Also known as wingtips, full brogues find their identity through a pointed tip, with extensions that jet along both sides of the toes and curve down at the ball point of the foot. The full brogue is also characterized by the perforated decoration that emphasizes the shape of a W, creating a bird-like line when looking from the top of the shoe. Untrue to popular notion, historically full brogues are the least formal of the brogue family as they were originally intended for walks through wet terrain in the countryside.
The semi-brogue was first designed in the late 1930’s as an in-between option that wasn’t as simple as a plain leather shoe, but less of a bold statement than a full brogue. Semi-brogues are characterized by perforated decorations at the front of the toe cap, with a cut line accompanied by perforation that runs from side to side along the middle of the toe cap.
This version founds its pique of popularity in the 1970’s, but remains a popular favorite among brogue enthusiasts today. The longwing reference in this brogue refers to the perforated and serrated line that runs from the toe cap and meets at the back of the shoe on the heel.
Quarter brogues are the simplest version of the brogue and the go-to for the suited man. They are essentially the semi-brogue, minus the perforated decoration on the toe. What includes the quarter brogue in the brogue family is the serration that goes along middle of the toe cap from one side to the next, accompanied with minimal perforation. Due to its minimal perforation, historically this shoe did not meet wet terrain often and was saved for dressier occasions.