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Socks and Shoes


Ghillie Brogues

The traditional shoes worn with the Kilt are called Ghillie Brogues, likely deriving their name from the traditional Clan foot soldier referred to as a “Ghillie”. You will see that the Ghillie Brogue has an open top, with long laces which wrap around the ankle. How laces wrap around the ankle is a matter of personal preference. Some like to bring the laces behind the ankle, give the laces 4-5 wraps, bring them back around to the front and tie a bow. Or you can just bring the laces behind the ankle, cross over, then back again to the front and tie. Surely, Ghillie Brogues look the best with a Kilt. Do you have to wear Gillies? No, any plain leather dress shoe will look fine. Some also wear a hiking type boot, with hiking like socks. If you want to look respectable, shy away from tennis shoes or flip flops. Of course wearing athletic shoes in Highland Athletic Competitions is the exception to this rule.

Kilt Hose

Kilt socks are called Kilt Hose. They are available in a variety of colors and material to match the colors in your Kilt. They are made specifically to wear with a Kilt when wearing Gillie Brogues or a dress shoe. They are usually wool, a blend or cotton. Can you wear just any socks with your Kilt? No, just any sock will not have the fold at the top of the sock, are usually shorter and therefore look  silly.


Hose are held up with Flashes or garters. Some may be solid colors, while others are of a Tartan material to match your Kilt. Position your Flashes about midway between the front and outside of the leg, or squarely on the outside of the leg. Take the time to position them symmetrically. If you are going to make them, don’t just grab strands of Tartan material, wrap it around your leg and let the ends dangle in the wind, as this too looks silly. Do a little research and make them appropriately.