Formal shoes brands – as it stands – never struggle to find a spot in our closet. No matter our occupation, we’re all in the business of self-salesmanship. Every day we set about selling ourselves to employers, clients, and potential partners (whether professional or romantic). And there’s no more persuasive footwear to do so in than dress shoes.
The best formal shoe brands in India showed dress shoes, properly cut and lasted, gives a man confidence, and gives others confidence in the man. And while it’s always nice to have options, too much abundance can also complicate your quest for the best formal shoe brands in India.
A cadre of dress shoe devotees, here at BestShoe99, clue us on what – and, more importantly, who – makes the best formal shoes for men in India! No matter what purpose or occasion you’re buying formal shoes for – we can guarantee that you won’t regret purchasing them from these formal shoes brands. Why? Read on, gentlemen.
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:
- 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
Why No Formal Shoes Brands Felt Better Than Bridlen?
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
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.
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.
It’s The “Identity” Which Counts
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.
- 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
“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?
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
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.
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.
- Short Break In Period
- Sleek Silhouette
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?
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?
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…
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!
When quality and minimalism are the brand’s shoe words, how can functionality be integrated and embraced without compromise?
- 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!
But What Really Sets It Apart?
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.
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
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?
“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:
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
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
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…
- 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
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?
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
- 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, BestShoe99.in 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?
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
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
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.
- 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
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?
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
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
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?
- 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?
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
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.
- Wide range
- High stitch density
- 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
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?
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.
Every Possible Way To Appear “Formal”
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 Oxford, Derby, Loafers, 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.
Purest Form Of Formality
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
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
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
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.
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!
How Do You Spot The Perfect Formal Shoe?
You probably already inferred this, but it’s worth making it clear – Right from the beginning: What we’re (and you’ll) looking for in a dress shoe 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 the amount would we drop on a dress shoe – wouldn’t elucidate Quality!
So what actually makes something… better quality? We think about this a lot for BestShoe99: How can we communicate the artistry that goes into crafting quality dress shoes?
Something that our editors will tell you is that the enjoyment of quality depends greatly on, well, a mix of factors – each of which appeals to different people.
But all those twists and technical dazzle are built over some basics (things that haven’t changed in centuries) that shoemakers oft connote when talking about better or finer shoes. It’s just three tabs to identify top craftsmanship.
Secures Densely Grained Leather
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 hunk 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…
Leather is so ingrained in the sartorial material of our lives that it’s hard to imagine a time when it didn’t exist. There are several distinctions in leather that make it entirely unique from – well – other types of leather! The type of animal, portions of its hide, and even the layers within the hide – illustrate how it’ll age.
A raw hide can be up to an inch thick (when it comes off the animal), 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.
How The Sole Is Attached
We’ve covered the glories of “Good Leather” shoes, and how they’ll age. The patina that develops on the leather, the comfort of molded upper and insole, and the intense character they have – make them like no other.
The work that envelops these materials is the one aspect of dress shoes that we think people tend to perceive unconsciously. The leather serves as a canvas on which formal shoes brands reflect their ambitions.
To what extent do they reflect the shape and silhouette of feet, the proportions of the patterns, the toe shape, how narrow the waist is – and several other details with a deeper significance for the snob.
Shoes take a pounding. And nowhere more than in their soles and how the sole is attached determines do we still find ourselves wearing and eulogizing those skins after 10 years!
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.
Of Course—The Comfort
Yes, your Full-Grain Goodyear Welted pair are perfectly acceptable as durable footwear, but that’s not why we choose to wear shoes. Whether indulging in dress shoes for formal settings, a wedding, or working long hours on your feet, we simply can’t steer clear of that built-in distressed appeal!
There’s not a lot to think about breaking and comfort stuff 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…?
3 Top Tips To Buy “Formals”… The Sartorial Way!
In the quest of researching the brands that we should buy from – we’ve bought way more dress shoes than we need, including the wrong stuff – stuff at high prices that don’t align with the ambitions of this list and doesn’t last more than a few wears before ending up in our space—that now—looks more like a gigantic shoe closet.
However, with those pairs comes a lot of inspiration and information, and there are many ways to process it. Over the years, we’ve picked up several tips and tricks that make dress shoe shopping a cinch. And we’re sharing all of the details below.
Here, the idea of this segment was to identify some road-tested tweaks that would be obvious to you (and every man), which you might be able to manifest while shopping for your own formal closet. Believe it or not, we want to help you get into quality dress shoes. Every man should.
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 know that there’s much flexibility at hand, though, and brands that quite boast the cachet at your price are by no means lesser.
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.
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, stores, 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… so 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.
Should I Worry About Fit, Sole Material, And Whatnot?
Men will be Men, Ture! But that doesn’t mean we’re all the same size. Though we can’t all afford to go full bespoke, these factors are worth your consideration – if you’re after a perfect pair.
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 just finding your size 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-finding duties. Their PR team will sniff out a comfortable accommodation for you. Be informed of their returns and exchange policies.
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