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Tartan Ferret


Ghillie brogues

What footwear you adopt, all depends on the occasion and there are no hard and fast rules; your choice can range from bare feet through to the ubiquitous ghillie brogies. If you're out walking then you should wear what's suitable for the conditions and what you're comfortable in - trainers, sneakers, walking boots, fashion boots or welly-gogs.

If it's a smarter affair then you might want to wear a pair of brogues. If it's an evening event standard fare seems to be ghillie brogues with the long laces that you twist round the ankles but don't feel those are essential - you can actually wear any brogues (black, brown or whatever) that you fancy and indeed, you don't need to wear brogues at all - a good pair of presentable day shoes would be quite in order - as long as they don't look out of place with the outfit you're wearing. That would also cut down on the expense since they would double up for wearing with clothes other than Highland dress. That has the added advantage that they'd get 'broken in' a lot quicker.


White hose should be banished to the other side of the moon!

As an aside, you may have read elsewhere on our website that modern brogues - known the world over - have evolved from the Highland brogan. Those were the primitive deerskin footwear worn by Highlanders in which they punched holes to let the water OUT. Those laces on the ghillie brogues are also a hangover from those days when the deerskin brogan were secured by long laces extending up the calf.

Three kilted figures with brogues.

Above: Very smart and no white hose or ghillie brogues in sight!

If you'd like to really go to town with your evening Highland dress then you could look for a pair of new but old-fashioned buckle shoes along the lines of the ones shown in our banner illustrtation above and reapeated below. At the moment, we don't know of a reliable source of high quality shoes like this, but when we do, we'll update this section.


Buckle brogues in soft leather.




Don't get trapped into thinking that you must buy black ghillie brogues and become a Highland dress clone! It's not a uniform and you can stamp (good pun!) your own individuality onto your outfit with your choice of shoes. Do remember that ghillie brogues are certainly not essential (or even desirable) and you could reduce your expenditure by buying some good everyday shoes that were perfectly suitable with Highland dress - and they don't even need to be brogues.

Especially smart tan ghillie brogues.

Will dark brown look good with your outfit?

How about a pair of wine-coloured brogues if they look good with your kilt?

Tan brogues - ultra-smart with toning jacket, kilt or sweater.

A pair of good brogues are a good investment and are perfect for wearing with Highland dress.

How smart will these patent leather evening shoes look for a special dinner or ball!

The beautiful Glenfinnan shoe was inspired by the buckle shoes famously worn by Bonnie Prince Charlie and his military commander-in chief during 1745 Jacobite uprising.

If you're in casual Highland dress then even Doc Martins are acceptable!

The Glenfinnan and Ghillie brogues shown above can be bought in the STA shop.

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Scottish Tartans Authority (Scottish limited company no. 162386), c/o J & H Mitchell, 51 Atholl Road, Pitlochry, PH16 5BU
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