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I answered this in another thread recently ,but rather than looking for that I'll answer here again.

Apart from the closed lace section, Oxfords can have stitching round the heel section or not.
But they always have the curved stiching from the bottom of the lace section down to the welt.
They are plain with no broguing or other decoration, and usually no welt, heel or sole decoration either.
And 9 out of 10 times, at least in the UK, Oxfords have toecaps. Oxfords without toecaps are becoming rarer and rarer.
https://www.loake.co.uk/Shop/Products/Loake+Catalog/PID-AYR.aspx

https://www.loake.co.uk/Shop/Products/Loake+Catalog/PID-805.aspx# I own a pair of these 805s, the only difference between these and the Ayrs is the heel stitching. Both have the Dainite rubber sole, which is very unobtrusive and you don't notice it when looking at the shoe.

Which also answers another thread about the look of rubber soled shoes for formal wear. These are perfect. That said, I don't buy into that nonsense that only leather soled shoes should be worn formally. What a load of rubbish!
 

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I'm not clear on the differences between these two types of shoes. Is it more than just open vs. closed laces? Thanks!
Yes that is the basic difference. a closed laced shoe is more formal than an open laced shoe. broguing is more informal than no broguing. So the most formal shoe to wear with suit would be a plain toe whole cut. (balmoral) which is a type of oxford. A captoe oxford is also a formal shoe. If it has a medallion or broguing or both then it becomes less formal and could be called an adelaide.
 
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