Best Formal Shoe Brands In India Excel Formality In 2023

Best formal shoe brands in India

The definition of the Best formal shoe brands in India is persistent. We’ve written a book’s worth of content on those themes – whether it’s about the fineness of work, the feel of materials, or longevity. But it’s hard to make a fortune by embracing quality when dress shoes are more like a means to avoid looking lazy, unreliable, or unprofessional rather than an artifact to present sartorial credentials.

Tracing the development of our formal dressing culture, a new generation of best formal shoe brands in India rose in the mid-2010s: closely modeled on European forebears who, in fact, formed the templates of the best dress shoemaker for others around the world. It’s not hard to find places with classic Blake stitches with some excellent examples often offering deep dives into the great Goodyear Welt

But they always have room for walk-ins: for whom dress shoes can seem an afterthought. Best of all, almost every label narrows in on one category and strives to do it brilliantly. Rest assured, the best formal shoe brands in India are very aware of your 2023s take on formal dressing. So, no matter how sartorially evaluated you are, there are the best formal shoe brands In India to feel, observe—and acquire for that matter. 

 Best Formal Shoe Brands In India

We might be less inclined to splurge heavily on the style of shoes that will actually have the lifespan of a Snapchat message. But there’s something comforting about investing in an item of clothing that has barely changed for a hundred years or more. Perhaps it’s the knowledge that you’re wearing something immune to the whims of fashion. 

Formal shoes brands’ future sartorial credentials are assured. Their leather dress shoes endure because the shoe itself endures. Dress shoes’ basic design tenets haven’t changed in centuries and aren’t likely to undergo a radical revision any time soon. 

Of course, there’s much to be said about the care and artistry that goes into a leather dress shoe. But don’t hesitate to put a little bit of money into these formal shoes brands as they’ll craft something worth passing down the generations. 

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 


Best formal shoe brands in India


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


  • 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. They’re courting those who aspire to have a constant air of gentlemanly sophistication surrounding you, this is the brand for you.

Many formal shoes brands dream of leading a label to The London Super Trunk status, one of the world’s largest open events on classic shoes, but – by far – Bridlen is the only label that joined the prestigious event. The Japanese genesis brand believes you can do more with less. There Founders Line, respectively, epitomize Bridlen’s clean-lined, considered aesthetic. 

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.

Everything There Is To Know About Bridlen

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). 

Though Bridlen was hit hard by the death of a patron who has formed the label – Mr. Hasan – the cadre of designers is carrying on the legacy of the founder: while innovating not simply iterating. The fresh casting at “The Founders Line” evince that designers are more representative of its founder aesthetic than that of its own.

Why No Formal Shoes Brands Felt Better Than Bridlen?  

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 ignite an emotional connection with you. 

But the artisans at Bridlen, leave no cause to put eyes off of their work through – in fact – their work! Here’s what makes Bridlen “The Best” in the game for functional and beautiful dress shoes guaranteed to last for years to come.


Considers Fine Materials 

top 10 formal shoes brands

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 on some subtle bespoke level details and you’ll have a pair appreciably less expensive. But what never changes (no matter what’ll 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. 

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. 

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 which 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. 


The Careful Craftsmanship

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 fine materials required to craft Bridlen Dress Shoes, the 200 different hand operations of tugging and stitching that leather to craft statement-making pieces that are visually arresting while marks Bridlen out as unique among its neighbors. 

Bridlen stands on the time-honored production methods and incorporates a higher degree of hand-finishing into their work. While the whole process deserves (In fact, Needs!) a dedicated article, see the sole unit, for instance. 

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 affair.

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.

best formal shoe brands in india

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 atelier! 

Remember – we haven’t talked about the collections that utilize all of their strengths… yet! 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 and 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 – transforming Bridlen into a powerful conglomerate with a focus on the bottom line.


It’s The “Identity” Which Counts

best formal shoe brands in india

To the untrained eye, a simple sewn leather dress shoe with a hefty price tag and no branding. To those who understand, a smooth calf-Goodyear Welted Investment Piece – distinguished not by a logo, but by how well they’re made. 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.

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 one of the best formal shoe brands in India. And that’s all the more important when most of us no longer live in villages in which we’re known personally by their people. 

Best formal shoe brands in India

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 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

best formal shoe brands in india


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


  • Last Definition  

Service: Ready-To-Wear Best For: Goodyear Welted Formal Shoes

Bridlen’s lush leather loafers that glide around the feet or subtle bespoke-inspired details that quietly command attention – comes at a premium. But for those who need something affordable but – well – a near-definitive version of dress shoes, invest in Pelle Santino!

Pelle Santino takes all the notes you want (a durable sole-unit; a flattering straight upper with just a sleeker touch), and a few you didn’t realize you needed (the granulated cork footbed, the Goodyear Welted full-grain leather upper). 

Add to that a pretty reasonable price—from a cost-per-wear perspective, anyway—and you’ve got yourself a baseline against which all other – even the best formal shoe brands in India – can be judged.

How This Brand Plod Into Existence

Best formal shoe brands in india

“Don’t talk too much on history” – I’ve learned that the hard way. Anyway, this brand 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.

What Is It That Makes P.S. Buyable? 

Best formal shoe brands in india

Not every formal shoes brands promote the ethos of durable, timeless style. But it is our job to point you in the right direction. Pelle Santino is not fast fashion, a fact that becomes abundantly clear when you first try on a pair of the brand’s Goodyear Welted Oxfords

There’s something about this brand that’s made us want to invest in their dress shoes. Second to none in construction, material, and finish – Here’s why Pelle Santino has been a firm favorite in the BESTSHOE99 office for years now. 


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 as your very best formal shoe brand in India.


Their Shoes Pays For Themselves.

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. And at under ₹7k, every pair feels like a steal.


best formal shoe brands in india


  • Short Break In Period
  • Sleek Silhouette


  • Duraiblity   

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

The beauty of power footwear is how the classic styles such as oxfords and brogues…. being designed and worn with leather soles and fine architectural lines – lend a feeling of power and confidence. While we can all dream of having an inexhaustible budget when it comes to the decoration of our sartorial credentials, this is not always the case. 

However, by the same token, price is not always a guarantee of quality and taste. Many streamlined manufacturing units with the best shoemakers mean Clarks can keep things reasonable when it comes to the numbers after the rupee sign. 

Though Clark capsules cover the full spectrum of the modern male wardrobe, particularly strong in utilitarian outerwear, their dress shoes cut from Italian-sourced suede or leather – we hope you agree – will do for any classy man who does not wish to spend a fortune.

In Case… You’re Interested In Clark’s Interesting Story?

Best casual shoes for men

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.

Why Is It Difficult To Look Past Clarks? 

Best formal shoe brands in india

There’s no site quite like Clarks to experience the “Desert Boots” – which is – 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. 

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 our question in mind – Best Formal Shoe Brands In India…

…Here’s why Clarks’ dress shoes have officially eclipsed many formal shoes brands as the world’s formal footwear of choice, which can make an undeniable impression even in the most conservative settings!


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 – habitually – has become as weighty as, well, any other professional practice.


…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?

Hush Puppies


  • Innovative
  • No break-in required


  • 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, selling those eye-wateringly expensive Goodyear welted pair (that does feel a tad stiff at first and requires longer to break in) to someone screaming for comfort right off the box – is a tough ask.

And as there’s no time (or a big 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. 

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! 

The History 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.

But What Really Sets It Apart?  

Best formal shoe brands in india

While we often wax poetic about Goodyear Welted Oxfords and investment-piece dress shoes, we also can’t resist the appeal of more affordable formal shoes brands—a simple pair of Hush Puppies. 

Of course, dress shoes will always be a worthy investment. But there are some moments when the less-is-more options certainly come in handy. Though we do not have an ardent belief in cemented shoes, there are some reasons to consider this label’s beautiful creations.


Their Capabilities To Innovate 

We live in a time where, for some people, alacrity 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. 


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 Calf” and whatnot. 



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


  • Need Breaking In 

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

The phrase “leap of faith” must be indelibly imprinted on the mind of just about every young formal shoes brand who has decided to go it alone for the accolade of the best formal shoe brands in India. Though we won’t count the minefields needed to navigate to let your own particular sartorial flag fly…

…such brands can experience the sheer joy of making exactly what they want—but very few ensure it’s being made in ways that are accountable and respectful. But when P.L.N.K stages its first catalog of dress shoes in late 2018, their creation (and construction) looks more finely honed than those of most newbies. 

Fine-tuning their ready-to-wear (from blake stitched loafers to Goodyear Welted leather Derbies), shoes (made in the same factory where the world’s best formal shoe brands want their shoes to be made), and lashed a pocket-money price that’s impelled more like a collective than the industry’s typical top-down operations.

We Look At How It All Started

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.

Why People Are Raring To Buy From PLNK?   

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? How they’re quietly making names for themselves in a nation known for its over-the-top excess? 

Some delectable pairs do catch our eye! And the team hardly had to break a sweat to pin that the label firmly cracked the code for the accolade of best formal shoe brands in India, as is evidenced by these reasons:


Tough-Talking Leather 

Best formal shoe brands in india

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? 


Its The Solid Construction

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…


A Raw, Simple Appeal 

best formal shoe brands in India

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…


best formal shoe brands in India


  • Price
  • Build quality


  • Narrow set 

Service: Ready-To-Wear Only Best For: Buff Leather Dress Shoes

The footwear industry is vast and complex. So complex that it can be practically impossible to determine what exactly you need to purchase and use from what’s actually just a money-making scheme for formal shoes brands all over the nation.

Nobody needs to be told that an expensive price tag doesn’t necessarily equal the Best Formal Shoe Brands In India. With an offering of timeless silhouettes in a subdued palette of solids, SeeandWear dress shoes are all about Value: a simple, non-complicated selection of dress shoes (excluding the obvious genuine leather, cemented sole, or a hefty price tag), shoes that will actually serve you, that are worth your time, and will do your feet good.

SeeandWear formal shoes aren’t necessarily supposed to turn heads or spark conversations. Yet it’s for this very reason that we wear them so often. For many premieres and formal occasions, gentlemen keep it simple, opting for simple pieces with understated appeal.

From The Very Start

Best formal shoe brands in india

It would be impossible to tell the story of SeeandWear without moving across multiple mediums. As a formal shoes brand, and being a shoemaking unit for many formal shoes brands: the past influence on the label is impressively multi-faceted, so when he sat down with Mr. Prabhat Saini to recount the pages, he had approached the subject from all angles.

What Made Us Buy S.&.W?   

Best formal shoe brands in india

Now that we’re done pretending to be in love with this label (if love’s more your speed don’t let me take that away from you) we can turn our attention to truly pressing matters: What is it that elevates SeeandWear above the standard formal shoes brands?

Even though a thick portion of the panel has already passed down the sterling verdict that pairs from SeeandWear must be endured over the pages of BestShoe99, we’ll pass features enough to pull people up to a more new formal shoes brand below:


They’re Priced Oh So Well! 

One of our criteria for recommending any formal shoes brands 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

Best formal shoe brands in india


  • Goodyear Welted 
  • Last Definition 
  • Sleeker Aesthetics 


  • Pricey Cemented Shoes

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

I’ve just returned from Agra with much of this haul, where I traveled with the goal of smearing as many artisans as possible, both as inspiration for my own reports, but also to experience one of the nation’s historic cobbling capital.

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. 

And while the bulk of your itinerary, in this sartorial hotspot, is already predetermined—see you at Majestic Gardens and the Taj Mahal, everyone!— but the Agra-based The Royale Peacock aims to offer a bit more than mere tasting notes. The label does keep the lion’s share of its production on the historic city’s shores for years now. 

Why You Should Blow Your Bonus On T.R.P?   

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 formal shoes brands 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 now, either!


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 Simple Charm

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. 


best formal shoe brands in india


  • Goodyear Welted 
  • Last Definition 
  • Sleeker Aesthetics 


  • Cemented construction
  • Very low perforation rate

Service: Ready-To-Wear Only Best For: Derby

Keeping up with the latest sartorial trends isn’t always easy. And testing out all of those buzzy, connoisseur-approved shoes — like Bridlen’s Founders or Pelle Santino’s Brogues — can be, to say the least, financially inconvenient.

A to-the-point, effective, and pleasantly wallet-friendly formal shoes brand could treat a wide range of concerns, Right?

The oldest name in our list of best formal shoe brands in India is, in fact, a fantastic way to get a more potent dose of your sartorial ingredients, but without weighing yourself down using heavy construction (or, well, a heavy price tag!).

A significant portion of Bata’s massive offering behest amount that many of us drop on dress shoes without looking back, without a second glance, without experiencing even the faintest pang of guilt.

A History-Rich Brand   

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.

Why Bata Is A Brand You Need Right Now?   

best formal shoe brands in india

Most gentlemen with even the slightest interest in dress shoes will know Bata, one of the biggest formal shoes brands with incredible heritage (dating all the way back to the 1930s) and a serious penchant for designing everything from affordable but incredibly slick dress shoes to covetable casual shoes.

But bigger isn’t always better! So what truly separates Bata from formal shoes brands that could drop a new silhouette overnight without the internet making a peep? A longstanding history of innovation always helps. A deep roster of beloved retro styles to fall back on never hurts. Precisely: Here’s how Bata earned its place on this list of best formal shoe brands in India


Their Know-How 

Best formal shoe brands in india

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


They Have A Lot To Present

Best formal shoe brands in india

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

Alberto Torresi


  • Sleek design
  • No break-in required 


  • Low perforation rate (Upper)

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

It doesn’t really matter what shoe trends are in for men—they’re going to be some form of a comfortable flat. While it was our new stay-at-home lives in 2020 that ignited the appreciation of comfort in, well, everything! And which formal shoes brand could be more suited to life-at-ease than the aptly named Alberto Torresi.

From sole to upper, every line and detail of a pair from Alberto represents a dedication to comfort. Built by world-renowned shoemakers, those dress shoes ooze the kind of style and appeal that only the Alberto Torresi does best.

The dress shoe collection from their massive offering adorns the silhouette and every material, finish and construction have been perfectly put together to create a feeling of modern elegance with a hint of masculinity. Of the best formal shoe brands in India: Alberto Torresi is, Probably, “The Perfect” brand to relax.

Charting The Rise Of Alberto Torresi   

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 (which dates back to 1969). The idea behind the label is to bring European-quality dress shoes to the Indian market at affordable prices.

Why We Are So Into Alberto Torresi?   

Best formal shoe brands in India

While dress shoes might once have been the luxe stuff of Fred Astaire, Gary Cooper, and Cary Grant, today’s dress shoes are all about an easy aesthetic and an in-your-face vibe, and there’s no better distillation of that approach than Alberto Torresi.

Writer Advik Gupta tipped us off to Alberto Torresi’s Dress shoe collection, which he found while looking for “shoes that you don’t want to take off at the end of the day.” Though we’re big fans of comfortable shoes (honestly, who isn’t?), why appreciate ones that are from this formal shoe brand? Here why


Innovative Approach

Best formal shoe brands in india

In the complete list of best formal shoe brands in India, it feels like Alberto Torresi is thinking a little harder, towards a simpler and more reliable article fit for any dressy situation. For them, dress shoes had to remain relevant to the tech enthusiast, at a time when you really can’t expect a lot right off the box from even the most expensive dress shoe.


If Your Budget Isn’t Yet Ready For Goodyear

It’s nice to have expensive Goodyear Welted shoes (I mean, come on, who doesn’t like expensive Welted Shoes?), and if you had the funds at hand, you could spend up to ₹30k on this sophisticated class of formal shoes.

Red Tape


  • Wide range
  • High stitch density
  • Price 


  • 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 launched 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.

Why We Are So Into Alberto Torresi?   

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?


Massive Range

Best formal shoe brands in India

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



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.

Why “Brand” Matters?

“There are more ways to buy dress shoes than ever before. And selecting one from a brand, which you might pay more for just the name, does not vow you a well-made, thoughtfully-designed pair that can last you for decades.

Across the growing landscape of name-bearing dress shoes, our region has different breeds of hardheaded shoemakers (or sellers!). Some are tailored to knowledgeable sartorialists, while others aim to apply everything until they land something you like—and all are ready a few steps away to your doorstep.

We have such shoes, perceived by their quality rather than name, passed down several generations, which seem to get even better with age—patina, marks, and all. Done with the most modest amount of consideration, Why bother for the best brands then?

An endeavor to get through the best formal shoe brands might seem too outrageous for whom dress shoes are, well, an afterthought. Then it might seem a lot to think about the best formal shoe brands in India – isn’t life complicated enough already? But here are answers to this question you may not even know you have. 


The Brand Reflects

best formal shoe brands in india

Attention-seeker? Scrooge-like? Workaholic? High flying? You don’t need to tell us — the brands you bought formals from are doing the talking for you. It was ever thus, of course. And that is all the more important when most of us no longer live in villages where we are known personally by its people.

It is a notion made of the new reality: We are no longer dressing up just for us but for the in-person soirées, IRL eyes, an array of small screens blasting our every outfit to hundreds (or thousands—even millions) of followers, or for friends, family to co-workers, bosses, potential love interests and complete strangers.

And that stare of humanity on your shoes is backed by Research that shows you can tell a lot about someone’s personality, politics, status, age, and income just by looking at a photo of their shoes (and the brand). There’s no right or wrong. It often comes from internal motivations, and in that way, You don’t just buy a brand but buy into a brand.

We spend our money on a ‘name-bearing’ dress shoe rather than on a markless one not merely because we like it but because, whether we are aware of it or not, it bestows on us the membership of a group. The nature of that group depends on the brand, and also perhaps on the nature of the particular item. 

We desire to belong to a group and to communicate that fact through what brand we wear and often, concomitantly, to communicate that we don’t belong to another group – is what drives us to splurge just not for the shoes but for the label they bear. A dress shoe may have the benefit of being a portable status object, that telegraphs your status even in the rangiest settings

…but ‘formal’ brand lure can only be decoded by fellow cognoscenti, by others in the know. Bata was the gateway to shoes – when you want most people to recognize what you’re wearing – you upgrade to the Bridlen and run the risk that only some people will, but the right people. Go out and buy a brand, they say. Show yourself.


Change The Way We Think About Formals

best formal shoe brands in india

Of course, we align with a brand to find legitimacy in becoming a member of a community: it is not just for those around us… but for us. Brands have a lot to do with what we think about dress shoes! And that coheres when giving dress shoes any thought at all is optional, especially in our country. 

Our dressing nerds get so animated when we lace up a Goodyear Welted Black Calf Oxford from Bridlen than a cemented pair from a store down the street! It’s all too tempting to equate a dress shoe with the brand. It’s not a physical or mental issue so much as a psychological one. We’re just talking about a pair of dress shoes, after all! 

It is far easier to understand this notion: merely put your Ford Explorer Platinum in the spotlight! What if we switch it with Range Rover Sport HSE? It won’t let you get behind the wheel, nither anyone looking at it in your garage, but it enlarges your notion of what a car can be and the emotions it can provoke. 

Too often, people never think of “Branded Dress Shoes” in that way; but even unconsciously, it is there, affecting your dressing experience! Brands spend (or we should say: Invest) thousands, if not millions, to make you think about the product in a certain way. Brand shape our attitudes, desires, and how we approach formal shoes. 

But we are so used to getting our ‘formals’ from postulant, affordable sources that dress shoes’ ceremonial importance is sometimes forgotten in the blizzard of other (and more visible) sartorial preparations. The current sartorial mood in menswear is rightfully a bit “meh, do whatever you want”, and it is perhaps making dress shoes an afterthought in nature!

Get your formals from a name endowed with ancestry ’cause it forges our relationship with dress shoes and ultimately defines its role in our lives. The appeal has much to do with what it reveals about its place of origin, just as the small-town mom-and-pop cafe tells you more about where you are than any franchise restaurant ever could.


Brand Makes It Easier

best formal shoe brands in india

The world has too many options for, well, everything! There’s more information about products in the form of thriving communities on the internet and Instagram. New, covetable pieces launch with alarming regularity. And there are simply more doors and stores and webshops and IG accounts where you can buy your next dress shoes.

But it’s also for precisely those reasons that buying dress shoes can feel harder than it’s ever been. Yet of the more personal items to shop for, a perfect dress shoe for you really depends on, well, you: you likely had to sort through the many of those options on the market and engage in a try-on-and-error journey. 

Do you want the pair to be thick and beefy, or airy and soft? A trim, blake shoe, or a loose cemented one? Are you willing to drop some serious dough on a truly perfect pair, or does that seem outrageous for something so basic? Of course, the complexity of this process too depends on You! But there always be some elements to cross off your list find the one! 

But when you know who makes or where your very perfect pairs of dress shoes are coming from – the task becomes easier – eternally! There’s something inherently comforting about aligning oneself to a certain look, a cultural moment, or a cluster of brands. These pre-loved brands will demand the most modest consideration for your further needs. 

It’s not like you have to subscribe to a brand as it helps with further purchases! The best shoes to wear are the ones that you feel most comfortable in, irrespective of what brand they are from, and, “spark joy”. Yet such alignments do, in practice, tend to happen, particularly when it comes to aligning oneself with some labels and not others. 

With a little experience and engagement with particular designers, you quickly get used to a certain brand’s wares, manufacturing techniques, fit and overall ethos, which ultimately makes it easier when it comes to shopping, both for oneself and for others. If you like one thing from a particular label, chances are you will like another.

The modern principles of business amplify the prospect of this notion as brands are now focused more on the smallest viable audience, not the biggest possible audience! We mean it is hard to find a brand making the most affordable along with the most expensive. So if a brand for you feels interesting, believe us, they are equally, if not more, interested to serve people like you!


And It Is About The Experience

best formal shoe brands in india

And here’s the thing about buying dress shoes from a known source, or with a renowned title: The perk extends from what we emanate from those shoes. Why? Because whether you’re a shoe snob or not, brands, no matter their size, want you to be happy enough to return – especially if you stop off at a good formal shoe brand on the way.

Enduring a branded pair can be almost as good as the experience associated with it! They will make it more fun in a way you may get motivated to find out even more. But not much has been said or written about the experience of buying a branded product, but there is no denying: brand-ing, today, is all about “what we do to enhance the sales experience”! 

The minute you decide to buy from a renowned label – you are no longer just a ‘Customer‘ but a ‘Client’! It’s no longer a decision to have dress shoes from ’em, but an opportunity to serve you! They will make it easy, eliminate friction, stay in touch and make you feel (at least in the moment) that you are the most important customer they have. 

Several studies have also suggested that we get more happiness from anticipating experiential purchases than material goods. In dress shoes, it could be as simple as assistance to find the perfect fit, having an extra pair of waxed laces, a pot of Saphir shoe cream, or maybe an option to send those shoes back to the label for a loving repair.   

Getting your dress shoes from a good brand, rather than an unbeknown label, is a little like selecting a car: Even the least-expensive vehicle will get you where you want to go, but the trip is a different experience in the finest Mercedes-Benz. Some of our favorite heritage firms are where the experience is so high and incredible that we feel like part of those excellent labels. 

You may not be after the experience clause, and the elements we’ve mentioned here might not be that appealing to you, after all, those just dress shoes! Such concepts transpire if you’re in for the long haul – something that modern society is not set up, at least, for that kind of relationship. I hope we’ve come across readers of that caliber! Either way, you still have three good reasons to shop from the best formal shoe brands in India. 

What Exactly Makes A Brand “Best”?

best formal shoe brands in india

Our country may not be the most desiring dress shoe destination in the world (for now), but it is the most crowded – Which does nothing but complicates the task of knowing who makes your very perfect pair! We have been addressing this case for over 20 years now—we certainly have opinions—but it is not something we can conclude on our own.

To know what defines “Best Brands” on neutral grounds: We have asked readers to send us the names of their favorite brands. Going past the screens of our iMac; we engage in conversations with people from all walks of the sartorial world, asking what a firm ought to have to be among the best dress shoemakers. 

And the taste of “The Best” varies widely too. One person’s strawberry is another’s cherry. It turns out that notions for the best formal shoe brands in India were nearly as varied as the readers’ reasons for choosing them, though certain brands showed up over and over, notably Clarks and Pelle Santino

Many readers offered a bit of background regarding their choices—which I particularly loved. Loved as it echoes a fuller picture of what makes a brand great. From there, it becomes easier to pick apart the attributes that fit a general opinion. These are the ethos of the best formal shoe brands in India


How Their Shoes Been Made & Shown

Best formal shoe brands in india

What could connote a brand’s greatness better than what they stand for? I mean, other than a decent pair of dress shoes: What else do we need to fall in love with the maker? More than any opulence artifacts, dress shoe makers are still recognized more by painstaking craftsmanship than by a renowned name.   

Any shoemaking unit can be transformed into an upscale venue, under well-heeled investors, which is certainly impressive! Our formal shoe brands columnist visited such glamorous shoe rooms not to relish the ultra-luxe geniality but to see if the pairs measure up. To see if such newfound glamour has translated into exponentially better dress shoes or just better photographs?

Now more than ever, people are interested to know how and through what materials—the products we (plan to) pay for—are made. But dress shoes are not something you can’t decide if to really like or truly despise. In this genre, the pair will scream if it is from the best makers, while they will scream even louder if they are not! 

Knowing what makes a dress shoe great wouldn’t be an intimidating experience! Though the human race can knock out a new iPhone every 12 months, the tech that lands our feet best footwear has gone largely unchanged for 5,000 years. Here are the details of a golden equation creating solid foundations for centuries.

A Densely Grained Leather

best formal shoe brands in india

The relationship we have with our dress shoes should be a lasting one. If the pair under consideration is crafted from the best portion of a hide, it might even be for a lifetime. The tell-tale dense fiber structure shows that we have a pair built to last! Sounds straightforward, but like most things in shoemaking, there’s a lot more to it than that… 

Leather, more than any material the world knows, epitomizes dress shoes. The type of animal, portions of its hide, and even the layers within the hide – illustrate how it’ll age. It was leather’s different personalities and characters that inspired humans so long ago to spend the next few millenniums improving their methods of shoemaking.

A raw-hide can be up to an inch thick (when it comes off the animal), and curb layers of varying qualities. The topmost layer – Full Grain Leather – is a tightly “woven” maze of dense, healthy fiber staging the typical richness, depth, and character. 

best formal shoe brands in india

The best formal shoe brands in India favor Full-grain leather as all of the oil-absorbing properties and original characteristics of the leather remain intact. The leather will patina and endure over time.

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 on 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.

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 – 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”! 

formal shoe brands

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. 

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!

Apart from Densely Grained Leather, A good firm will always have somebody fervent about the material and ardent about hospitality. Ask ’em! They want you to be happy enough to return. Rely on your senses, and 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!

Know About Their Sole!

best formal shoe brands in india

Let me try my best to make sense of it: Through the type of leather used… shoemakers show their ambitions. The leather they work with reflects where they want to be on the spectrum. It goes far beyond just “The Leather” for fine-tuning the dress shoe to the “best brand” caliber. 

To what extent do they reflect the shape and silhouette of the feet, the proportions of the patterns, how pointed the toe is, and how narrow the waist is, plenty more choices came away with the distinct feeling that fewer things were considered when they sent a man to the Moon!

But nowhere is a more logical mind required than to decide how to bring on the sole of the dress shoe (no pun intended)! Maybe ’cause it is classically associated as the straightforward reflection of how a firm will be perceived in the sartorial world, or how durable (or repairable) the dress shoes will be. 

Maybe ’cause of the massive dissimilarity in cost associated with different methods of bottom making. Each firm has its reason to consider it. But unlike the choices for leather: the sole of a dress shoe can either be Glued or Stitched. Or, as a brand like Thursday Boots calls them: Heritage Boots versus Disposable Footwear.   

best formal shoe brands in india
An Open Stitched Channel

Cementing (a fancy term for gluing) is where the parts of the shoe are simply glued together with strong adhesives – quick, simple, and cost-effective. The glue-and-done process makes putting together a picture-perfect shoe an effortless feat for many formal shoe brands.

It is a no-brainer shoe construction solution that holds costs down and allows to use (or pretend to use luxury) caliber materials. Brands like Bata and Red Tape rely on Cementing to make nearly all their sub-₹4k pieces.

The intricately made pieces trust interlocking loops of thread, leather welts, and some complex details packed into a small space.

Such execution assures future credentials of pairs, allowing the best formal shoe brands in India to create truly unique pieces, that can be treasured for years to come.

Though the sartorial world isn’t wall-to-wall with recipes that wove a new story of how to stitch the sole of dress shoes, there are still two methods to consider! Perhaps it’s a more personal affair to rank one over the other, there still, thankfully, remains something incredibly special about the Goodyear Welting!

Roughly 170 years after Charles Goodyear map out what’s been called “the recipe to craft the most durable dress shoes,” there’s no way around it… yet! 

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 enough 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 landfills 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.

How They Shape & Sculpt

Are you in love with the shape of your shoe? Shape? Yes! It is one of those differentiating factors that someone who has undergone cardboard-crisp selvage formal shoes to a malleable, perfectly molded-to-your-feet pair can attest. Yet, just because the dimensionality of every pair ranges, it does not make them any less practical but far less desirable.

We would recommend you draw a shoe. Just ask your eyes to do all the work and let the hand follow, without the brain getting involved. It could turn out ugly and disproportionate if the shape is not drawn perfectly. The slightest variation in pencil movement can be a deal breaker. You Know what shoes look like, but when you look at them as an artist, you see the details.

After all, the point of dress shoes is more pictorial than, say, practice. We own ’em to compliment an attire that elevates the spirit, extols a sense of self, and helps define a man to whom details matter! Your interpretation of “Formal” may not be that sophisticated but, whether for a wedding, job interview, or funeral, those dress shoes must shape a smart, tailored look at least for that moment!

Too often, people never come to know, that they truly like a shoe (especially dress shoes) because of its shape, not because of its patterns, color, style, etc. And what defines shape is, actually, the beating heart of a shoe—The Last. It’s not a massive catalog of styles that the best brands take pride in, but having a diverse selection of lasts is what the nerds get so animated for!

best formal shoe brands in india

The last is a dress shoemaker’s signature and can be thought of as their most closely guarded secret. Because it is not a piece of wood that can be craved overnight. It is a foundation that should stimulate beauty and finesse while casing the best possible fitting qualities. It needs the calm of character with an artistic flair.

Along with all of the aesthetics and fitting qualities a shoemaker needs from the outset, it has to be executed in a factory that’s able to respect the last’s dimensional elements. What makes a shoemaker one of the best formal shoe brands in India is its ability to turn a foot’s silhouette into a wood carving and translate it into something that you can get over the top in indulging yourself.

It’s not like leather that can be bought, or like a Goodyear Welt that can be executed in days. A shoemaker doesn’t even make but develops a last! It’s a reviving and refining process that a shoemaker can’t quietly pursue but talk up about – not just for the better fitting recommendation but to show up they do care about something that rarely any brand in our country would even discuss!

Nobody’s normal. Sizes are standardized. Feet aren’t. The majority of us can’t frequent Bespoke on the regular, it can, therefore, be hard to accommodate all of those different shapes. There are more people in the world with broader feet than there are narrow and shoemakers know this. Therefore, it is easier to make block-like shoes that have no shape that can thus “fit” the majority of people. 


What We’d Get For The Price

What draws us to a brand? It’s certainly not because they are super affordable. Then we’d just tie a synthetic block around our feet. Is it their world-class dress shoes? Then we might live with artifacts from Edward Green that most people can only dream of being able to afford. When you’re next settling down to a brand, you’re actually settling down to the best deal

The best formal shoe brands in India convey a sense of synergy between what we pay and what we get. But it’s not a physical or mental notion so much as a psychological one. We have our ways to consider the pay-and-get concern that is fraught with the fear of making a mistake, of wasting money, and of appearing foolish in front of other people.

best formal shoe brands in india

The best value for a sartorialist, with the goal of pursuing the best p̶l̶e̶a̶s̶u̶r̶e̶s̶ pairs of life money can buy, wouldn’t be that exciting for most ordinary consumers as living beyond our means is never a great deal. It sounds like a subjective matter, as what, for you, does the best value mean depends, well, on you! However, it’s just simple math to know how much a piece of formal attire is actually worth.

Two decades into the 21st century and with the world’s labor markets reshaped by globalization, there isn’t much that can’t be made just as well, and more cheaply, anywhere. Most formal shoe brands in India, firms that exceptionally lower the digit on the hang tag, are actually in the business of saving you a few bucks at the expense of overall value.

The “race to the bottom” (or for the filthy-rich readers: race to the top!) has totally ruined our perception of value; we literally have no idea what our shoes (or clothes, or anything else) should cost, and low prices have become so normalized that we don’t even second-guess them. Price is not a straightforward reflection of what value such shoes convey. 

To know which brand will deliver you the best value, trace the Rampant discounting! It has trained us to doubt the price of anything, whether it’s a ₹20,000 dress shoe or a ₹2000 one. Wait a few weeks or months, and the price going to be marked down. And if it’s so easy for a formal shoe brand to slash those prices, then surely the original number was too high, to begin with, right?

A few hundred rupees for cemented synthetic upper shoes, double that for the upper of genuine leather. Those blake stitched full-grain leather pieces are worth nothing more than five thousand rupees and sand-off that range with a few hundred if the upper sanded as well! Indeed, Goodyear Welted artifacts won’t be easy on the wallet: but don’t stretch it beyond nine thousand.  

We have long contended that the best values in dress shoes fall into these ranges. That’s where many brands can work traditionally with different materials and still earn enough to sustain their businesses. So brands serving beyond the nine thousand rupee bar are charging for the brand name, markups, and other elements that might have little to do with the quality of the shoes, right? Wrong.

Initially, we get more out of our money. Upgrading to a better quality dress shoe—switching from synthetic leather cemented pair to a top-grain blake stitched, or full-grain blake pair—is damn affordable until we reach the bar of the nine thousand rupees full-grain welted pair—that is actually where we hit the point of satiety. 

Beyond that, begins the nuances of shoemaking! Where you have to pay way more for even the smallest tweak. Linking the price of the upper echelon dress shoes to the quality they endure to extract the best deal is tricky for many reasons. Once we steer towards incorporeal details, we begin to think: Who wants to spend more money than necessary on anything? 

Higher prices for, say, cars, are easier to justify because of tangible attributes. Anybody can notice the virtually silent state-of-the-art engine, the track record of craftsmanship, and the baubles and ornaments added as options.

But in those dress shoes, you have to be enthusiastic enough to see the sweat equity of achieving the sharpest feather line guiding a fiddle waist sole or the laborious hand-lasting work of a patient craftsman mimicking the Last Shape.

Talking much about those super-expensive shoes can cost us your attention, Gentleman! But as you’ve managed to read the things we’ve written so far, I can assume you are not from that unbeknown state where many lesser informed individuals think these pair are the same as the next, and besides, they all contain the same key ingredient… leather!


Enough Experience?

best formal shoe brands in india

The notion that “Dress shoes are not what they are, but what they might become” raises fears. The pairs dropping away into oblivion right from the first wear will certainly worsen with age. Much worse. And some pairs mature from awkward, inarticulate youth to expressive beauty, and some can, eventually, turn into elegant complexity

What is clear, in an age where there isn’t much that you can’t make just as well and more cheaply, is that every dress shoe begins from the no man’s land! Indeed, dress shoes from the same shoemaker can last very differently, depending on how you use and care for ’em. Predictions of the path of evolution rely on detailed information but… 

…formal shoe brands in India have not been transparent historically, particularly about such attributes of their products.

How long can a dress shoe last? Surprisingly, not even the experts could comment on fresh-off-the-box shoes’ durability. But every dress shoe merchant would love to postulate how long their great loafers, derby, or even top-drawer oxfords will stay on a plateau of perfection, or if they could ever hurtle downhill.

Many shoemakers would wax poetic, say, about the full-grain leather they craft their shoes from. But the most important for how that leather will age is to know about the tanning process… which, well, rarely any brand will even talk about. Many such aging questions just add more layers of doubt to a subject with a seemingly endless capacity to induce angst in otherwise confident people. 

Indeed, the best formal shoe brands in India are simply about the fascinating combination of material and craftsmanship that tones with the price. But the investment becomes even more convincing when done through those who deem more knowledgeable. Predictions are the ease when a brand heritage-heavy great story behind it. 

History is big business in the sartorial world. Most formal shoe brands worth their salt have a good 50 years under their belt, if not more. Words such as “heritage”, “tradition” and “craft” are frequently sprinkled across their press releases. Reissues are presented as “icons”. Journalists visit “the archive”. 

But is it just the name heavily associated with shoemaking heritage and history, or it has anything about the quality of shoes? Such brands have served long enough to become truly fantastic at what they do. Gaining more details to learn from, a heritage-heavy brand becomes more established with every passing year.   

We visit dress shoemakers as frequently as other people do grocery stores, and not always with buying in mind, but to know the beloved story behind that firm. And the more we discover and explore, the more we realize it’s the lives of the folks behind the oxfords and derbies that we’re actually paying (celebrating) for.

We get asked often: What are you looking for in BestShoe99 Best formal shoe brands in India? We’re always hooked when there is the soul and a story to go with quality material and its commission into classic styles. It’s hard to deny the reflection of lived experience imbued in a pair from an old brand.

Every Possible Way To Appear “Formal”

Best formal shoe brands in India

There’s something quietly exciting about ensembling a formal wardrobe. The skill and the thrill of hitting your sartorial measures and formality ratios just right. 

The difference a touch of the intensity or structure can make to dress shoes both suede and smooth calf. The delicate and beautiful finish of a perfectly hand-lasted pair. It’s an intoxicating business.

And that’s before we even touch on the variety of styles. With the possible combinations of OxfordDerbyLoafers, and Brogues at your disposal, there are almost more moves sitting in your sartorial cabinet than there are in the squares of a chess board. 

But, to play this particular game right, you need to know the greatest variation. And that’s where this segment comes in. So kick back, grab a glass and trawl through these designs; the 6 silhouettes every gentleman should try.

Best Formal Shoes For Men


Purest Form Of Formality

Best Formal Shoes For men

These are “The Dress Shoe” for your dressiest demands which, in present formal attire, could be assembled past the dressiest outfits. Yet, The Oxfords remain the epitome of formal wear and aren’t likely to undergo a radical revision any time soon. 


Do The Business… Robustly

Best Formal Shoes For men

It’s hard to nail things that look good, extremely on-trend, and also happen to be supremely practical. Once a strictly “country” shoe…

…the Derby sits alongside its more patrician and equally English-locale-focused Oxford the difference being that the laces on Derbies are sewn on top, appearing open. 

It may seem like a small difference, but this is that Derbies, while smart, are a tad less upright and formal than Oxfords and more ruggedly every day.


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. 



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 style as every other person in the room. Owning a monk is – well – a purchase of something that little bit rarer – which is just one reason for the growing interest in the so-called ‘modern Derby’.


Lose the Laces, Gain Some Style

If ever something in the male wardrobe was misnamed it’s the loafer. It is, after all, the hardest working shoe around. Given its laidback appearance and light structure, you can see why the term was lent to this style of shoe, which was first introduced in Norway in the 1930s.


Dress Boots

That Happy Union Of Beauty & Beast 

For the gentleman struggling to Dodge The Robustness while persuing the sartorial success – imagine an old Italian cobbler got his hands on some Doc Martens, and you start to get the idea: Dress boots!



You Might Also Like

How can we improve GearLab? Got feedback?