How to tie your Ghillie Brogues or Kilt Shoes

Guide to tying Ghillie Brogues or Kilt Shoes

Mens Ghillie Brogues

There are so many theories on how to tie Ghillie Brogues correctly we thought we should set the record straight. However when you reach the final stage (point 7), where you position the knot is much discussed. Opinion varies - to the front, to the side, or to the back. 

1. Put your shoe on and tighten the laces as normal

2. Hold the laces at the end and do one twist

3. Pull the laces tight, still holding them at the end

4. Cross the laces over by putting the lace into the opposite hand

5. Do four to six twists, keeping the tension in the laces (the twisted part should be about 1-2 inches or 3-5cm long)

6. Take the laces and cross them behind your leg

7. Bring the laces back to the front and tie them in a normal knot, then double knot

You now have perfectly tied Ghillie Brogues!

Category Kilt Shoes 540%20(1)


Find out a little more about this fine Scottish kilt shoe and the history behind those laces

Why Brogue?

Let's begin with a name - why Brogue? The word derives from the Gaelic bróg (Irish), bròg (Scottish), meaning "shoe" of the low-heeled, leather variety and what defines it is the perforated decoration and serated edging on the visible edges. These perforations were originally there to allow water to flow through as the Highlanders trudged through wet and marshy ground. In a fashion sense a Brogue today is considered a less formal shoe the more "broguing" or perforations it features, however when we come to kilt outfits and formal Highlandwear the kilt shoe will always carry this traditional detailing. The term brogue is also often heard to describe the accent of the Irish and Scots and this originates from the meaning "speech of those who call a shoe a brogue".

No tongue?

A shoe with no tongue, what is going on? This was the very practical way of ensuring that the shoe would drain water and dry out quickly. Not so necessary in the modern day, although Scotland is renowned for unexpected changes in weather, but this traditional aspect of the design continues today. Around 1640 some Scottish Lairds added a shawl tongue with a fringe to their brogues to add a touch of elegance.

The Laces

Feared by those new to kilt wearing and a continual area for discussion as to the correct way of doing so, the tying of the laces of your kilt shoes can be personalised, so follow our guide above and add your own finishing touches to the positioning of the final knot. Traditionally the long laces were tied above the ankle to keep them out of the mud and there are references back in 1542 describing the dress of the Highlanders, however it is not until the 17th century that heels were added 

Tartan Brogues

Well we couldn't help ourselves - what better pair of Brogues to have than a pair featuring your very own tartan? The traditional brogueing remains and the inset plain panels have been replaced with the wool tartan fabric of your choice. The brogue is fully lined so from a wearers point of view is just as comfortable as a standard brogue.

Scotland Forever Tartan Kilt Shoes Side