How to tie your Ghillie Brogues

Ghillie brogues are a key piece of Scotland’s national dress, no highland wear outfit is complete without some nicely tied ghillie brogues. When a man is faced with tying his first pair of ghillie brogues it can be confusing, especially with those extra long laces and no shoe tongue, its easy to get confused trying to tie your ghillie brogues. But this guide covers how to securely tie your ghillie brogues to be looking your finest for your occasions.

Ghillie brogues


Ghillie brogues are traditionally styled as part of a kilt highland wear outfit. Ghillie brogues originate from Scottish highlanders and have been a key piece of Scottish and highland wear culture as a wardrobe staple. Ghillie brogues are a variation of brogues that can easily be identified by the long tasselled laces.

Designed to be worn with kilt hose, ghillie brogues are an old fashioned shoe carried into modern formalwear to be worn with a kilt as a tradition for Scottish formal occasions. Ghillie brogues come in a variety of leather colours and styles.


Although tying your ghillie brogues is simple once you’ve done it a few times, its always intimidating at first. Have your ghillie brogues ready by loosening the laces prior to putting on, and slip them on.

How to tie ghillie brogues

1/ Once you have your ghillie brogues on, take each lace in each hand and pull taught to tighten.

2/ While holding your laces cross and twist your laces 3 times in a row.

3/ While holding your laces wrap them round the back of the upper ankle / below calf and wrap back round the front again tying in a bow.

*Ensure your laces aren’t tied too slack or too tight as they will fall down when you walk and your laces should sit no higher than your calf to avoid your laces falling down.*


Brown ghillie brogues

Ghillie brogues can be spotted from a mile away with the long laces wrapped around the lower calf, the traditional highland wear footwear were derived from Scottish highlanders and were designed to keep their laces out of mud and prevent from tripping over.

Ghillie brogues also feature pierced hole leather and no shoe tongue to allow for ventilation and quicker drying.


Ghillie brogues

Brogues can be differentiated into 2 types :

— Ghillie brogues

Ghillie brogues are as we discussed are a full brogue shoe with no tongue and extended thicker laces featuring a tassel.

Day brogues

Day brogues

Day brogues are a full brogue shoe with shorter thinner laces and are more mainstream fashion footwear.

Both of which come in a variety of materials, colours, finishing and designs. They are both considered to be styled well as formal wear in Scotland with a highland wear outfit.


As mentioned before ghillie brogues are a key aspect of a proper highland wear outfit. Ghillie brogues are usually worn to an array of or Scottish formal events and occasions.

Ghillie brogues

Ghillie brogues complete the whole look and tie the whole outfit together, Scots have embraced ghillie brogues are part of highland wear culture. Many people choose to wear a kilt outfit and ghillie brogues to take pride and embrace their Scottish heritage, some non Scots wear highland wear outfits to partake and celebrate Scotland’s beautiful national dress.

Ghillie brogues are quite unique and because they aren’t your typical every day footwear some may chose to wear them for a formal occasion as a one off or opportunity to walk in highlanders footwear.

Tartan brogues –

Tartan brogues

Did you know we offer tartan brogues? You can have custom ghillie brogues or normal brogues to match your kilt or family name tartan. Tartans brogues are perfect to bring your entire outfit together and defiantly a statement shoe.

Tartan brogues allow one of the panels of the shoe to be wrapped in a tartan of your choice, and ideal for those wanting to stand out. these are available in hundreds of tartans and multiple leather options.

You can browse our full footwear range available here along with our entire highland wear collection.

If you have any questions or queries on ghillie brogues, kilts, tartan or anything else we would love to welcome you in store, or alternatively you can reach out to us at [email protected] or call us on 0141 889 4879

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