Best Formal Shoe Brands In India | To Dress Up Again In 2022

Best formal shoe brands in India

Best Formal Shoe Brands In India: We love that you’ve made this query. Indeed you know the Covid-19 pandemic brings newfound flexibility in our working lives – when many questioned whether the top 10 formal shoes brands would ever regain quite the same appeal they once had…

…You care for the best formal shoe brands in India – which is enough – it does speak volumes about you! I wish I can reach through the screen, right now, and give you such a big hug. But all we can do is keep those good vibes going while ensuring no formal shoe brands in India are left un-buffed.

Gentleman, it’s our regularly updated primer on the top 10 formal shoe brands. We have names that won’t cripple your wallet (but still get your money’s worth) – But the trick to buying a Proper Dress Shoe, our editor says, is to consider not just what it is, but what it might become. That’s it. That’s the tip.

Best Formal Shoe Brands In India

From the Best formal shoe brands in India – what “Best” means for you, of course, is variable. We not have been to your home and nither had a chance to assess your taste, so it’s tough to push one name that’ll work for you. But something down in this list will make you feel special – for sure!

Since 2017, when the first edition of “Best formal shoe brands in India” is published, We did our darnedest to cover all the possible bases. This time, we’ve gone above and beyond through a range of brands and price points as possible… to get it just right, especially for you! All you have to do is scroll down, enjoy, and pick a side.

Best Formal Shoe Brands In India: 

  1. Bridlen
  2. Pelle Santino 
  3. Clarks
  4. Hush Puppies 
  5. PLNK
  6. SeeandWear
  7. The Royale Peacock 
  8. Bata
  9. Alberto Torresi
  10. Red Tape 

Bridlen

Best formal shoe brands in India

Pros

  • 360° Goodyear Welted 
  • Hand Lasted 
  • Calfskin Upper
  • Classic & Timeless Design
  • Extremely Durable
  • High Stitch Density

Cons

  • Need Breaking-In

Service: Ready-To-Wear & Made-To-Order Best For: Calfskin Goodyear Welted Shoes

If “out of this world” is what you’re going for, then Bridlen is the label to turn to – not that you can expect anything flashy or ostentatious from the brand. The Japanese genesis brand believes you can do more with less. There Founders Line, respectively, epitomize Bridlen’s clean-lined, considered aesthetic.

In the rarefied take on the best formal shoe brands in India, Bridlen stands out as a bastion of craftsmanship.
Crafting some of the finest dress shoes money can buy, Offered in a tightly curated selection of high-quality, essentials whose future sartorial credentials are assured.

Their peerless quality is born of a refusal to compromise at any stage of the production process. As might be expected, this perfectionist attitude places Bridlen comfortably at the upper end of the affordability spectrum. For men who appreciate the difference, though, it’s a price worth paying.

A Glimpse At How It All Started 

Top shoe brands in India

Founded by Mr. Hasan and Mr. Kiyotaka Watanabe of Japan in 1986, Bridlen is courting an international clientele long before entering the Indian market in late 2018. Without taking you on too long a journey down memory lane. 

Taking a stand against disposable fast fashion and overconsumption, Bridlen has set out to redefine how modern men dress.

Under Bridlen, it takes the synergy between Mr. Hasan’s material eye and Mr. Watanabe’s knowledge of the bespoke shoemaking process to create pieces you’ll pass along not just to your kids, but to theirs.

Unlike any other brand in our list of best formal shoe brands in India, Bridlen has known the world over for its distinctive simple aesthetic: it’s rooted in the best traditions of shoemaking (that have existed since the factories of Northampton, England first kicked into action hundreds of years ago).

You won’t find busy, cluttered designs at Bridlen. Indeed, over the few years, the brand has developed ranges that present its full technical and creative resources (anything beyond donning formals) to its shoes which is entirely different from what you see at even the best formal shoe brands in India.

Know What You Are Getting Yourself Into 

Best formal shoe brands in India

We’ve sung the praises of Bridlen’s formal line so many times in the past year or so, you could probably write this blurb for us. But this regularly updated primer on the Best Formal Shoe Brands In India is more about what you want and need.

Brands that make us feel super fulfilled are not necessarily the ones that you’re excited about. The one exception to this praxis is by fixing an intensely bright light on what a brand brings to the table and letting you decide whether you should make a leap or… 

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The Best Materials That Even You Can’t Ruin
Best formal shoe brands in India

Bridlen put forward a legion range of shoes and boots – More than you might think. From near-bespoke caliber models to collections dedicated to the gentleman who seeks “class” on a budget. 

Compromise some subtle bespoke level details and you’ll have a pair that is slightly more conservative. But what never changes (no matter what you pick!) is that your feet will always be under gorgeous skin. 

Even the best formal shoe brands in India recruit Leather buyers, pinning their hopes on ’em to buy the most expensive element of their shoes. It has not always been like this, however. Not in Bridlen, at all! 

Its Founding father, Mr. Hasan, has long been recognized as a leatherman. Perfecting the leather became an obsession following visits to the best tanneries, which has an apparent impact on the brand. 

top 10 formal shoes brands

He knows in what and with whom to deal – sourcing the best materials for them to work with. The leather used by Bridlen is almost certainly going to be calf (other than a few specifics) which eclipse even the highest grade full-grain leather.  

The Skin’s natural pore structure or “grain” is healthy, and is left untouched. You get all the toughness, the ruggedness of the animal. You get a shoe that will wear for decades. It’ll age well and patina well. 

Best formal shoe brands in India

The finish (Or Patina) will evolve over time as the open pore structure of the Calfskin does absorb the pigments. Calfskin spring back a huge amount of punishment as they’re worn day-to-day (open to the elements!) and hold their shape over time. 

But leather isn’t just about responding to practicalities, and so you’ll be pleased to learn that these are materials you can have a little fun with, too. 

All the patterns are clicked by hand that allows the clicker to work around the growth marks, visible veins, or hair follicles – ensuring only the best area of that skin will please your feet. 

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Sinewy Build To Seal A Lifetime Bond
Best formal shoe brands in India

When it comes to Top 10 Formal Shoes Brands, our staff has tried ‘em all like it’s our job. (It is.) And in our earliest bits of testing Bridlen, we paused (for a while!) and stood back – mulling over that it’s not just great materials alone! It took us a couple of days… but we got it.

While more of your cash (so do the label’s!) goes towards the sheer materials required to craft Bridlen Dress Shoes, the 200 different hand operations of tugging and stitching that leather to craft pieces that are visually arresting while marks Bridlen out as unique among its neighbors. 

Bridlen is rooted in time-honored production methods and accompanies them with a higher degree of hand-finishing and general build quality. While the whole process deserves (though needs) a dedicated article, see the sole unit, for instance. 

Best Formal Shoes For men

With longevity in mind, Bridlen shoes are built on solid foundations. From the fine, traditional Leather Sole channeled for Hand Grade finesse to the oversized Cleated Rubber sole, there is a sole for almost every occasion.

However, The uppers outlast several outsoles as shoes take a pounding… and nowhere more than in their soles. But don’t worry Gentleman, Bridlen treats ’em with lockstitch – either directly stitched or through a welt – that never unravel until you want them to be pulled off to hold tight a new outsole again.

The label ensures you won’t need to write off your favorite brogues as landfills for years to come. Of course, You’ll get a more refined method of construction and higher stitch density as you level up – but the opportunity of re-soling is always there with a pair out of their camp! 

And we haven’t talked about the collections that utilize all of their strengths. The uppers are pulled over at the toe by the lasting machine, before being side lasted by hand to have shape, quite rightly so being as the foot has shape. 

Bottoms are filled with granulated cork for comfort, support, and durability. Outsoles are channeled stitched along with highly skilled operation giving the slow bark tanned outsole a perfectly smooth finish. 

The label’s ability to consistently produce quality construction is the work of Mr. Kiyotaka Watanabe, whose work as a Goodyear shoemaker has allowed him to have an incredible inside and control over the build process.

It’s his insight into dress shoe construction, that when combined with Mr. Hasan’s material aesthetics, makes Bridlen one of the best formal shoe brands in India.

There are very few people today, that have the knowledge and skills to make Proper Dress Shoes… you’ll invest in pairs with real craftsmanship behind them. 

This respect for tradition doesn’t mean that Bridlen sticks only to what it knows, though. Each new collection introduces fresh shapes, colors, and details, such as the chunky, commando-style soles found in the most recent Classic Casual range.

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The Pleasure Of Owning (And Wearing) A Beautiful Artefact
Best formal shoe brands in India

To the untrained eye, a simple sewn leather dress shoe with a price tag and no branding. To those in the know, a smooth calf-Goodyear Welted Investment Piece from Briden, one of India’s most respected indie shoemakers. A shoe to broadcast your success only to those as well-informed as you.

Such visual allure is beyond the on-paper features. It’s not about satisfying one’s ego and impressing those around you – your latest iPhone will do that for you. (until a new-er one releases!) 

Those pairs are reserved for the landed gentry and wealthy, old-money types, or so the thinking goes. For whom Classic articles are seen as more desirable than something that simply costs a lot of money. It’s less about projecting wealth as knowledge – and there’s a status in having knowledge.

Best formal shoe brands in India

It’s like owning an article that announces that you are important, and you’ll be treated better if you can display a degree of status through the things you wear, like a pair from Bridlen. And that’s all the more important when most of us no longer live in villages in which we’re known personally by its people. 

Your Bridlen was the gateway to status formal shoes – when you want most people to recognize what you’re wearing – but you upgrade to the increasing niche and run the risk that only some people will, but the right people.

Unlike your New iPhone, these pairs endure! This is a mark of a truly beautiful thing… it will be more appealing with age than it was when it was new – just think of a vintage car, a much-loved watch, or even a well-used leather Bridlen Dress Shoe. 

Just make sure you give them a good coat of conditioning leather cream each month, and you won’t put a foot wrong.

Pellé Santino

Pros

  • Price/Quality Ratio 
  • Goodyear/Blake Construction 
  • Full Grain Leather

Cons

  • Last Definition 

Service: Ready-To-Wear Best For: Blake Stitch Formal Shoes

Nailing the Best formal shoe brands in India is a daunting prospect. But assuming that you’re ready to buy a so-called “proper” dress shoe – something that endures, but might also be the first step to building a classic collection – that’s accomplishing what Pelle Santino set out to do! 

Even though the “top 10 formal shoes brands” is a subjective… subject! We are confident that with Pelle Sanitno you’ll get all the features, you pine for in your formal shoes, and nothing else extra (at least that’s what our editors say). 

In fact, this is a brand that would have come out of the lab if you’ve been handed an opportunity to go ahead and make a pair you want… this is what you would have made – for sure! 

We have put together a shortlist, whittled down from dozens of brands, this brand skews towards the practical side of formal wear. It doesn’t mean they are perfect, but they check all the fundamental boxes and aren’t defined by a function that steers it towards a specialized purpose.   

Let’s Start With: “How They’ve Started”

Best formal shoe brands in India

“Don’t talk too much on history” – I’ve learned that the hard way. This one, here, was built out of frustration. They were frustrated with the formal shoe options available on the market. Formal shoes pretty much fell under two categories in India. Either you buy super expensive or overpriced formal shoes with a big logo.

And on the flip side, go for a super cheap alternative – where it is like glue on soles that didn’t hold on. They wanted to bridge the gap, So Mr. Mikhil Mehra comes up to change the scenario.

Mr. Mehra created Pellé Santino in 2016, and they have taken off like crazy since then. They bring to the table a world-class product, at an unbelievable price.

The reason for that is simple (and they are very transparent about that) – they use the direct-to-consumer model, which allows them to dump off the markup added by the wholesaler and retailer.

They were actually bypassing the long-time model with a retailer in the middle. Their shoes are ethically crafted in a small workshop from full-grain leather using a Goodyear welt construction.

So… What’s So Great About Them? 

Best formal shoe brands in india

Pelle Santino’s new generation of practical pairs, that marries a functional approach with a sharp design outlook, are bona fide value propositions in the truest sense of the phrase: way to buy a proper dress shoe without breaking the bank.

We were so inspired by the ethos and range of the campus that we’ve sunk our feet into those shoes, dig deeper and find out more about the people and the purpose behind it. Here’s what that navigation brings in:

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Function Inspreied Pieces
Best formal shoe brands in India

If you value frugality (and, for practitioners of Gentleman’s notion, stone-cold sobriety) beyond overindulgence: then you’ll aspire Pelle Santino. 

Pushing back against the culture of low-quality, mass-produced footwear, the Indian label instead focuses on creating timeless wardrobe basics; the type of dress shoes that are designed to be worn day after day, year after year.

They do not believe in seasonal collections – the Haryana-based brand instead produces a persistent range of Classic wardrobe staples which have been meticulously iterated upon over and over again until they are considered perfect.

top 10 formal shoe brands

Even though – there is a proliferation of high-design options to choose from at the moment. Take this Black Chelsea. With Goodyear-welted soles, rubber instilled heels, Full grain leather uppers, this pair is more than up to the task of daily treks through the city (and beyond). 

Then again, if you’re, say, meeting with a client, that’ll call for something at the smarter end of the spectrum. Enter their Oxfords, which come with similar sturdy Goodyear welted soles, though! 

best formal shoe brands in india

To be honest, you do have to put the amount of burnishing involved on the line (class with the top pick in our list of best formal shoe brands in India). But the brand is constantly raising the standard for “everyday” dress shoes. 

And those are details that might not concern you if you’re the type of guy who likes his menswear as classic (and functional) as it can be. They do pack some bold designs, noted for its grain-ly uppers, but at its heart is a firmly practical dress shoe. 

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Lot Of Shoe For The Money
Best formal shoe brands in india

Yes, Pelle Santino is really a great candidate for everyday shoes that just happens to offer superb value for money. Their collection is for men who invest in the right pieces and live in them – so they need security in their quality.

What is expensive (and “affordable”) really depends on, well, you. You define it on your own terms. But it is not on price or how much to spend, in fact, what will that get you is the pith. Pelle Santino prices cluster too close to their actual functional value.

Best formal shoe brands in india

The practical design plays to the Haryana’s label strengths, utilizing outdoors-specific materials, including Full-grain leather and Goodyear welted soles to render them much more practical and hardwearing than your standard runners. 

Never before have there been so many Goodyear welted options available for so little dough… until Pelle Santino brought its range a year ago. Embracing such a time-honored method isn’t alone marking it out as unique among its Indian neighbors: but it’s the initial outlay to own ’em!

The “welt” (a strip of leather) is sewn around the bottom edge of a shoe. This stitching (the welt seam) attaches the welt to both the insole and the upper of the shoe. The outer sole is then sewn to the welt, with a heavy-duty lock-stitch seam.

Though expensive, time-consuming, and difficult to master, Goodyear Welt Construction makes the shoe incredibly durable. And if it is OK, for you, to place a little bit of that durability on the line… their Blake line is where your wallet might see some savings!

Like most of the best formal shoe brands in India, PS is vertically integrated, meaning it owns every part of the production process—and can therefore deliver great quality at a lower price.

That’s how it manages to turn out both super-legit high-end pieces (under the Goodyear welt collection) at the gentler-on-the-wallet sum. Expect full-grain leather, reliable built, incredible value, and just the right amount of variety.

Clarks

Best formal shoe brands in india

Pros

  • Short Break In Period
  • Sleek Silhouette

Cons

  • Duraiblity 

Service: Ready-To-Wear Best For: Blake Stitch Formal Shoes

Owning a pair from the best formal shoe brands in India doesn’t have to mean re-mortgaging your house. You could, of course, spend a small fortune on a few of ’em in the hope of attaining sophistication and style, but here we have a veteran label that deals with questions from a gentleman who seeks “class” on a budget.

And when it happens to be from a name that is well-loved by so many, and one with such a storied history, it makes our jobs that little bit easier. Whether you are a firm fan of Clarks Originals or you are an interested newcomer, any pair from ’em should do you very nicely.

They do have a history of design and quality heritage which has been better translated into dress shoes that are inexpensive. Range over their massive offerings and if those lace-ups don’t appeal to your sophisticated side, then its dress boots ought to. 

Why They Are Such An Iconic Name?

Best formal shoe brands in india

Shoe retailer Clarks has been a feature of the U.K. high street for generations. Founded in 1825 by two brothers – Cyrus and James Clark – in Somerset, England, the company started out by creating rugs out of sheepskin.

By the early 1910s, Clarks became a must-have brand among the style-conscious in London. Clarks’ biggest ‘fashion’ moment was to come in 1950 when Nathan Clark (the great-grandson of James Clark) designed the Desert boot.

The purist’s choice – some of the best Desert boots made anywhere by anyone. Still the most iconic and best-selling shoe in the whole Clarks lineup.

Clarks gravitate towards the Indian shoe market when they spot Indian tourists at their UK stores looking especially for Clarks shoes.

After years of developing trade and award-winning designs, Clarks has tied up with lifestyle retail company Lifestyle Asia in India. Today, Clark has 1000+ stores and franchises all over the world, with 30+ independent stores in India.

Why You Can Walk Into Those Meetings… With Clarks?

Best formal shoe brands in india

Clarks is the purist’s choice of Desert boots – which is – by far the most iconic and best-selling shoe in the whole Clarks lineup. It was a more casual boot alternative that had been unseen at the point of its release. In fact, last year marks the 70th anniversary of the desert boot.

Now, however, thanks to the increasing casualization of our wardrobes at the hands of a year of home-based living, boots will do you just fine. But, with your question in mind, (Best Formal Shoe Brands In India) here’s why Clarks can make an undeniable impression even in the most conservative settings! 

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You’ll Look The Part – Eternally…
Best formal shoe brands in india

We all work in precariously image-conscious industry, debuting a strong, memorable, and, crucially, photogenic outfit on a daily basis when attending such industry’s formal events has become as important a professional practice as checking for spelling mistakes on your CV, or talking in a very loud voice when you turn up to the weekly “ideas” meeting.

Being neutral may put you in the green zone… but you should never settle beneath that!

Clarks know how to look like a million dollars, even when you’re decidedly a thousand-naire.

Don’t worry, they won’t raise eyebrows – the people around you feel at ease!

The Clarks’ formal world has an arguably more relaxed and notably more understated approach to style than the more peacock-y varieties, which are as tricky to pull off well as it was easy to get wrong. The appeal lies in the simplicity that Blends into any formal setting.

Best formal shoe brands in india

At the heart of such a simple look is a pretty keen adherence to minimalism. You won’t find busy, cluttered models at Clarks. Collections that work powerfully, but carefully, with color, print, and texture – Attempting to part your formal regime is relatively easy, your sartorial tricks will never go awry.

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…Without Putting Function On The Line!
Best formal shoe brands in india

When quality and minimalism are the brand’s shoe words, how can functionality be integrated and embraced without compromise? 

Making clean, simple, and functional dress shoes – a few names in our list of best formal shoe brands in India has established such a clear vision and stuck to it faithfully. But it also has a reputation for ingenious, inventive problem-solving.

In fact, who doesn’t love that ahhh sensation of your first step in an exceptionally soft Clarks dress shoe? I have grown up with them, perhaps – worn their shoes to school as a callow youth, or taken them on dates, pub lunches, and nights out over the years. 

best formal shoe brands in india

You may have used them to pad your office’s corridors every day; to see you through promotions, meetings, and lunches… don’t you feel they never miss on function! Their formal models undeniably popped in the immediate comfort department, more so than any other – even, the best formal shoe brands in India. 

Supple – soft uppers, wider toe box, lightweight EVA midsole unit with zonal foam padding, rubber (or rubber integrated) outsoles with single stitching flowing across, and staying true to our Clarks’ heritage. That duality remains fundamental to the brand’s appeal. 

Hush Puppies

Pros

  • Innovative
  • No break-in required

Cons

  • Cost-Quality ratio

Service: Ready-To-Wear OnlyBest For: Derby

It’s the “new normal” that even the formal enthusiast are inspired by the palpable comfort afforded by the gym leggings. Today, to think of an Expensive Goodyear welted pair (that does feel a tad stiff at first and requires longer to break in) as an element of the working wardrobe is a tough ask.

And as there’s no time (and little reason) to dress up – You’ve been forgiven for hesitating to splurge on a proper dress shoe; after all, it seems outrageous to frivolously spend so much on that Proper Good-Year Stuff as your coworkers refuse to take off their Allbirds. And everybody is wearing Crocs. (Crocs!) 

Altogether, the cards are stacked in favor of the best formal shoe brands in India that are affordable, feel good, and just dress-y to look the part. And that includes Hush Puppies. Their pairs aren’t examples of artisanal craftsmanship, it’s not necessary to make the leap – especially when formal is just formality for you! 

Here’s How “The Puppies” Were Born! 

With the tagline of “We invented casual”, by 1963 one-in-ten adults in the United States owned a pair of Hush Puppies.

Founded in 1958, Hush Puppies is the result of an extensive effort by Wolverine World Wide to develop a practical method of Pigskin Tanning (one of the most durable) for the US military.

Hush Puppies were introduced to the industry at the National Shoe Fair in Chicago. The reaction was immediate and overwhelming.

With the tagline of “We invented casual”, by 1963 one-in-ten adults in the United States owned a pair of Hush Puppies.

The success plan takes off in 1995 when fashion designers John Bartlett, Anna Sui, and Joel Fitzpatrick began featuring them in their collections.

Hush Puppies soon began to turn up on the famous feet of stars such as Princess Diana, Jim Carrey, Sharon Stone, David Bowie, Tom Hanks, Dennis Rodman, and Sylvester Stallone.

It didn’t take long for the rest of the world to discover Hush Puppies. After signing an agreement with Wolverine in 2013 – Bata launched Hush Puppies in the country as part of its retail expansion strategy.

From the first Hush Puppies store at Rajpur Road, Dehradun in India to today, where Hush Puppies India now has 100+ dedicated retail stores across the country showcasing the full range of Hush Puppies favorites.

You Might Own This Puppy. Here’s Why!

Best formal shoe brands in india

Unquestionably, Hush Puppies holds a place in the Indian formal shoe market and is well-known for providing excellent value. Of course, their shoes might not be the best formal shoe for men that money can buy.

But because of some elements concerning their shoes – Hush Puppies is (in a specific segment of the market) pretty much without competition.

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Innovative Approach

We live in a time where, for some people, speed is valued above all else. While shoemaking, generally, is a practice rooted in history and tradition for pieces that gets better as they age. Still, that doesn’t mean things in the formal shoe world don’t benefit from the occasional shakeup, which is where Hush Puppies comes in.

A brand that strives for an immediate, quick solution through its unparalleled innovative abilities. They are pretty gold at tight tolerances and make good comfortable looking and feeling formal shoes – inside out!

It’s an Older formal shoe brand, with a legacy. They do have massive manufacturing plants along with the staff to dedicate just for innovative researches. They can hire to get good at any specific portion along with having the economies to scale to be competitive with price… and they’ve done pretty everything by now!

The challenge faced by the brand’s research studio is how to add, without really adding. To explain how cleverly it’s done, we took its Zero G® which combines a lightweight shock absorbing midsole with athletic construction for instant and lasting comfort.

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Nothing Unnecessary
Best formal shoe brands in india

Life is complicated. Horribly so. And to those not in the shoe world, it is a source of mild amusement that shoemakers speak with such pride of their “Construction” and “Smooth Claf” and whatnot.

One seeks to get through the formal segment without too much complication – invest in pieces from Hush Puppies.
Its design team spent much of their time trying to create objects that had “as little design as possible”.

A clean and simple synthetic upper glued to a rubber foundation is just what it takes to get associated with the drudgery of your 9 to 5. That means you can buy a pair and beat them up, then repeat as the years go on.

But seriously, do you want any more “features” in your life? The answer, with pieces that look as good as this, is a resounding no. If looks and comfort do not feel convincing – the initial outlay for those pieces… will make you buy something anyway!

PLNK

Pros

  • Full-Grain Leather Upper
  • Price/Quality Ratio
  • Stitched Soles

Cons

  • Need Breaking-In

Service: Ready-To-Wear Best For: Blake Stitched Wingtip

Two decades into the 21st century and with the world’s labor markets reshaped by globalization, there isn’t much that you can’t make just as well, and more cheaply, elsewhere. Brands based in countries with one of the highest cost-of-living indexes in the world hesitate to craft shoes from “skin to box” in-house! 

Even the best shoemakers in the world conceptualize their wares in-house but outsource production to renowned footwear-makers in our country to keep production costs down. Grenson’s G: Two Line, for instance, is actually made in a Goodyear-welting factory in India.

This is what drew BEST SHOE99 here, at PLNK, when we began the search for the Global brands manufacturing partner in our country. PLNK is a synod of the most illustrious craftsmen, which sources the best materials for them to work with. 

Let’s Unpack This Brand First! 

best formal shoe brands in india

What would it take to create the perfect dress shoe… affordably? In their Bangalore, Karnataka headquarters, PLNK co-founder Chirag Chadda has been considering exactly that.

He came across a group of local artisans in Ambur, Tamil Nadu – who were skilled at crafting dress shoes for men. A year later, they started their footwear brand, PLNK, and have been steadily refining their product ever since. 

As the PLNK team perfected those dress shoes over time, tweaking the design and seeking out higher quality materials, the loafers, wingtips, and cap-toes they created proved popular. Good enough to earn a spot in any list of the best formal shoe brands in India. 

Why Makes PLNK So Spectacular? 

Best formal shoe brands in india

“It’s been hard to keep on the shelves,” said Chirag, who debuted his brand only a few years ago. It’s an impressive accolade for a new cult-loved boutique label, run by a young Indian entrepreneur under the guidance of the famed Indian artisans. 

But what’s the enigma that so many people trust PLNK to offer up fine dress shoes both functionally and financially. Some delectable pairs that caught our inspector’s eye! And they hardly had to break a sweat to pin elements enough to anoint PLNK – one of the best formal shoe brands in India. Have a look, Gentleman.

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It’s The Materials… 

Generally, no one inquires, “What are the shoes made of?” It’s fair to say that most of us wouldn’t know how to answer that question today. But if your dress shoe is made from the toughest layer of the hide, isn’t that the first thing you’d tell someone?

PLNK is probably the only brand that has managed to stretch it beyond the top-grain leather – a standard for shoes in this price range. In fact, if a brand’s greatest hope is that its customers will help tell its story, then it’s smart to incorporate cutting-edge, durable, conversation-starting full-grain leather.

Sourced from South America, it is the highest quality grade of leather that money can buy. As the top layer of the hide contains all of the natural grain (strongest fibers in the hide), imperfections, marks – it is incredibly strong and durable.

Best formal shoe brands in india

At first glance, you wouldn’t know any of this. You’re just drawn to the last definition, of-the-moment silhouettes, Which burnish and beautify as soon as you wear them. 

Develops a much sought-after patina and unique character that cannot be easily duplicated. Truly, the more you use it, the better it looks and feels.

Though, Full-Grain Leather is more expensive for manufacturers to buy and more difficult for them to work with. This is reflected in the cost to the consumer, but that (surprisingly!) is not the case here. 

They’re materials many consumers aren’t familiar with, and at a time when many of us are concerned about the environment, not just the “tree huggers,” it feels right to be talking about the impact of faux leather in general.

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…And The Techniques To Tackle That Material!
Best formal shoe brands in india

It’s not just about the type of materials used. The manner to treat those materials owns the proficiency to appreciate the elegance and the depth of the materials. In fact, you can source the best materials and along with a brilliant designer that’s able to envision a beautiful, elegant last shape…

…but if it’s not made in a factory that’s able to respect those elements – you’ll never see it in the finished shoe! PLNK has managed to take the synergy between durable, elegant leather and Indan artisan’s knowledge of shoemaking.

Snubbing pressure from big manufacturers in our country, who were able to drop prices to a level with which the small shoemakers could no longer compete, PLNK refocused their businesses on small-minimum orders, rapid fulfillment, and one thing above all: quality.

best formal shoe brands in india

They rely on century-old ateliers to craft dress shoes distinguished not by a logo, but by how well they’re made. For PLNK – A Blake stitch, largely, is what firmly holds those hulks of tanned hide. 

Used commonly in the Italian shoe industry (Tod’s is an exemplary example), the upper is directly stitched to the sole, resulting in lighter shoes both in appearance and weight, with greater flexibility. 

Though there are many different treatments that one can give to a shoe’s sole (however this selection settles the durability and repairability) the shape is the first thing that makes a shoe beautiful.

best formal shoe brands in india

PLNK dress shoes are crafted on sleek contemporary last. The Sharpe last definition dictates the amount of work that goes into hand lasting those shoes.

Models from these best formal shoe brands in India are made to have shape, quite rightly so being as the foot has shape.

It is not a block. And it curves in many places, not just the instep and the arch. It isn’t immediately apparent from a picture on a phone or computer screen, so just open your wallet wide enough to swallow the cost of such a fine experience.

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A Raw, Simple Appeal 

While dress shoes, generally, are a more refined and traditional section of the sartorial world. But as the new brands that don’t have a hundred-year history of design heritage, they have to respect…

…such modern interpretations play with textures, colors, and silhouettes and offer something for everyone. But most of the time, they end up on the flashy side of the spectrum.

On the other foot, PLNK let it be known that bold and flashy designs are not the only option to generate a much need initial thrust. It might not be the most personal item to shop for, but there’s nothing worse than being half-hearted when it comes to your formal footwear.

best formal shoe brands in india

So if you settle on PLNK from our list of best formal shoe brands in India – Think clean-cut dress shoes that eschew any boldness in favor of understated and unadulterated minimalism; sleek leather footwear sharp enough to look good with any suit.

They don’t sell any flashy dress shoes. This is a business catering to people who love high-end dress shoes in their purest form. Their sliver range is comprised of pieces that have already stood the test of time and whose future sartorial credentials are assured. 

You might not necessarily be striving for sobriety, though you may be “sober curious.” PLNK is a good way to switch your brain from “Bold” to “Effortless.” And for a while, making a purchase as soon as you get the Shop Now button will help you make that transition.

SeeAndWear

Pros

  • Price
  • Build quality

Cons

  • Narrow set

Service: Ready-To-Wear OnlyBest For: Buff Leather Dress Shoes

What are the best formal shoe brands in India? That really all depends. Are you looking cheapest shoes that typically come with cemented construction, or a serious piece of art—a Goodyear welted shoe with real craftsmanship behind it.?

Maybe you’ve got specific answers to those questions, but if need all of the above or want to experiment a little with your formal shoes? Start with SeeandWear. Sometimes men’s dress shoes for under a certain price range seems too good to be true – and unfortunately, it’s often the case.

But SeeandWear is an exception to the rule. Their stitched dress shoes are shockingly high quality (Top Grain Leather Upper, Stitched Rubber Outsole) for a low, low price. If a style isn’t working, you’re only out a few bucks.

The Sucess Create Lies In Their Past 

Best formal shoe brands in india

SeeandWear is an interesting brand and something unique from the others featured in this list of best formal shoe brands in India. Originally, They started as Exporters of top-quality dress shoes to English manufacturers.

By and by, they learn in detail the construction and craft of dress shoes. In our opinion, these types of people are so important in the shoe industry.

As they are carrying other brands and after decide to carry their own brand because they know where to make the shoes, how to monitor big factories, and in this case how to make quality shoes at an unbelievable price.

Founder Prabhat Saini believes that at some point in every bro’s life, he’s gonna need some dress shoes. But that doesn’t mean that you have to refinance your life in order to pick up a decent pair of shoes.

So Mr. Prabhat Saini launched their range of footwear in 2011 – SeeandWear. With this label, Mr. Prabhat is passing the benefit of their knowledge and experience on to the customer.

Two Things You Can Expect From S.&.W

Proper Dress shoes are expensive things, there’s no way around it. But a good dress shoe is essential for any man, and in this product polluted world – you don’t have to drop big bucks on the essentials. 

Now, don’t get us wrong. But there are names, beyond just the best formal shoe brands in India, that offer plenty in the affordable department, too, and when it’s far too much to choose from – Why you should See and (even) Wear their dress shoes? Here’s Why! 

Shoes Stand Out At Its Price
Best formal shoe brands in india

One of our criteria for recommending any watch is: are you getting something that stands out at its price? But the sub ₹1k labels rarely meet such standards. But SeeandWear brings fun and flair to this template!

As our own editors put it in the recent ode to Chelsea boots: “…when S.&.W makes a ₹1k dress shoe, he knows which knobs to turn and buttons to press to make sure it belies the price tag. They’re not focused on hype, only fine-tuning each piece until it’s perfect.

Slightly sanded, finely lasted Top Grain Buff Leather upper on a rubber outsole with stitching all around edges of the shoe is a little too sophisticated and nuanced for something that costs less than you normally spend on pav bhaji at Sardar.

The Royale Peacock

Pros

  • Goodyear Welted 
  • Last Definition 
  • Sleeker Aesthetics 

Cons

  • Pricey Cemented Shoes

Service: Ready-To-Wear & Made To Order Best For: Goodyear Welted Dress Shoes.

Unbeknown to many lesser informed individuals: Agra is – what we like to call – The Mecca Of Men’s Style. There we have the biggest concentration of master shoemakers, artisans, leather ateliers In India. What the city is best known for is being the undeniable home of hand-crafted leather shoes. 

Agra has long been the bastion of India’s Leather Shoemaking… and The Royale Peacock brings it into the future through their collections that epitomize and illustrate the fantastic artisanship happening in Agra. 

While purists sometimes eye these newcomers with caution—this on, here, is drawn with real craftsmanship behind them. They only offer either Goodyear welted or Cemented, with their designs typically contemporary in style and flatteringly slim.

Why Quality Conscious Man Might Consider TRP?

Best formal shoe brands in india

With last year’s trunk shows effectively canceled – along with pretty much everything else in 2020 – dress shoe enthusiasts in our staff, here at BestShoe99 studio, are doubly excited to know labels () that have endured the pandemic!

Finding The Royale Peacock Bold and Strong wasn’t a big turn for our men… as we’re assuming them! But you can’t survive those horrifying days by standing still! It’s the commitment to certain principles that lead TRP through and might help you to consider them, either!

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Made To Withstand The Extremes…
Best formal shoe brands in india

Let’s get one thing straight, this is not a statement shoe. This is not high fashion. This is simply a shoe made by the best craftsmen in the business, with one of the best materials for them to work with. The label still makes all its shoes by hand in Agra, a city famed for this art.

The hand-clicked full-grain leather is the prototype for The Royale Peacock. The most durable part of the hide of an animal is just below the hair – where full-grain is obtained. While the hand-clicking isn’t just for clean cutting, it’s the opportune time to bid the intuitive understanding of each piece and how it will wear.

With upper made from leather that ages, rather than wearing out – expect some natural variation visible when you pull ’em out of the sturdy box, and dust bag. Resembled upon a muscular foundation, it’s the Goodyear welt that holds everything nice and tight.

It’s a process of stitching thin strips of leather to the sole, midsole, and upper of a shoe for added comfort and durability. Easy and quick, Righ? Each pair of shoes undergoes a 190-step associated with this process.

Though Modern manufacturing methods have put paid to many traditional shoe-making techniques – TRP is one of the few formal shoes brands that remain committed to doing things in the old way. You can expect those pairs to keep pleasing your feet 24/7 and soak up a great deal of punishment along the way.

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…While Being Aesthetically Pleasing!
Best formal shoe brands in india

The cliché that Italians are the best dressers in the world is well-worn for a reason. Quite simply, they pick pieces made to have shape, quite rightly so being as the foot has shape. 

They achieve that distinctly Italian look banking on Blake stitched shoes – a sleeker, little less durable construction. 

Remember the Goodyear Welting thing we’ve mentioned earlier; it can add bulk to the shoe, as its outer edges need to be wide enough to accommodate stitches. And that Densely Grained leather makes it more difficult for them to work with!

That’s not exactly a problem with TRP’s pairs! They have master-shoemaker with hard-won experiences. The Royale Peacock has developed a unique visual language that relies heavily on traditional methods.

Best formal shoe brands in india

The shape and structure are clearly there to support the quality materials, instead of the styling being the focus, and the materials taking the back seat. 

The full-grain leather is hand lasted (the term used when referring to the ‘pulling the upper over the last) until it exhibits the exact line and shape of the last. 

Then edges are closely trimmed, whereby the sole edges are trimmed to a specific shape, accurately mimicking the last it was designed for. Winding up with some of the finest details and aesthetics that can be appreciated on a pair from the Best formal shoe brands in India.

Bata

Pros

  • Cost-Quality Ratio
  • No break-in required
  • Light and comfortable

Cons

  • Cemented construction
  • Very low perforation rate

Service: Ready-To-Wear OnlyBest For: Derby

So far, You’ve got Goodyear Brands sorted. Despite their fringe benefit – finding room in your heart for shoes that cost well over ₹8k is a tough ask. In our list of best formal shoe brands in India – we’ve something that definitely fits the bill!

Bata is for classy men who have made a conscious decision to eschew all the Goodyear out there and stick exclusively to affordable options but still expect some sophistication. With rich and complex history, gathering streams of data about a wide range of consumer habits along the way…

…Bata has become so fine-tuned that any formal shoes have never been more on point. It means whether you’re wearing them to your first in-person meeting in two years or your first in-person date in nearly as long, they won’t steer you wrong.

Know Them – Historically? 

Best formal shoe brands in india

Established as T. & A. Baťa Shoe Company on 24 August 1894 in the Moravian town of Zlín, Czech Republic. There wasn’t a quantum leap until the company started making shoes from canvas instead of leather to overcome financial difficulties.

Since the beginning, Bata was primarily focused on mass production. As in 1904, Tomas Bata (Founder) introduced mechanized production techniques after a six months visit from America to understand their system of mass production. With this step, the Baťa Shoe Company become one of the first mass producers of shoes in Europe.

It checked in to India in the 1930s when Bata founder Tomas Bata–a ninth-generation Czech shoemaker–visited India and saw barefoot Indians and realized there was a huge market in the subcontinent, too. He vowed to make affordable footwear for the masses.

Currently, it has five factories located at Batanagar, (West Bengal), Bataganj, (Bihar), Faridabad (Haryana), Peenya (Karnataka), and Hosur (Tamil Nadu). Today Bata commands around 35 percent of the market share in India. The company’s 98 percent revenue comes from domestic operation through its 1250 stores and over 30,000 dealers spread across India.

What Is It About Bata… That We Find So Alluring?

best formal shoe brands in india

Bata is known for having a large user base that’s very loyal and enthusiastic about its products. But there is an equally enthusiastic hatred toward Bata – from other people in the formal shoe community. Indeed, bigger isn’t always better.

Though it’s trouble to understand why anyone would choose Bata’s formal shoes over their competitors, there’s no shortage of solid reasons to name it is as one of the best formal shoe brands in India.

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Their Know-How
Best formal shoe brands in india

While in our list of best formal shoe brands in India – we do have names that’s using one of the best materials held by the most promising methods. But all these labels lack is the know-how. Bata know when to leverage the complete resources and where holding ’em would be just fine.

You might have grown up with them, perhaps – worn their shoes to school as a callow youth, or taken them on dates, pub lunches, and nights out over the years. In fact, If anyone can pack unbridled amounts of heritage into an item of formal wear, it’s Bata.

The connection between a buyer and a brand is never more tangible than in the case of Bata. Bata was courting the national clientele long before any other name in our list of best formal shoe brands in India and such existence has brought a lot of data to learn from and to get better at it.

Certain sartorial nuances have filtered down through the years that we do still wear today. They know how to keep it contemporary while ensuring that we’re wearing a piece of history on your back. So this is the biggest advantage of being a century-old company.

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They Have A Lot To Present 
Best formal shoe brands in india

We’ve all seen how hard a factory is to set up, and this name has set records for the world’s largest shoe manufacturer and retailer – sold more than 14 billion pairs of shoes. They haven’t done this by standing still, right?

Every brand sets out to make a great collection, and they do it with different audiences in mind; different budgets, different tastes, and different priorities. But few, even in our list of best formal shoe brands in India, are big enough to cover all the possible bases – and Bata is from that sliver demographics.

Having choices (no matter what you’re looking for) and a massive range is super important. It gives us (as consumers) a better selection – a more diverse choice. Bata built one out like no other… for real, nothing is even close. And they’re adding to it every month.

Either you are looking for something traditional to avoid a red card, or you are challenging yourselves with a bold style choice, rather than sticking to a safe one – Bata will serve you!

So all with all these perks and, obviously, with Bata’s reputation already in the footwear space being pretty good – it makes it tough to curate a list of best formal shoe brands in India without Bata!

Alberto Torresi

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • No break-in required

Cons

  • Low perforation rate (Upper)

Service: Ready-To-Wear OnlyBest For: Oxford, Derby, and Monk Straps

The rise of sneakers as an enduring fashion trend has one major side effect: Dress shoes have slipped under the radar. Gentlemen, if you think dress shoes are giving way to casual lace-ups even in formal settings like the office or a soiree – Alberto Torresi is the easiest to recommend for easy, elegant dress shoes.

Whether you’re standing all day or suffer from conditions such as plantar fasciitis – we have tried a number of their shoes ourselves and can attest to their all-day comfort! Artfully arranged pattern pieces for something crisp, clean, and contemporary – this brand is certainly worth your attention.

Won’t Take A Lot To Introduce Them! 

When we think of family businesses, we tend to conjure up images of homely convenience stores and humble neighborhood pizza parlors, but this is not the case here.

Alberto Torresi is the creation of a gigantic family-owned business – Virola Group (date back to 1969). The idea behind the label is to bring European-quality dress shoes to the Indian market at affordable prices.

The story starts in late 2009 when Virola made its domestic appearance with an initial seed capital of fifteen lakh rupees (20,000 dollars) with all eyes on Mr. Ishaan Sachdeva – The men behind the success of Alberto Torresi.

Since he has taken over the reins of the business, Alberto Torresi has witnessed a repeated growth of 100% year on year and he can be credited for introducing many innovative strategies that have helped to further propel the brand.

By dint of all such efforts, despite the steep competition, Alberto Torresi has entered the conversation. For three years in a row (2016, 2017, and 2018) the label won the “Most Admired fashion brand of the year“.

Let’s Makes It Easier, For You, To Decide

Best formal shoe brands in India

No matter how many Yuletides we endure, the present-buying process never seems to get any easier. Yet, it’s not actually all that complicated when you have good (and enough!) information for judicious decision-making

Indeed you have Given yourself plenty of time to choose bits of help (and selected us for the best formal shoe brands in India), and here it seems completely obvious, but still, it’s good to have some pointers.

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Innovative Approach
Best formal shoe brands in india

Alberto Torresi has incorporated new technologies to the dress shoes that embrace and groom the ‘Hypebeast generation’. Sometimes it just doesn’t work, but in this situation – We think Alberto Torresi hit the nail on the head.

The label just did a fantastic job with their IMPACT collection. They have embraced a new approach to cushioning our formal experience. This is kind of like ‘torchbearer’ for better technologies and new features to keep their pairs reliable and supportive. 

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You Don’t Have To Splurge 

How sweet is it when you find a brand that actually exceeds your expectation in terms of price and quality. Nope, we’re not sugarcoating anything. In fact, The brands’ forte lies in affordable pricing.

In our opinion, it doesn’t get any better than Alberto in terms of price in all the range of what you need – covers Oxfords, Derby, Loafers, Monk-Strap, and Dress Boots.

Red Tape

Pros

  • Wide range
  • High stitch density
  • Price

Cons

  • Cemented Construction

Service: Ready-To-Wear Only Best For: Cap Toe Oxford And Deby

Red Tape is an interesting brand and something unique from the others featured in this list of Best Formal Shoes Brands In India. The label enjoyed a dynamic and celebrated career as a formal shoe brand in India. They are known for having a user base that’s very loyal and enthusiastic about their formal models.

Red Tape has kept itself firmly in the game by producing exceptional formal shoes and is giving a tough fight to their foreign counterparts even today. Thanks to their massive offering (almost everything under the sun) at an insanely affordable price point.

This Is How Red Tape Started 

Mirza Leather

The history of Red Tape can be traced way back to the ’90s when leather manufacturing giant – Mirza International launch RT to increase its trade rim.

Started as a leather tannery, Mirza International Limited was incorporated on September 5, 1979, by Irshad Mirza and Rashid Mirza.

The company focused on supplying high-quality leather and leather products to the overseas markets and gradually became one of the biggest exporters of finished leather in the country. Mirza took a notable leap, by venturing into newer fields of leather footwear.

After successfully reorganizing itself, Mirza moved a step ahead of others by launching its own brands ‘Red Tape’ in 1996.

Red Tape not only helped the Mirzas in getting a foothold in the international market, but it also assisted them in transforming a fledgling tannery business into one of the country’s largest leather exporting companies.

Endorsed by the style icon Salman Khan, Red Tape has a retail network of over 120 exclusive stores across the country.

Red Tape today has become synonymous with hi-fashion & lifestyle, owing to its unmatched quality, skilled craftsmanship, and trendy products. Endorsed by the style icon Salman Khan, Red Tape has become India’s most loved premium lifestyle brand.

What Makes Red Tape “The Best”?

Red Tape has been around for almost 25 years. They have made their way and get the brand known out there. But It’s no secret, there’re tons of formal shoe brands in India working on the same piece. So What sets Red Tape apart from other luxury shoemakers?

Best formal shoe brands in India

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Massive Range

What is very interesting in Red Tape is the range they have – it’s extremely large. They carry pretty much all the styles in the formal section. It covers Cap toe oxford, Wingtip Oxford, Plain toe Oxford, Apron toe derby, Full Brogues, Semi Brogues, Quater Brogues (Not Longwing Brogue) and that’s something very special about Red Tape.

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Affordability

Quality dress shoes can be a bit harder to nail though. But there are occasionally exceptions to the rule – Red Tape. They’re making the best cheap men’s dress shoes you can get your hands on right now that won’t compromise style for price.

Most of their models are manufactured using Top Grain and Genuine leather. As a result, they look the part and the cemented rubber soles are quite subtle and not a huge giveaway of their low price.

Types Of Formal Shoes

Best formal shoe brands in India

Dress Shoe, generally, is a domain rooted in history and tradition. Some of the most loved and best-designed formal shoes were created decades ago. The designs developed by the shoemakers of Northampton, England have largely endured. Though the contemporary trends have relaxed the traditions somewhat.

We do enjoy the refined, contemporary fare offered by the best formal shoe brands in India today! Every style is a new level of emotional engagement that doesn’t leave space to debate over its purest expression of formal decorum. 

The competitive landscape for dress shoes has been heating up for years, and there have never been more high-quality alternatives to traditional silhouettes than now! But it’s also for precisely those reasons that buying a dress shoe can feel harder than it’s ever been.

And the best way to ensure you’re spending that money wisely? Know the playing field. It is wise to do your research before handing over your hard-earned capital. Once you understand the available options, you’re already halfway there toward looking your best at any event.

Best Formal Shoes For Men

OXFORD

Purest Form Of Formality 

Best Formal Shoes For men

There is a dress shoe for your every need, and indeed, every outfit. And the Oxfords are an institution of formalwear. To feel at home in any boardroom, wedding, job interview, or court appearance (No judgment here, pal!) An Oxford is a surefire bet.

With a history dating back over 200 years, it is said to take its name from the students at Oxford University, who were early adopters of the style. A sliver crafting reorder is what makes Oxford the pinnacle of formality. 

A vamp is the front of the shoe attached to the quarters (the upper section that covers the sides and back). With Oxfords, the “facing” (where the eyelets are located) is sewn under this vamp. A closed lace gives a sleeker, polished appearance across the bridge of the foot, hence why they’re the ubiquitous choice to wear with tailoring and formalwear.

This style is one you can always turn to with confidence, secure in the knowledge that wherever you go you won’t be in gross violation of some obscure, socially-mandated dress code.

Though it’s this formality that the idea of wearing Oxford shoes feels foreign. It’s going to take some time getting used to dressing for the office, or a wedding, or a proper date night again. But they can also be more relaxed, the best formal shoe brands in India indeed not short of options

Look to brands such as Bridlen for the best examples. In whatever form an Oxford may take, its neat lacing style will always deliver a stamp of traditionalism. We’ve written at great length on the virtues of Oxford.

DERBY

A Decently Dressy All-Rounder 

Best Formal Shoes For men

It’s hard to nail things that look good and are extremely on-trend also happen to be supremely practical.

This older, and slightly more relaxed cousin of Oxford is from that sliver pack. Derbies are like the trusty Land Rover of the formal territory. 

Cut with an open lacing system, You can tell a Derby (as opposed to an Oxford) by the fact that its eyelet tabs – the bits to which the laces are attached – are stitched onto the outside of the shoe.

This also means that they are a touch less dressy, but no less versatile. 

It may seem like a small difference, but the tabs give Derbies a unique utilitarian look. Historically associated with rugged country wear, when set on robust Dainite rubber soles – it becomes a shoe that starts its life as the preserve of gentlemen going about gentlemanly outdoor pursuits, hence the ruggedness.

Our picks for the Best formal shoe brands in India have excellent versions this season. Invest in such workhorse – if not for its country origins, but for its fitting qualities. Do we really need to say any more? If you feel so… we do have written at length on derbies

BROGUES

If We Were Really Picking Holes 

top 10 formal shoes brands

When we’re talking brogues, we’re not talking about a silhouette, but the detailing that goes on top of it. Defined by the perforated decoration around the upper of a shoe’s visible edges, it’s possible to get Derby brogues, Oxford brogues, and even monk brogues.

However, a brogue is very much a shoe-in its own right. Commonly found in four toe cap styles: full or wingtip, semi, quarter, and long-wing, and three closure styles Oxford, Derby, and monk. Best formal shoe brands in India craft brogues as a staple in their collections.

The signature perforations were originally functional, designed to let water drain out of the shoes worn to tromp through Irish bogs. But from country footwear to casual or business occasions – the universal appeal of the brogue shoe is vast now. With brogues, it’s all a matter of personal taste.

MONK-STRAP

A Rakish Alternative To A Lace-up. 

best formal shoe brands in india

A silhouette that marks the growing desire for exclusivity provokes when you realize that you are wearing the same piece as other people in the room. Unbeknown to many lesser informed individuals – is just one reason for the growing interest in the so-called ‘modern Derby’.

With open quarters, and a whole cut vamp and tongue, Monk straps (single and double buckle) are remarkably comfortable on the foot. Every version from the best formal shoe brands in India is certainly at the more adventurous end of the formal spectrum. 

Although the style dates back many centuries (15th century to be exact) when Small groups of Swiss and Italian monks were looking for an alternative to the sandal, these shoes are favored by style aficionados looking for something different.

Whether it be a single buckle or a double buckle it is regarded as a smarter alternative to a derby shoe, but a less formal alternative to an Oxford style. Monks can be worn with a more casual outfit of straight-leg chinos and grandad shirt or with a grey suit to add a touch of excitement to your tailoring.

LOAFER

Lose the Laces, Gain Some Style 

Best formal shoe brands in india

If ever something in the male wardrobe was misnamed it’s the loafer. It is, after all, the hardest working shoe around. Laceless and comfortable like the slippers you’ve been lounging in for months; sharp and stylish enough for the post-vax life you’ve been dreaming about for those same months. There are plenty of reasons to lose the lace-ups.

Low sitting and without laces, they have a moccasin-like upper, often with a piece of leather straddling the upper (the saddle). Note: no detail on the upper, and the presence of a heel, differentiates the loafer from its cousin, the moccasin.

Inherently less formal than their laced- and buckled-up brethren. Thankfully, loafers have evolved since then. The Best formal shoe brands in India come with shapes sleek and stylish enough to wear with even your sharpest two-button.

Of course, your choice of material and finish will determine just how formal the loafer is; suede is better suited to smart-casualwear and to the warmer, drier months, and our full-grain leathers benefit from rugged country-going styling. A smooth calf is perfect for wearing around town, and for formalwear.

But a black penny loafer takes on the character of any outfit—when you’re in a business suit, it’s formal; when you’re in a polo and jeans, it’s casual. No matter the loafer style you’re after, there’s not a damn thing in your wardrobe that a loafer won’t work with.

DRESS BOOTS

If You Can’t Dodge Robustness 

Best formal shoe brands in india

All types of men’s boots were first engineered for a function, decidedly not meant for dressy occasions, and would be more at home at a construction site than in a boardroom. 

But with their modern iteration, a.k.a Dress Boots – Wearing boots with a suit isn’t a difficult endeavor. They’re every bit as refined as the rest of the styles on this list of best formal shoe brands in India. 

But here’s the thing: you can’t just pair any pair of work lugs with your finest tailored clothing.

The trick is to focus on a streamlined silhouette and elevated construction. But if you’re frustrated When is a boot dressy enough to be worn with a suit? Feel free to click around.

A pair of boots from Birdlen can take you from work to the weekend with ease. Many can even match smart casual and semi-formal ensembles, making them a valuable wardrobe addition. 

3 Ingredients That Makes A Promising Formal Shoe

Best formal shoe brands in india

You probably already inferred this, but it’s worth making it clear all the same: The ingredients that we’re about to discuss wouldn’t distinguish a ₹1,000 shoe from a ten thousand one. Splurging is, of course, a way that formal shoes can be made special. But Quality: has nothing to do with the cost of the shoe. 

Though it takes a long time to understand what really makes a great dress shoe, You didn’t have to spend the time doing research as it’s a recipe with just 3 Main Ingredients. Admiring the stunning diversity of ideas, every Shoemaker on Earth owns their version as much as, say, A Chef’s signature touch is what set it apart! 

But all those twists and technical dazzle are built over some basics, and for quality dress shoes, The foundation is unchanged since the factories of Northampton, England first kicked into action hundreds of years ago. Carry on reading for the Ingredients (the “essence”, if you like) that decides How Good Your Formal Shoes Are Gonna Be

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A Densely Grained Upper

best formal shoe brands in india

The relationship you have with your dress shoes should be a lasting one. And, if the pair in question happens to be of the upper slice of the hide, it might even be for a lifetime. The tell-tale dense fiber structure is quality assurance – a signal that you’ve picked a pair built to last. Sounds straightforward, but like most things in shoemaking, there’s a lot more to it than that…

The material you wear makes a difference, and some factor is what makes every material… Different! Type of animal, portions of its hide, and even the layers within the hide – have an enormous impact on quality.

A raw hide can be up to an inch thick when it comes off the animal, so it is split into different pieces of varying quality. The topmost includes all the grain with it, which has a dense, healthy fiber structure. By definition, Full-grain leather has them.

The best formal shoe brands in India favor Full-grain leather for models and line that gets a lot of mileage. It maintains its shape and strength over time – and makes for shoes that are comfortable and durable.

A quality material (where the leather’s natural pore structure or “grain” is healthy and is left untouched) that absorbs the world’s elements over time – be that movement, sunlight, heat, or the natural oils that your body produces. Acquires a much sought-after patina and unique character that cannot be easily duplicated. So invest in a new one and write your own story onto it.

Being untreated, there are natural imperfections, marks, and even light brands on the surface – when corrected (through sanding), we have The Top Grain Leather. Isn’t the “Top” Quality or Layer of the hide (Don’t ask us – we didn’t name them). Smoother, thinner, more workable, and more flexible than the full-grain.

If the strongest fiber of the skin seems to be a good compromise for a uniform look, then you’re in luck with Top Grain leather. Even after sanding, Top Grain leather remains strong and durable – but the refinishing process greatly reduces the leather’s breathability, and also prevents the leather from developing a natural patina over time.

But leather isn’t the only material that bears this hallmark. While smooth leather is the classic shade for formal shoes, it’s by no means your only option. A leather dress shoe is simple and basic. But swap the shoe for soft suede and it becomes a low-key luxury piece.

Best formal shoe brands in india

You might also consider nubuck. This has a similar feel but is actually made from the top grain of an animal’s hide, like regular leather, and sanded down. We firmly believe that you cannot make/have fine dress shoes without fine upper leather.

But with material made from polyester to mimic the softness of the real thing, it’s getting tougher for folks to easily spot a fake. Few formal shoe brands in India are making dress shoes from the best versions.   

As you ease past the “Grain” mark of the material, The animal from which it comes from – does make a difference. For every skin – We do have a list of features that separates ’em, but unlike the Full Grain Leather – no one animal’s skin can be tagged as “The Best”! 

Animal skin preference has always been and will always be deeply personal. There are a couple of options in the collection of our picks for best formal shoe brands in India, a subject that deserves a separate article, but a full-grain calf or calf grain dress shoe over-delivers the value you’re paying.

Best formal shoe brands in india

As the name suggests, the calf grain comes from a younger animal that’s only four to six months old. The result is a material that is strong yet supple. The fiber structure of the leather is fresher, finer, and more supple than older skins. That is what makes it so expensive.

The answer almost always lies in the quality of leather that wraps your feet, and pinning down a beautiful one for your next pair of dress shoes isn’t complicated… just put your own stamp on it! Rely on your senses, make sure it smells and feels leathery. The more you know about where your shoes come from and how the best formal shoe brands in India make ’em – the better!

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Stitching That Locks Everything

Best formal shoe brands in india

Certainly, all shoes take a huge amount of punishment as they’re worn day-to-day, open to the elements. And only the finest full-grain leather, if cared for well, will continue to spring back and hold its shape over time.

But we’re all preoccupied with the upper themselves, but what about the things that adorn the other portion of your feet? Shoes take a pounding. And nowhere more than in their soles. You need to think about that and make some decisions.

Durability wise – From a 30,000-foot view, dress shoes can be broken down into two broad categories: Glued and Stitched. Or, as a brand like Thursday Boots calls them: heritage boots versus disposable footwear.

An Open Stitched Channel

Cementing (or gluing) refers to a dress shoe that has been constructed with strong adhesives, which means taking the upper leather gluing it directly to the outsole – quick, simple, and cost-effective.

Nowadays, most formal shoes are fused using glue. It soon loses its grip and will only get worse.

The advantage of techniques like Cementing is that it can allow brands to keep costs down while still using (or pretending to use luxury) caliber materials.

Brands like Bata and Red Tape rely on Cementing to make nearly all of their sub-₹4k pieces.

The intricately made pieces rely on a series of stitches, welt, and other doodads to keep their future credentials assured. For even the best formal shoe brands in India – There is no greater dividing line in the world of stitched dress shoes. But we’ve got a complicated method applied to masterpieces made to be passed down the generations, along with the estate – encouraged, even.

We’re looking at (and you should look for it too) Goodyear Welting Construction here. Designed in the 1860s by Charles Goodyear, it’s the recipe to craft the most durable dress shoes, there’s no way around it… yet!

Best formal shoe brands in india

While just one stitch is enough to hold all the component parts of the shoe together (that’s Goodyear’s sleeker cousin – Blake Stitch) with capacities to reject whatever you throw on ’em…

…Goodyear is a double-stitch reinforcement that readily responds to the most challenging demands. It would be easiest to understand the Goodyear welt’s nuances through our guide.

The first stitch attaches the welt (a leather strip that runs around the edge of the upper holding the component parts) to both the insole and the upper of the shoe. The welt is then folded out to form a point of attachment for the outer sole, with a heavy-duty lock-stitch seam.

As the welt forms an intermediary layer between the outsole and insole, a cobbler can easily remove and replace worn soles, so you won’t need to write off your favorite brogues as landfill for years to come. 

If you’re showing off your new dress, the first thing any shoe snob will do, instead of admiring the upper, is to pore over the edges. To pass muster, a “proper” shoe will be powered by stitching, and they’ll know because it will usually be displayed through a clear line around the perimeter of the shoe. Look for this stitch line and you won’t go wrong.

But such precise micro-engineering comes at a price, thus a few names in our list of best formal shoe brands in India pull ’em off. If you can’t afford it, or simply don’t care for durability, have no fear. There’s no shame in non-stitched pairs, despite what those snobs tell you. 

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Of Course—Comfort 

Yes, your Full-Grain Goodyear Welted pair does a perfectly acceptable job of durable footwear, but that’s not why we choose to wear shoes. Whether you use dress shoes for formal fixtures, a wedding, or working long hours on your feet, benefits abound to wearing a pleasing shoe. 

There’s no need to be so extreme about breaking and comfort in sub ₹2k shoes. In this slab – What you’ll find is that comfort is all about fit, and versatility. Master those two elements and you’ll also be the most confident guy in the room.

Soft Latex underneath your feet evokes that ahhh sensation of your first step in those pairs. That latex filler is lovely, really, it is – but are you sure that you’ll feel the same about it in a couple of years’ time…?

Best formal shoe brands in India

Though the next pieces on the pack aren’t powered by latex. But tread carefully: this pack goes beyond getting the perfect fit, there are elements that very closely relate to the perceived comfort of a shoe. 

That whole Goodyear Welting thing we’ve been telling you about isn’t just for durability—welted construction pretty much guarantees comfort. The welt between the insole and the outer sole leaves enough space to arrange a marshmallow-soft footbed. 

In a time-honored tone, adding a few millimeters of granulated cork underfoot make the shoe more forgiving. Don’t expect an ahhh sensation from your first step on those cushion-y cork footbeds – it takes a while to wear in but remember: good things come to those who wait.

As you wear the shoe, the insole soften-up and beds down into the cork filler, which takes an impression of your foot, and eventually, it senses like a custom footbed.

And if you have leather soles, it is often thought of as a hard material that does not allow for cushion or comfort – however when combined with cork, it can create a very soft and flexible footbed.

If the shoes are well-made, they’ll mold to your feet and serve you just fine. The quality of a leather sole is really dependent on how they’re made. Luckily, few of the best formal shoe brands in India know exactly how it should be done.

Best formal shoe brands in india

The Material used to line your dress shoes—or lack thereof—can make a big difference in how comfortable you feel in them. Look for supple leather, Shearling, and partially-lined, and avoid completely Unlined and fabric items unless the fabric itself is quite luxurious. 

But don’t forget, there will always be a ‘breaking in’ process for good-quality shoes. Once this is done (roughly 5-6 wears) you will be supported exactly where you need to be and you probably won’t want to take them off to go to bed.

What’s In This Journal For You?

Let’s Talk Your Needs… And Probably Meet Them! Reasons that interest you in the best formal shoe brands in India persist, right! Pursuing Ideas for your own journal? You are in, Gentleman – Read on.

Want a measure of formality? We did our darnedest to cover all the possible bases with the 10 stellar options. But as convenient service as this is, there remain a few lingering issues.

With brands leveraging their full creative and technical resources to please very specific quirks, get into to consider before taking the plunge. Shredding the unwanted layers and making it to a brand that cares for your needs – is a matter of personal opinion!

The process can be fraught with complications, but this is a much simpler way of getting there. Instead of imposing our thoughts, the tone of this segment is on your problem, aspirations, and goals.

We do our best to cut through all the bases… just come forward and align ’em with your requirements until you yawp – This Is Exactly What I Need!

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Budget Matters… But Don’t Begin With It

Hold on there a minute. While price is usually the first consideration, it’s not the best point to start. Of course, your budget matters. But thanks to the plethora of shoemakers dying to please your feet – whatever you want, you can find something that’s within range.

Nailing the Best formal shoe brands in India for you didn’t start with your budget or in a store… it starts in your head. Firstly, you need to know what type of formal shoe works for you. In other words: what are the gaps in your shoe wardrobe, and how to plug them?

Ok, Just Ignore Everything. Instead, start snooping around your side of the formal variables. Previous purchases can provide clues as to style preference, but if you haven’t bought a formal shoe before, you can still play Sherlock Holmes with your clothing and lifestyle.

Best formal shoe brands in india

Take your formals as a social signifier that communicates more than you might realize. Consider, for example, what you are saying if you choose to wear a synthetic beefy lace-up versus a Sleek calf oxford from Bridlen.

Such rumination might seem outrageous, but it helps to choose a brand/style that best reflects who you are and what you need.

Still, sound like too much unnecessary work for something so basic? Don’t worry – there’s a much simpler way of getting there. Look what gets those shoe nerds so animated when exploring the best formal shoe brands!

Easy and quick. You’ve got options, and narrowing ’em down is a bit like falling in love: when you know, you know. We call it the polyamorous approach – and, pretty much, works!

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Now File Your Budget

Here’s where we come to your first question – budget – and start to narrow down what’s on offer. With more doors and stores and webshops and IG accounts, you don’t have to spend a fortune (though you can!) for your next grail.

Like holidays or property, that age-old adage applies to dress shoes, too. Spend as much as you can afford. Whatever that figure is, rest assured, you will always get your money’s worth.

Do Not meld your budget with the price of the shoe, it doesn’t have to be this way. The equation is very simple, don’t screw it up! The price is the worst indicator of quality. The extra cost that you’re paying isn’t necessarily going towards the Quality of the shoe.

In price-based purchases, What you might be paying for is the cost of the Carrying Inventory, Rent of the Store, and Hedge against Risk of Mass Production. Be smart – heading back to budget…

For the sake of simplicity, let’s break it down into three likely Budget ranges: Upto ₹3,000; ₹3,000 to ₹8,000; ₹8,000+ (If you’re shopping for best formal shoe brands in India with a budget of more than these series then, um, marry me?)

On the ₹3,000 mark, Remember that whole Quality ingredient thing we’ve been telling you about… Keep it aside for a minute! You could, of course, spend such a small fortune in the hope of attaining sophistication and style.

Just look at the current collections of Bata, Red Tape, Clarks, and Alberto Torresi if you don’t believe us. But the next line (that you’re about to read) might break your heart, but we’ve to say it: Don’t set your expectation too high here, especially on durability! 

Chances are it is not made of real leather. It is going to be entirely glued, construction-wise. Probably pumped out by the thousands a day, it’s the prototype to endure in the sub ₹3,000 business. 

Look past the legacy brands, and your feet are under top grain leather (of course, it’s not the smoothest skin) with some stitching around the sole. So many of SeeAndWear’s enduring classics fall into this category, and you’ll never go wrong purchasing one.

Best formal shoe brands in india

From ₹3,000 up to ₹8,000, you’re stretching to a proper dress shoe, but this is also where it can get overwhelming. In this gamut: Formal Shoe Brands that come up with the best value for their customers (operate with a close to one ratio of functionality and price) routinely go toe to toe with formalwear behemoths.

Tread carefully: Brands with a longstanding history are sure to appeal, but it’s vital to make sure that you’re investing in formal shoes that will actually hold their value.

The aforementioned quality traits can provide clues, as they do exist here (mainly at the wider end of this budget spectrum). Or simply bag some pieces from Pelle Santino, if all these sound too knotty!

Above ₹8,000, you’re venturing into “Artisan” status. This budget buys you membership to the “Upper Echelon” club, with a much-vaunted Goodyear Welt Construction – from Bridlen Shoemakers, or The Royale Peacock to name buy a few.

And if it would be among the more expensive shoes that you’ll buy, take it as an emotional investment that can speak volumes about you… you’re bound to get something spectacular.

What to expect? Invisibly channeled Goodyear welt holding the most precious skin that’s pulled tight over a sleek last creating pieces you’ll pass along not just to your kids, but to theirs. It’s the very epitome of “if you know, you know”.

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Should I Worry About Fit, Sole Material, And Whatnot?

best formal shoe brands in india

Men will be Men, Ture! But that doesn’t mean we’re all the same size. Though unfortunately, we can’t all afford to go full bespoke, these factors are well worth considering if you really want to nail it.

So, you know what type of dress shoes and, potentially, which brand, focus all your attention here. If everything here is been done correctly, you’ll barely notice the difference; but if you ignore ’em… no one can convince you to wear those shoes. 

How well a dress shoe matches the length, width, and shape of your feet may actually matter as much as, if not more than, the construction that goes underneath them, or the material that goes around your feet.  

I won’t get into the nuts and bolts on How Should Dress Shoes Fit, but I must say: it’s a lot more than finding your size (you do know it, right?) and slipping anything on. And if anyone knows how you can secure a perfect fit – it’s the people who make ’em. 

For the sake of fit, you might feel justified in opting for the inconvenience of visiting a physical store over the perceived risk of shopping online. There’s a much simpler way of getting there.

Just ping your feet dimensions through any of their social media portals, and you are off of the fit-y duties. Their PR team will sniff out a comfortable accommodation for you. Be informed of their returns and exchanges policies. 

Shoes take a pounding. And nowhere more than in their soles. Blending your lifestyle-appropriate sole with dress shoes that’s made just to fit you, that suit your everyday needs with comfort, durability, repairability, and style at its core. 

Leather, Rubber, or something in-between – there aren’t many things to consider here. 

Leather is the most elegant material for well-made dress shoes whose single layer results in a sleeker, neater feel, (which suits the nature of a plain Oxford, for example) that goes great with a luxurious custom suit. 

Whereas double-layer ones are more robust and rustic – incline a little more toward the casual end. Lose the traction for the sake of these perks, or plump for a rubber sole, either. 

Perhaps not the most sophisticated choice (much like a certain album by The Beatles), rubber soles provide extra grip and flexibility in exchange for less breathability. 

There are heftier lace-ups with chunkier soles. They’re what we show a ton of in the magazine these days. For rubber sole, If it cracks, it’s over. Then what about the leather sole? Take care of them, they’ll last you a lifetime. 

Confused? Pick a leather sole with rubber inlays. Its brief was simple, to offer the formality of a leather sole with sharp edge trimming and reduced waist with the comfort, practicality, and longevity of a rubber sole.

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What’s In This Article… If You’re About To Write Your Own

best formal shoe brands in india

Wish to write your own “Best Formal Shoe Brands In India” (or something close!) Luckily for you, you’ve stumbled onto BestShoe99 – there’s no need for frenzied scrabbling over here.

Unquestionably, you have sniffed out a lot – but Wait… where are you going? Hear us out. It’s not every day you get to sit down and talk with us about your life and work. We’ll help things go off without a hitch, for sure!

Don’t worry – you’re exerting a regularly updated primer on the formal shoe brands. Our staff has tried ‘em all like it’s our job. (It is.) Invest some time over this raw data and make sure you walk five paces ahead.

Our results could help you curate a foolproof formal shoe brands guide. There couldn’t be a way to express appreciation if you feel free to let us know how we did! Which ones we missed, so we can come back and try this all again next year.

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