogue

Derby à bout golf fleuri Martin 15 Melvin & Hamilton
Full brogue derbies Emil 10 Melvin & Hamilton
Full brogue Oxford shoes Amelie 70 Melvin & Hamilton

04 The originality of full brogue

The toe of the full brogue shoes is adorned with floral motifs and decorative perforations in different sizes. These circular details are perfect for those who want to add a touch of fantasy to their outfit. Whether on derbies, loafers or even sneakers, the brogue toe will add a dose of freshness and originality to your look.

Full brogue derbies Dylan 1 Melvin & Hamilton
Full brogue Oxford shoes Lewis 41 Melvin & Hamilton

05 The apron toe or split toe

Two separate sections of leather, joined by high seams to protect the foot from moisture - that's the definition of the apron toe. Halfway between tradition and modernity, this type of structure can be seen on open or closed dress shoes, from loafers to leather monks. The split toe shoes have an additional feature: a vertical seam on the toe of the shoe, adding a distinctive and refined touch.

Apron toe shoes

Apron toe derbies Pierce 10 Melvin & Hamilton
Apron toe loafers Clive 1 Melvin & Hamilton

Split toe shoes

Split toe monks Patrick 30 Melvin & Hamilton
Split toe derbies Pierce 2 Melvin & Hamilton



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