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Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Ghillie Brogue, Trending In 2016?

Dear Hipsters,

You are always on the look out for one way or another to funk things right up - whether it be pooper scooper pants or man buns - but here is a practically minded bit of kit that you might have overlooked - what about the Ghillie Brogue?

The term brogue originally derives from the Old Irish word bróg - which means"shoe" but which probably comes from the Old Norse for "brók" meaning leg covering.

Brogueing, in today's shoe language, means small perforations in the leather detail either on the toe caps, heels, throat or vamp of the shoe but today's decorative brogue was originally derived from function.

You see, as a Scotsman who came past the Le Noeud Papillon Studio yesterday to pick up a bow tie for his wedding kit explained to me, these original brogues, which looked more like the Ghillie Brogue shoe below by English maker Loake, were made for Scots and Irishmen walking through bogs and the perforations in the leather were for letting out water. So too was the open throat with no tongue in the shoe. The longer laces were then tied up around the shin of the traditionally woven socks which perfomed the final function, like the lead on a surfboard. That is, if you lost your shoe in the bog, you knew how to retrieve it. 

All this may seem very relevant to bag pipers in kilts but what is the relevance to the Australian male and why might it trend in 2016? I will tell you why, we Australian men tend to walk around all summer in oscillating weather between humid heat, dry heat and humid rain. Having a shoe which you might easily put on and off with no socks and which might allow your feet to dry quickly, after the beach, after the river, the fairway or the harbour, might be a wonderful bridge between a full closed shoe and a suede mocassin or boat shoe.

I am not suggesting you go and get a pair straight way, I am suggesting the hipsters go first and we can follow later.

Read a little more on brogues.

A Loake Ghillie Brogue shoe. Noted the open throat of the shoe which allows water to leave the shoe, ideal for muddy Irish and Scottish bogs and the favoured shoe of bag pipers. 

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