What is a Ghillie brogue?

What is a Ghillie brogue featured

What is a Ghillie Brogue?

If you have ever attended a formal Scottish event, such as a wedding or a ceilidh, you may have noticed a particular type of shoe that seems to be worn by every man in attendance. These shoes are known as Ghillie brogues, and they are an important part of traditional Scottish dress.


The Ghillie brogue has its origins in the traditional shoes worn by Highlanders for centuries. The shoes were originally made from untanned hide, with the laces tied around the ankle and calf to keep the shoes securely in place. Over time, the design of the shoes evolved, with the addition of leather soles and decorative perforations to make them more hard-wearing and comfortable.


The Ghillie brogue is a lace-up shoe that is similar in design to an Oxford or Derby shoe. The key difference lies in the lacing system, which consists of long leather laces that are criss-crossed over the instep and around the ankle before being tied in a knot or bow. The decorative perforations on the shoe are known as broguing and are a common feature of many traditional Scottish dress shoes.

When to Wear Ghillie Brogues

Ghillie brogues are typically worn as part of traditional Scottish dress for formal occasions. This includes weddings, ceilidhs, and other cultural events. They are also seen at sporting events such as Highland Games, where athletes compete in traditional Scottish events such as caber tossing and hammer throwing.

Buying Ghillie Brogues

If you are looking to buy a pair of Ghillie brogues, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, you should decide whether you want a traditional leather sole or a more modern rubber sole. You should also consider the colour of the shoe, with black, brown and tan being the most common options. Finally, you should ensure that you choose a size that fits you correctly, as ill-fitting shoes can cause discomfort and even injury.

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