ICON: PARK AVENUE OXFORD
We’ve sold over a million pairs of our iconic Park Avenue oxford since it was first introduced in 1982. Between the timeless elegance of its streamlined, cap-toe design and the refined polish of the full-grain calfskin leather uppers, Matthew demonstrates how this is the shoe you’ll keep coming back to any time you want to look your absolute best.
Want to know more about our classic shoes? We’re here to help with a few frequently asked footwear questions.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN OXFORD AND A BLUCHER?
The style of dress shoe we know today as the oxford takes its name from the British university town where students in the 17th century are said to be among the first to have adopted this style of footwear as an easier, more comfortable alternative to the highly formal dress boots that were common at the time. The oxford is distinguished from the blucher—and derby—by its closed lacing system where the vamp (or front section of the shoes that covers the toes) is sewn on top of the quarters (or rear section of the shoe). This result in a cleaner, sleeker shape as compared to the blucher where the quarters are sewn on top of the vamp, creating an open lacing system and a shoe with a roomier fit and slightly more casual look.
WHAT IS FULL-GRAIN LEATHER?
While many shoes today use corrected grain leather that’s made from hides with scars and blemishes that are buffed out, most of our styles are crafted from full-grain leather that’s hand-selected to showcase the natural beauty of the material. This gives our shoes and boots a richer color and more supple surface that’s less prone to cracking than typical footwear.
WHAT IS A GOODYEAR WELT?
We handcraft our shoes and boots on the 360° Goodyear Bench Welt, the most labor-intensive and time-consuming method for constructing a welt. This results in incredibly durable, comfortable and long-lasting footwear. A strip of leather, called the welt, is sewn around the full circumference of the uppers, forming a space under the insole that’s filled with cork and other innovative materials that will mold to your feet over time, creating a custom fit. The soles are then sewn directly to the welt, affixing them to the uppers. Not only does this make our styles sturdier and more supportive right out of the box, it also allows our experts to recraft our shoes and boots in the future, extending the lifespan of your favorite footwear.
WHAT IS RECRAFTING AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Shoes and boots built on our 360° Goodyear Bench Welt can be restored and rebuilt by our experts. Because the soles are attached to the welt, we can replace almost all the components of these styles while keeping the uppers and insoles intact. This means you can preserve your shoes’ unique fit and patina, while bringing them back to almost new condition. Not only does this process extend the lifespan of your footwear, it’s also saved more than 500,000 pairs of shoes from landfills over the last ten years.