The oxford shoe is a type of (traditionally) leather shoe that was designed to be plain though appropriate for formal wear. The most common form of decoration on an oxford shoe is patterns of perforations or decorative stitching. Essentially the oxford is a style of shoe most appropriate for people who need something dressy but not flashy.
The oxford shoe originated in Ireland and Scotland and was known as a balmoral (a common synonym of oxford). Today balmoral refers to a specific style of oxford shoes where, aside from the toe cap, the shoe is constructed without seams.
While the shoe was traditionally made from black or brown leather it has become in recent times acceptable to make flashy versions of the oxford shoe that are designed to stand out. Dyed leather, exotic animal leather and various ornamentations like metal toe caps can all be found on the modern breed of fashonista oxfords.