Best Formal Shoe Brands In India – holding the best formal shoes is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. Sneakers have their place, but there are times when they just won’t do, and opportunity favors the prepared. Whether it’s a wedding or a funeral, a job interview, or a meeting with your boss’s boss, some occasions demand footwear that’s as refined as it is timeless.
Based on the theory that an educated consumer is the best customer, we’ve created this guide on Top Formal Shoe Brands In India. This guide will help you make wiser shoe purchasing decisions. Once you understand the available formal shoe brands in India, you’re already halfway there toward picking the best formal shoes for men.
Later in the guide on Best Formal Shoe brands in India, you’ll find some helpful buying tips through various segments – starting with understanding the available options, followed by the signs of a quality dress shoe, and we will end this guide by finding one brand that is perfect for you, for the right look and all in your fancied budget.
Best Formal Shoe Brands In India
What to expect from a particular formal shoe brand or a pair of formal shoes depending on how much you’re willing to spend. And when it comes to price, don’t be afraid of laying down a few extra bucks if you’re able. That doesn’t mean you have to spend outside your budget, but paying more for quality means you’ll have a pair of shoes you can wear for years, not months.
In our list of best formal shoe brands in India, you’ll find something that fits your style, your wardrobe, and your wallet. If you want to subscribe to a particular brand, we feel that it’s important to feel something from not just its values but its history too. With that in mind, here are the Top Formal Shoe Brands In India, in 2021
Best Formal Shoe Brands In India:
- 360° Goodyear Welted
- Cork Footbed
- Calfskin Upper
- Classic & Timeless Design
- Extremely Durable
- High Stitch Density
- On The Pricier Side
- Break-In Period Required
Service: Ready-To-Wear Best For: 360° Goodyear Welted Shoes
There aren’t many brands out that oozes the sense of luxury or comfort, quite like Bridlen does. Of course, there are more fashion-forward brands where you will find some lustrous dress shoes. But for the upper-middle-class there are alternatives. Bridlen is the Gold-Standard among Indian Shoemakers and you invest in a pair of Bridlen because you want a shoe that you can be certain will look great for decades and is not subject to the whims of fashion.
Bridlen has been accepted into the Business Class of society. A pair from Bridlen is a staple of what use to be thought of as exclusivity to the gentleman who usually defines himself through his dress shoes.
Bridlen was a true trailblazer as they do care about the most crucial and most overlooked aspect of the dress shoe – the Last. Depending on your preference and toe shape, they proffer SIX alluring Lasts to choose from – making Bridlen a near Bespoke experience.
If you want your shoe to enter the room before you do and want it to be there after you left – Briblen worth the premium. The label will make sure the world gets to see your best side. Here’s everything you need to know about one of the Best formal shoe brands in India – Bridlen.
Here Is Bridlen’s Interesting Story
We all love good stories and luxury brands know how to tell theirs. Bridlen has been making shoes and boots for gentlemen (Shoe Aficionado) since 1986 in Japan. The label is “The Most” expensive brand in our list of Best Formal Shoe Brands In India, but the honor of owning some pairs certainly has its perks and justifies the premium.
In fact, Bridlen represents one of the few remaining shoemakers that continues to craft its footwear using 360° Goodyear welt.
The label was founded by Mr. Kiyotaka Watanabe and Mr. Hasan. Watanabe and Hasan worked for various shoemakers and designers before joining together to launch their own line.
They aimed to craft dress shoes using time tested classic principles and to narrow the gap between bespoke and ready-to-wear.
Crafted and honed with unerring attention to detail, each pair of shoes embody the timeless elegance of the quintessentially English style.
Mr. Watanabe’s shoe designing brilliance along with Mr. Hasan’s brilliance behind the construction is instantly recognizable in every pair of Bridlen.
Today, Bridlen remains true to traditional manufacturing methods. Bridlen artisans make just 100 Goodyear Welted pairs a day, allowing them to focus on producing shoes of unmatched refinement, characterized by handsome lasts, narrow waists, and hand-antiqued calfskins. These are the types of shoes one finds oneself admiring without knowing precisely WHY.
The Essential Collection – Blake Construction
Why Bridlen Should Be Your Go-To Shoe Brand?
If you’re going to drop a lot of money on dress shoes, you want them to be worth it (Unless your money is out there making money for you).
Many factors go into to verify certain shoes are worth their weight. Bridlen is, undoubtedly, part of the life of the lavish. But if you’re planning to stretch your budget for a quality pair of dress shoes – here are some reasons why should invest in Bridlen (and what makes it one of the best formal shoe brands in India)
1. 360° Goodyear Welting: Goodyear welted soles are the Pinnacle of ready-to-wear leather dress shoes not just for their comfort but further durability and longevity.
Goodyear Welted construction gets its strength, durability, and repair qualities by stitching the upper leather, lining leather, and welt (a specially prepared piece of leather) to the ribbing that has already been bonded to the insole. The welt is then stitched to the leather or rubber sole.
It seems traditional shoemaking remains impervious to the threat of automation that seems to be crippling many other sectors in the textiles industry.
Which makes sense – after all, how would an R2 unit be able to replicate the 200 different hand operations needed to make a pair of Goodyear-welted shoes? Invented hundreds of years ago, it is still considered one of the finest method of shoe construction today.
Bridlen takes the frolic one step further to a full 360° Goodyear Welted construction. Where the welting goes all the way around (not just the forward part of the shoe) the heel.
It allows the shoe to be easily resold without compromising the integrity of the upper. It’s a feature that you would otherwise not discover in any other top formal shoe brands in India.
The only downside to the 360° construction is the heel not sits cleanly and tightly as it does in the 270° construction. Is this something that everyone notices? Probably NOT. But if you’re someone that loves dress shoes – you probably will.
Goodyear-Welted Bespoke Grade
2. Classic Designs: With more & more brands out there to choose from and trends changing faster than ever – these days we end up buying stuff and throwing it away like we never did before.
So when it comes to fashion, these ‘Makes’ were great reasons to go back to the Classics.
Buy Less, But Better Quality.
Bridlen dress shoes might come with a high price tag, but they have a few things going in their favor. First, they are not Fashion – they’re Classics. You can countdown to survive short-term trends.
Because of the high-quality material, classic designs, and workmanship that goes into these shoes – they’ll last a long time. Bridlen dress shoes are less expensive in the long run, as we always encourage you to look at the cost per wear, not just the upfront cost.
Bridlen dress shoes do not deteriorate with age, rather, it will only grow in beauty and character over time. Not only will a wonderful patina develop; with proper leather care, the durability of the material will make it virtually indestructible even with daily use.
3. Cork Footbed: Mr. Hasan and Mr. Watanabe are trailblazers, as where everyone is applying latex in the midsole of the shoe – they are the first to use cork in the midsole of their dress shoes.
Usually, when we have Goodyear welt construction – the leather rib (which circumscribes the shoe) creates about a 2-3mm cavity as it sticks up from the outsole.
Bridlen fills this void with cork along with a wooden shank for shape and support. The advantage of Cork is that when you start wearing the shoe, the insole softens up and it beds down into the Cork and creates a very comfortable footbed.
Since it has the ability to mold to the shape of your foot, cork is an ideal material for footbeds. Shoes with a cork footbed have the ability to mold around your foot, giving the orthopedic support and comfort you need.
- Timeless sleek design
- EVA sole unit
- Very low perforation rate
Service: Ready-To-Wear Only Best For: Derby
Men’s’ Footwear becomes ever more rich and varied, ever more experimental and abundant, ever more trend-aware, in moments of confusion and self-doubt – If you’re not particularly fond of high-end fashion material and modern concepts, we highly recommend Clarks as a worthwhile alternative.
Clarks is the only brand in our list of best formal shoe brands in India that plays in (almost) every price bracket. The label is great for people who are on their feet all day. You can wear it all day and still be comfortable at the end of the day. The upshot, you can use Clarks’ formal shoes as a workhorse and they’ll still look as good as one (or maybe two) years ago.
Here Is Clarks’ 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.
By the early 1910s, Clarks became a must-have brand among the style-conscious in London. Clarks’ biggest ‘fashion’ moment was to come in 1950 when Nathan Clark (the great-grandson of James Clark) designed the Desert boot.
The purist’s choice – some of the best Desert boots made anywhere by anyone. Still the most iconic and best-selling shoe in the whole Clarks lineup.
Clarks gravitate towards the Indian shoe market when they spot Indian tourists at their UK stores looking especially for Clarks shoes.
After years of developing trade and award-winning designs, Clarks has tied up with lifestyle retail company Lifestyle Asia in India. Today, Clark has 1000+ stores and franchises all over the world, with 30+ independent stores in India.
What Makes Clarks “The Best”?
Clarks is the purist’s choice Desert boots – which is – by far the most iconic and best-selling shoe in the whole Clarks lineup. It was a more casual boot alternative that had been unseen at the point of its release.
Desert Boots – not to look beyond Clarks, But Gentlemen, We’re here for Top 10 FORMAL Shoes Brands. That being said, whether Clarks will make any favor to your formal shoe lineup? Let’s dive in…
1. Comfiest: So when I think about shoes (Dress Shoes!) that are comfortable me – there is a range of brands that come to mind. But on top of the comfort spectrum- it’s Clarks. Clarks is known for its comfortable footwear, and its formal lineup is indeed no exception.
Its formal shoes will allow you to walk all day with complete ease. By adhering to classic styles and traditional leather uppers, their shoes look like any other business shoe. However, they cleverly conceal features such as EVA heels and sole unit, foam cushioning, and engineering support.
2. Simple and Sleek Design: Clarks been one of the best formal shoe brands in India for a reason – Simple, Classic, Standard design nothing crazy and this is where things really start to get exciting.
A Simple and sleek pair of dress shoes paired with the right outfit provides a professional look that’s hard to beat. Its simple aesthetics is pretty damn good when compared with other contemporary dress shoe designs.
Whether it’s the firm’s supple leather Edward Plain or Mod-ish Becken Plain, Clarks remains one of the most simplistic ways to punctuate any outfit.
- Incredible Last Definition
- Narrow Waist
- High Stitch Density
- Frequent Care To Remain In Splendour
Service: Ready-To-Wear Best For: Crust Leather Dress Shoes
You can tell a lot about a person by their shoes, and it pays to make sure that your shoes are telling the right story. With expert craftsmanship and often hand-stitched detailing, Escaro Royalé won’t just make you a perfect pair of shoes, they will help you make an unforgettable impression.
Escaro Royalé continues to be recognized around the country for its classic aesthetic and really represents the apex of high-quality factory-made Blake stitched and Goodyear Welted dress shoes. Their shoes are truly investment pieces reserved for those aficionados for whom only the best will do and who appreciate quality and craftsmanship.
With access to some of the best leathers in the world – the company continues to produce painstakingly handmade shoes which successfully bridges the world of ready-to-wear and bespoke. Escaro Royalé is quite simply making the best formal shoes for men in India.
Here Is Escaro Royalé‘s Interesting Story
Luxury – that rare blend of impossible elegance – is a three hundred million dollar international market. World-famous brands whose shops populate the most beautiful avenues of major capital cities.
But behind the glamorous exterior, there is a digital world. Mr. Ambud Sharma (The men behind Escaro Royalé) is curious about luxury brands’ digital effigy as the future of shopping is exclusively online. As Luxury is more popular than ever, it can’t be only up to the physical stores.
Mr. Ambud comes up with Escaro Royalé in 2015, to locate Luxury on the digital map. Of course, all the luxury brands in the world have a digital identity, offering a seamless click-and-brick shopping experience. But with a little more pressure on the offline paddle.
Escaro Royalé is a high-end digital pure-play dress shoe brand. As traditional Luxury brands have been slow to embrace eCommerce and digital innovation, Escaro Royalé exceeds general thinking that online retailing would dilute the luxury brand’s image and reduce its sense of exclusivity.
Unquestionably, ER’s approach is different from other brands and there are solid reasons that go behind such selection. Their business model simply cuts down the markup. In fact, they bypass the conventional method of negotiating with a retailer or reseller to get products on the market.
When craftsmanship is this precise and quality is this good – you can expect that it also attaches a hefty price tag. In a normal retail environment, such shoes carry a super hefty price tag. But not with Escaro Royalé, as they don’t have any extra layers of cost.
After successfully achieving online traction, Escaro Royalé propels into a click-and-brick luxury experience through their Experience Center (that’s fondly called Cafe Royalé).
Cafe Royalé enhances the ability to give affluent consumers the chance to physically see and touch that handcrafted luxury and allows seamless shopping experiences.
Through an appointment, you can visit the Escaro Royalé flagship boutique on Rama Road, New Delhi. They will walk you through their entire collection with stories behind their most iconic models.
It’s a quite unique experience – gives a lounge feel – Defiantly, not a typical dress shoe shop. It seems more like an art gallery and it really adds an extra element to Escaro Royalé’s luxury offerings.
What Makes Escaro Royalé “The Best”?
In operation since 2015, Escaro Royalé has only grown in reputation, maintaining an impeccable quality of work despite expanding across the globe. Escaro Royalé is by far the closest thing you can get to a custom experience when buying ready to wear. Although their beautiful dress shoes may seem on the pricey side, the value for money is exceptional.
With excellent quality and elegant designs, Escaro Royalé provides access to dress shoes that are otherwise unattainable. Something of a young upstart in the dress shoe industry, the label seeks to change dress shoes as we know them. Different ingredients combined to create a silhouette of unparalleled beauty – here’re some of those…
1. Exceptional Amount of Details: We really jump up to a whole another level of quality whenever we reach Escaro Royalé. We begin to see a lot of the finer points of shoemaking that we don’t with any other formal shoe brands in India.
In fact, the box itself is sturdy and well-made, indicating that the maker really cares about the contents inside. We’ll point out some of the details that differentiate Escaro Royalé in terms of finishing and finesse.
One of the things that we appreciate most about Escaro Royalé is their ability to make the difficult look easy.
Escaro Royalé’s “The Gama” is such a shoe – an absolute, beautiful, elegant Wholecut. But there is so much more to this shoe than initially meets the eye.
But if you’re someone that really appreciates craftsmanship, It gives a nice clean look to the sole. It is just one of those nuanced elements of shoemaking that really elevates the brand’s attention to detail.
Traditionally found only in bespoke shoes – The Narrow Fiddleback Waist is another hallmark of Escaro Royalé’s design and craftsmanship. Fiddleback Waist with a fishtail creates a beautiful sweeping line from the heel to the toe that is obvious and highly sculpted.
The incredibly narrow waist makes it even more difficult for the shoe to last and to sew this without messing anything up. When compared to the normal, wide, square waist found in most factory-made shoes – the quality and craftsmanship of Escaro Royalé really shine through.
One of the elements that differentiate Escaro Royalé dress shoe from some of the more standard ones – is the amount of the Last Definition.
It’s the shape that is given to the shoe as it is Lasted (where leather is pulled over the last) when it is being constructed.
It’s just all those small details that kind of all combine together to create a beautifully sculpted pair of shoes that are Striking, Elegant and it is safe to consider that you’re wearing one of the finest pair of shoes in the room.
2. Material: Escaro Royalé’s desired to bridge the gap between traditional ready-to-wear and bespoke is also seen in the choice of material used to make their shoes. The label is the gold standard amongst the best formal shoe brands in India.
The upper of these dress shoes are made using Full Grain Top Grade Leather. The Full-grain is the strongest and most durable part of the hide of an animal, which is just below the hair and has not been sanded, buffed, or snuffed (as opposed to corrected grain) which means it displays the more natural characteristics of leather.
Side of leather from the animal, remove the hairs, tan it, and done. We get all the rough spots, scars, scrapes, and the toughness (ruggedness) of the animal. We get its original characteristics and a shoe that will wear for a decade – it’ll age well and patina well and it’s the look that everyone loves.
The Grade designates the portion of the hide used. Majority of leather usage that they do is from the lower back portion of the hide (Less than half of an entire hide) – the créam of the crop. The most flawless area of the skin with very fewer blemishes.
And, everything else ahead of that would be used for the interior lining, swatches, or simply chuck away. Ahead of Top Grade leather, the patterns are clicked by hand – allowing the pattern to be positioned to avoid any undesirable blemishes that are unique to every hide.
Rather than settling for second best, we sometimes deserve to treat ourselves with the best, most high-end premium footwear. Escaro Royalé – without question – is The Zenith of formal shoes in India. We warmly recommend Escaro Royalé.
- Hand Patina Finishing
- Narrow Set
Service: Ready-To-Wear & Made-to-measure or semi-bespoke shoe Best For: Blake Stitch Formal Shoes
Starting the guide off with an extraordinary brand – Pellé Santino. The label is an excellent introduction to the world of luxury shoes. Pellé Santino’s overall value proposition is very hard to beat! All the classic dress shoes in their collection are an excellent example of their craftsmanship.
As a general rule, the best formal shoes for men are made by companies whose primary business is the manufacture of men’s shoes: Pellé Santino is an excellent choice. And to all the shoe connoisseur – it might not be a new name. All-in-all, no list of best formal shoe brands in India would be complete without Pellé Santino.
Here Is Pellé Santino‘s Interesting Story
Pellé Santino was built out of frustration. They were frustrated with the formal shoe options available on the market. Formal shoes pretty much fell under two categories in India. Either you buy super expensive or overpriced formal shoes with a big logo.
And on the flip side, go for a super cheap alternative – where it is like glue on soles that didn’t hold on and you ended up having to toss them out. They wanted to bridge the gap, So Mr. Mikhil Mehra comes up in order to change the scenario.
Mr. Mehra created Pellé Santino in 2016, and they have taken off like crazy since then. They bring to the table a world-class product, at an unbelievable price.
The reason for that is simple (and they are very transparent about that) – they use the direct-to-consumer model, which allows them to dump off the markup added by the wholesaler and retailer.
They were actually bypassing the long-time model with a retailer in the middle. Their shoes are ethically crafted in a small workshop from full-grain leather using a Blake stitch construction as well as a leather lining.
What Makes Pellé Santino “The Best”?
Pellé Santino is a celebrated shoe brand that’s cherished for its simple and sleek designs. But there are so many elements, beyond just looks, which we think is turning a lot of heads towards this label.
Let me walk you through some of these elements that separate Pellé Santino from other brands and make it one of the best formal shoe brands in India.
1. Build Quality: Every pair of Santino is a breathtaking specimen of craftsmanship. Crafted with full-grain leather using a Blake stitch construction, the label’s offering showcases Indian-made shoes with a stylish artisanal aesthetic.
While connoisseurs will often have a preference for Goodyear welted shoes, there is a lot to be said for the Blake stitch.
Not only is it an older shoemaker technique but it offers a quicker breaking in period, a slimmer profile.
Apart from the construction of a shoe, the other most important aspect is the choice and quality of leather.
For Pellé Santino – leather is a fascinating material. Most of their models adopt a worn-in patina that makes it unique to the wearer – thanks to the full-grain leather upper.
It comes from the top layer of the hide that retains the inherent toughness, as well as the imperfections because there are no surface alterations or splitting. Using the combination of best shoemaking machines with an incredible amount of handwork – Pellé Santino offers the best build quality for a factory-made shoe.
2. Price: Pellé Santino prides itself on offering value for money with quality yet relatively affordable shoes. Firstly, to be able to sell dress shoes when on a tighter budget, most manufacturers are obliged to use shortcuts and will skip important processes.
The label will grant access to higher grades as they reap the benefits of going direct to consumers. They manufacture in-house, craft all their shoes in small batches. With Santino, Gentlemen, you get the best of both worlds. Beautiful long-lasting quality footwear at even more beautiful prices.
We own some pairs of Pellé Santino and can attest to the fact that they offer high-quality shoes at very attractive prices. Out of all the brands in our guide on best formal shoe brands in India – we have to admit that Pellé Santino is a fantastic entry level for the Gentlemens and specifically the young generation who wants to give the sartorial path a try.
Pellé Santino is an excellent start to your sartorial path. At this price point, Pellé Santino starts to show some of the more nuanced elements of high-end shoemaking. Unquestionably – worth attention, if you’re serious about your shoe game.
- No break-in required
- Cost-Quality ratio
Service: Ready-To-Wear OnlyBest For: Derby
One of the pre-eminent names of the Indian Formal shoe market, Hush Puppies has excelled in traditional formal shoes and boots. When it comes to formal shoes – Hush puppies is just an amazing company. The Quality, Comfort, Style has just been elevated through the roof.
Hush Puppies bring a bundle of things to the table – that it’s kind of hard to pigeonhole them in one category. It is safe to say that – Its formal range leans towards the practical side of the spectrum.
Here Is Hush Puppies’ Interesting Story
Founded in 1958, Hush Puppies is the result of an extensive effort by Wolverine World Wide to develop a practical method of Pigskin Tanning (one of the most durable) for the US military.
Hush Puppies were introduced to the industry at the National Shoe Fair in Chicago. The reaction was immediate and overwhelming.
With the tagline of “We invented casual”, by 1963 one-in-ten adults in the United States owned a pair of Hush Puppies.
The success plane takes off in 1995 when fashion designers John Bartlett, Anna Sui, and Joel Fitzpatrick began featuring them in their collections.
Hush Puppies soon began to turn up on the famous feet of stars such as Princess Diana, Jim Carrey, Sharon Stone, David Bowie, Tom Hanks, Dennis Rodman, and Sylvester Stallone.
It didn’t take long for the rest of the world to discover Hush Puppies. After signing an agreement with Wolverine in 2013 – Bata launched Hush Puppies in the country as part of its retail expansion strategy.
From the first Hush Puppies store at Rajpur Road, Dehradun in India to today, where Hush Puppies India now has 100+ dedicated retail stores across the country showcasing the full range of Hush Puppies favorites.
What Makes Hush Puppies “The Best”?
Unquestionably, Hush Puppies holds a place in the Indian formal shoe market and is well-known for providing excellent value. Of course, their shoes might not the best formal shoe for men that money can buy.
But because of some unique elements that go into their shoes – Hush Puppies is (in a specific segment of the market) pretty much without competition. Here’re those elements…
1. Innovative Approach: When it’s about innovation in casual kicks and dress shoes – The Puppy is Killing It. Hush Puppies history is rooted in innovation – From the beginning, the revolutionary use of Scotchgard® leather protector, added during the tanning process, made Hush Puppies leather scuff, stain, and water-resistant and changed suede footwear forever.
Blending technology and Dress shoes are grueling but HP developed dozens of patented technologies that make their shoes more comfortable, lightweight, and worry-free. To cite an instance, Its Zero G® combines a lightweight shock absorbing midsole with athletic construction for instant and lasting comfort.
2. Versatility: Gentlemen, it’s a fact that Hush Puppies got the wheels in motion years ago by dint of their casual positioning. Today, No matter how deep they dig in the formal scenario – there is a casual flavor in most of their formal designs. By and by, it plug-in versatility in their dress shoes.
There are so many models in Hush Puppies formal line up that is versatile enough to go with just about everything you have in your closet. Whether you wear these to a job interview, first date, or wedding, Hush Puppies will prove to be an invaluable addition to your closet.
Hush Puppies is a very safe bet when it is the best formal shoe brands in India. They offer some very interesting shoes that cover everything under the sun. All-in-all, it’s a reliable formal shoe brand in India that definitely worth your attention.
- Sleek design
- No break-in required
- Low perforation rate (Upper)
Service: Ready-To-Wear Only Best For: Oxford, Derby, and Monk Straps
Why would I wear dress shoes, when the sneakers are just more comfortable?
The rise of sneakers as an enduring fashion trend has one major side effect: Dress shoes have slipped under the radar. Gentlemen, if you think dress shoes are giving way to casual lace-ups even in formal settings like the office or a soiree – Alberto Torresi is an instant option for easy, elegant dress shoes.
Whether you’re standing all day or suffer from conditions such as plantar fasciitis – we have tried a number of their shoes ourselves and can attest to their all-day comfort! Combining impeccable style with traditional craftsmanship, this brand is certainly worth your attention.
This Is How Alberto Torresi Started
When we think of family businesses, we tend to conjure up images of homely convenience stores and humble neighborhood pizza parlors, but this is not the case here.
Alberto Torresi is the creation of a gigantic family-owned business – Virola Group (date back to 1969). The idea behind the label is to bring European quality dress shoes to the Indian market at affordable prices.
The story starts in late 2009 when Virola made its domestic appearance with an initial seed capital of fifteen lakh rupees (20,000 dollars) with all eyes on Mr. Ishaan Sachdeva – The men behind the success of Alberto Torresi.
Ishaan’s business sense and understanding of the market dynamics remit Alberto an early boost. He has been instrumental in leading the company to new heights.
Since he has taken over the reins of the business, Alberto Torresi has witnessed a repeated growth of 100% year on year and he can be credited for introducing many innovative strategies that have helped to further propel the brand.
By dint of all such efforts, despite the steep competition, Alberto Torresi has entered the conversation. For three years in a row (2016, 2017, and 2018) the label won the “Most Admired fashion brand of the year“.
What Makes Alberto Torresi “The Best”?
Alberto Torresi may be a new player on the market, but they are quickly growing in stature and can give brands a good run for their money nowadays. There is a handful of reasons for the great impact on the scene.
1. Innovative Approach: Alberto Torresi has incorporated new technologies to the dress shoes that embrace and groom the ‘Hypebeast generation’. Sometimes it just doesn’t work, but in this situation – We think Alberto Torresi hit the nail on the head.
The label just did a fantastic job with there IMPACT collection. They have embraced a new approach to cushioning our formal experience. This is kind of like ‘torchbearer’ for better technologies and new features to keep their pairs reliable and supportive.
2. Affordability: How sweet is it when you find a brand that actually exceeds your expectation in terms of price and quality. Nope, we’re not sugarcoating anything. In fact, The brands’ forte lies in affordable pricing.
In our opinion, it doesn’t get any better than Alberto in terms of price in all the range of what you need – covers Oxfords, Derby, Loafers, Monk-Strap, and Dress Boots.
Alberto may not make as much noise as some of its contemporaries, but while they’re all battling it out trying to come up with the next big thing, the label is quietly working away in the background, perfecting the classics.
The Royale Peacock
- Goodyear Welted Construction
- Sleek Fit
- Break-in required
- Higher Price Tag (for cemented shoes)
Service: Ready-To-Wear Only Best For: Goodyear Welted Dress Shoes.
After covering the most affordable option, let’s jump on to the other side of the scenario. If you throw on a nice suit and pairs it with cheap, clunky lace-ups, you’re not what we’d call a detail man. some occasions demand footwear that’s as refined as it is timeless.
Luckily, there are options (Very Few) for Quality dress shoes. The Royale Peacock is one of few Indian Formal Shoes Brands that make Goodyear Welted dress shoes. And that’s what I want to stress, the company is committed to offering high-quality dress to gentlemen like you.
Here Is The Royal Peacock‘s Interesting Story
There are plenty of brands all around the world that make the best formal shoes for men. While some are steeped in heritage and tradition, many new manufacturers seek to provide us with something novel.
Something of a young upstart in the dress shoe industry, The Royale Peacock seeks to change dress shoes as we know them in India.
The label grows from the Serendipitous meeting of two high school friends – Shubham Dhupar and Ayushi Doneria – passionate about goodyear welted shoe making, in January 2019.
Seeking to update normally accepted Glued-On and Bonded dress shoes, Shubham and Ayushi began experimenting with the most reliable foam of dress shoe construction – Goodyear Welting.
Foregoing traditional shoe construction followed in India, The Royale Peacock shoes are inspired by English Aesthetics. Although not feature a Blake stitch construction, their manufacturing process offers a sturdy and well-built shoe.
What Makes The Royale Peacock “The Best”?
As earlier mentioned, The Royale Peacock is from a few dress shoe brands making Goodyear Welted Dress Shoes In India. But despite having other options or being able to choose anything – why we should reach to Peacock? Let’s address the elephant in the room…
1. Goodyear Welt: Now, this is “the most” interesting element of this label, and it’s a huge step-up in quality. Instead of using Glue, they are actually stitching the upper down to the sole. Here, Welt is the key. The Welt is directly sewn in the Upper, and then Welt is sewn to the sole.
A Goodyear Welted leather dress shoe is the Pinnacle of ready-to-wear formal shoes – not just for there comfort but further durability and longevity. We have covered a little bit (Or..a lot) more on the advantages of Goodyear Welting later in this guide.
2. Snug Fit: In our opinion, the most important part (for the fit of the shoe) is the middle part. You want it fit snugly around your foot so it holds it in place even without you having to tie your shoe.
When I first tried their Black Cap Toe Oxford, it just hugs my feet without being too tight or too loose. These shoes are built on a relatively narrow last, giving them more of an Italian feel.
It’s certainly significantly more expensive than any other standard collection, but the label features an unprecedented amount of handwork that you would otherwise not find in a standard or even the best formal shoe brands in India.
Goodyear welting is the gold standard of high quality, incredibly durable leather dress shoes. And if this is all that you need – you can’t do anything better than a pair of The Royale Peacock.
- Build quality
- Narrow set
Service: Ready-To-Wear Only Best For: Buff Leather Dress Shoes
It is so incredibly frustrating when you go out there and buy dress shoes based on the brand only to get it home and realize – The Quality… ? ?. If we call certain brands – for being overpriced – we better bring super strong with an affordable option.
Sometimes men’s dress shoes for under a certain dinero seems too good to be true and unfortunately, it’s often the case. But SeeandWear is exceptions to the rule. We’re really fond of this label as they offer decent quality and fair prices.
Here Is SeeandWear’s Interesting Story
SeeandWear is an interesting brand and something unique from the others featured in this list of best formal shoe brands in India. Originally, They started as Exporters of top quality dress shoes to English manufacturers.
By and by, they learn in detail the construction and craft of dress shoes. In our opinion, this type of people are so important in the shoe industry.
As they are carrying other brands and after decide to carry their own brand because they know where to make the shoes, how to monitor big factories, and this case how to make quality shoe at an unbelievable price.
Founder Prabhat Saini believes that at some point in every bro’s life, he’s gonna need some dress shoes. But that doesn’t mean that you have to refinance your life in order to pick up a decent pair of shoes.
So Mr. Prabhat Saini launched their own range of footwear in 2011 – SeeandWear. With this label, Mr. Prabhat is passing the benefit of their knowledge and experience on to the customer.
What Makes SeeandWear “The Best”?
It didn’t take long for SeeandWear’s whimsical but practical footwear to charm the fashion crowd. But you might be wondering – Does SeeandWear make the best formal shoes for men? Heck NO. Although, this label deserves serious consideration.
1. Overall Construction: Simple, classic, standard nothing crazy – this is the working law of SeeandWear. There are some bijou components that make their offering very interesting. At the deeper slice of a dress shoe, we assume a cemented sole with some synthetic upper.
But this is where SeeandWear put a lot of thoughts and comes up with something special. They use the Blake Rapid Construction method allows making a double-bottomed dress shoe. We get a Genuine leather upper in most of there models. Might not the softest leather (Calfskin), you might feel a little firmness, but still, it’ll get the job done.
2. Price: SeeandWear is simply a fantastic brand when on a budget. Through the years, they mastered the skill of putting costs on the lower end. All of these shoes represent good value at their respective price point. And this is the biggest reason, the label has made its way into our guide of best formal shoe brands in India.
Every self-respecting man needs a pair of quality dress shoes to ensure that he’s prepared for a formal occasion or needs to wear a suit. Whether you wear them regularly or just once in a blue moon, Seeandwear is a perfect option.
- 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 there 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 in the ’90s when leather manufacturing giant – Mirza International launch RT to increase its trade rim. Started as a leather tannery, Mirza International Limited was incorporated on September 5, 1979, by Irshad Mirza and Rashid Mirza.
The company focused on supplying high-quality leather and leather products to the overseas markets and gradually became one of the biggest exporters of finished leather in the country. Mirza took a notable leap, by venturing into newer fields of leather footwear.
After successfully reorganizing itself, Mirza moved a step ahead of others by launching its own brands ‘Red Tape’ in 1996.
Red Tape not only helped the Mirzas in getting a foothold in the international market, but it also assisted them in transforming a fledgling tannery business into one of the country’s largest leather exporting companies.
Endorsed by the style icon Salman Khan, Red Tape has a retail network of over 120 exclusive stores across the country.
Red Tape today become synonymous with hi-fashion & lifestyle, owing to its unmatched quality, skilled craftsmanship and trendy products. Endorsed by the style icon Salman Khan, Red Tape has become India’s most loved premium lifestyle brand.
What Makes Red Tape “The Best”?
Red Tape has been around for almost 25 years. They have made their way and get the brand known out there. But It’s no secret, there’re tons of formal shoe brands in India working on the same piece. So What sets Red Tape apart from other luxury shoemakers?
1. Affordability: Quality dress shoe 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.
2. Massive Range: What is very interesting in Red Tape is the range they have – it’s extremely large. They carry pretty much all the styles in the formal section. It covers Cap toe oxford, Wingtip Oxford, Plain toe Oxford, Apron toe derby, Full Brogues, Semi Brogues, Quater Brogues (Not Longwing Brogue) and that’s something very special about Red Tape.
If you want to play it safe, specifically if you are at the very beginning of your sartorial curve – Red Tape is a great option to start your sartorial path.
- Cost-Quality Ratio
- No break-in required
- Light and comfortable
- Cemented construction
- Very low perforation rate
Service: Ready-To-Wear Only Best For: Derby
Bata India Ltd is one of India’s most prestigious and oldest shoemakers. The brand is best known for their cult-like following among shoe aficionados for their ability to combine extraordinary softness and comfort. Unquestionably, Bata gets a big bite of the country’s formal shoe market.
The brand is fairly lauded for its refined lasts, genuine leather, patent leather, from basic slip-on to lace up, derby to Monk strap, Bata has every style range you need to groove your office look. Aside from the massive formal range, what sets Bata apart is its price spectrum.
This Is How Bata Started
Established as T. & A. Baťa Shoe Company on 24 August 1894 in the Moravian town of Zlín, Czech Republic. There wasn’t a quantum leap until the company started making shoes from canvas instead of leather to overcome financial difficulties.
Since the beginning, Bata was primarily focused on mass production. As in 1904, Tomas Bata (Founder) introduced mechanized production techniques after a six months visit from America to understand their system of mass production. With this step, the Baťa Shoe Company to become one of the first mass producers of shoes in Europe.
Such success helped fuel the company’s growth. Until 1932, the Baťa company employed 16,560 people, maintained 1,645 shops and 25 enterprises.
This legendary brand entered India in 1931 as Bata Shoe Company Private Limited in Konngar West Bengal which was then shifted to Batanagar which later become the first manufacturing facility in the Indian shoe industry to receive the ISO 9001 certification.
The company has entered into an agreement with Bata Ltd of Toronto Canada for the supply of technical know-how and services such as Footwear technology and design, brand development, product development, retailing, and information systems for a period of ten years from January 1, 2001.
Currently, it has five factories located at Batanagar, (West Bengal), Bataganj, (Bihar), Faridabad (Haryana), Peenya (Karnataka) and Hosur (Tamil Nadu). Today Bata commands around 35 percent of market share in India. The company’s 98 percent revenue comes from domestic operation through its 1250 stores and over 30,000 dealers spread across India.
What Makes Bata “The Best”?
Bata is known for having a user base that’s very loyal and enthusiastic about their products. But there is an equally enthusiastic hatred toward Bata from other people in the formal shoe community.
If you’re having trouble understanding why anyone would choose Bata formal shoes over their competitors – here are some solid reasons why bata is one of the best formal shoe brands in India.
1. Cost Quality Ratio: In 2004, Guinness World Records recognized Bata as the world’s largest shoe manufacturer and retailer for having sold more than 14 billion pairs of shoes. With such a massive production, Bata reaped the benefits of economies of scale.
The whole costs are spread over a larger number of shoe results – an unbeatable Cost Quality ratio. With all such actions, we (as a consumer) get an amazing product at an incredible price.
2. Massive Range: You can find pretty much everything comes under the formal section. If you are bored of pairing the same lace-up and slip-on formal shoe again and again then Bata has a lot more to offer you.
The new range of derby and monk strap formal shoes will surely blow off your mind and make you fall in love with them. This range is sure to turn around your style to more expressive and casual while retaining your corporate look.
Bata has been a hit with the Indian middle class and probably most of our first pair of shoes had the brand embossed on them. The label comes across as a relief offering a wide range of affordable and practical formal shoes.
Best Formal Shoes For Men
Finding the Best Formal Shoes For Men is tricky because there isn’t one Best Formal Shoe for all the Gentlemen out there. When it comes to best formal shoes for men – all sorts of things come into play – your Lifestyle, your Professional Need, your Style Wants, and most importantly – your Wallet.
The aforementioned best formal shoe brands in India turn out some of the best Formal shoes for men that you should invest in. After giving each model such a thorough inspection – we’re confident you’ll find the best formal shoes for men for any situation.
The reason our reviews are special and different than everyone else’s is that we have access to every brand’s complete catalog (bought or received from the brand) for side by side analysis.
With plenty of opportunities to dine out at fancy restaurants back on the agenda, and a return to the office on the cards, shop BS’s pick of the formal shoes you should be stepping out in.
Best Formal Shoes For Men:
Clarks Oliver Limit
Best Semi Brogue
- Sleek Silhouette
- Blake Stitched
- Clunky Shoe Laces
When you consider that Clarks has been around for nearly 200 years, it’s no surprise that they’ve manufactured over 20,000 shoe styles. Most of them justify the tag of best formal shoes for men but for brogues – it can’t get any better than Clarks Oliver Limit.
Trying to pick the best styles from such a wide body of work is next to impossible. But we’ve picked one pair that represent all the signature features of Clarks and that all in an affordable package.
The Oliver Limit is a great example of their capacity to magically combine comfort and design details into an absolutely beautiful and immediately striking Oxford.
There’s no style of footwear that defines the gentleman more than the brogue. It’s timeless, functional design has been favoured by the sartorially aware for more decades than we care to remember and it can lay claim to being one of the true icons of modern menswear.
Unquestionably, Oliver Limit is a value pack – High Build Quality at a ridiculous price. It is a perfect formal shoe in city scenarios. It wears with everything from a suit to shorts, everywhere from the office to beer gardens.
A component that makes this shoe even more appealing is the Stich. You’re not getting glue-on or stick-on sole stuff with this shoe.
Notice that stitching around the shoe. The reason they do that, is because it insanely increases the durability of the shoe. That’s how it attaches the Upper to the sole.
Clarks’ Oliver Limit was our favorite model from the brand that provided the most comfort. They’re among the most adaptable shoes you can have in your footwear arsenal. That longevity and versatility means it’s worth investing.
Best Formal Shoes For Men: Clarks
Pellé Santino 360° Goodyear Welted Wingtip Oxford
- Full Grain Leather Upper
- Blake Stitched
- A Little Stiff
Seven thousand rupees doesn’t buy what it used to, especially when it comes to Goodyear Welted Dress shoes. While there are a host of good options for less than ₹7k, their Quality is often noticeably inferior to pricier alternatives. Because nothing can brick a nice outfit like a pair of outdated or just ill-chosen lace-ups and, by the same token, nothing can elevate your style as the right pair can.
Pellé Santino’s 360° Goodyear Welted Wingtip Oxford offers International standards that evoke Italian design without the Italian price tag – thanks to the Label’s D2C (Direct to Customer) approach.
Wingtip shoes (a.k.a. brogues) have long reigned as the dressiest option in a stylish guy’s footwear arsenal. “Although they are a traditional style, wingtips must be the most versatile shoe ever,” says Andrew Loake, head of the eponymous Northampton shoemaker.
Wingtips turn an average suit into an impressive outfit and they have the power to make jeans feel boss-level.
Pellé Santino’s Wingtip Oxford truly represents the highest level of both designs and craftsmanship – capable of the firm. A case in point is these sophisticated wingtips that can easily hang with any other luxury dress shoe brand in the world but will cost you about half as much. However, there is so much more to this shoe than initially meets the eye.
The sleek, simple wingtip design of this model showcase the beautiful, waxy texture of the Full-Grain Leather. Santino starts with the first choice, hand-selected Full-Grain Leather.
This yields shoe uppers (the top of the shoe, not the pill) that are both sturdy and pliable, allowing you to pound the pavement, quite literally, without giving too much and stretching out. Take care of these shoes, and they’ll outlast your next car.
Whenever it comes to construction, Santino really has a talent for making the difficult look easy. The shoe features a 360 degree Goodyear- Welted Construction. It is one of those prime elements that force us to nail this Wingtip Oxford in our list of Best Formal Shoes For Men.
Now such construction allows the Wingtip Oxford to be easily Re-soled without compromising the integrity of the valuable, aged Full-Grain Leather Upper.
It is the process of stitching thin strips of leather (The Welt) to the sole, midsole, and upper of a shoe for added comfort and durability.
The shoe also features a Wooden Shank that gives support between the heel through the arch to the ball of the foot.
The Gap between the Full-Lether Outsole and the insole of this Wingtip is filled with Cork-Filling (not rubber foam), which adds additional comfort and helps the shoe molds to the foot over time.
Taking into account that this wingtip can last a decade or more—a.k.a, three pairs of cheaper shoes—then ₹7999 isn’t so painful. Especially since you can wear these wingtips anywhere: work, drinks, dates, weddings, parties, literally any day of the week. The deal will be even more delicious with Code “BS99” for a massive 10% off your investment in this pair of Wingtip Oxford.
Goodyear-Welted Wingtip Oxford
Pellé Santino Goodyear Collection
Escaro Royalé Handpainted Wholecut Oxford
- Excellent Value
- Fine Last Definition
- Blake Stitched
- Frequent Care
Escaro Royalé was very keen that at a time when mass production was increasing in the Indian Formal shoe industry, this brand really adhered to different standards. They are very particular to the niche – making a small number of shoes but to the very highest standards.
With some of the finest materials and a peerless amount of handwork – it’s hard to stick to a particular pair from there incredible selections of models.
A formal shoe that is designed to be sober and traditional, The company’s Wholecut Oxford was handcrafted in their workshop from Argentinian leather using a Blake stitch. An extremely clean and sleek shoe, but “The Most Difficult” to make.
With no perforation, no cap toe, no visual disruption – When you have nothing to distract the eye, everything is in The Last. The sleek and simple Wholecut design of this model showcases the beautiful waxy texture of the Argentinian White Crust Leather and really allows Escaro Royalé’s craftsmanship to show through.
Wholecut Oxford is a bit of a challenge as it is a One-Piece Pattern which is more common with higher-end ready-to-wear and bespoke makers. It takes quite a bit of the Hide (a bigger piece of leather) with no blemishes or marks because they can’t sew pieces together strategically to hide imperfections. The entire piece must be flawless or discarded.
We can also see that this shoe features a beautiful Last Definition, which is again the most difficult element with a Wholecut Oxford. It doesn’t have as much give when being pulled by the last machine. Full Grain Leather makes it even more difficult because of its toughness.
Escaro Royalé uses the Argentinian White Crust Leather for this Whoelcut Oxford. It’s a leather that is drum dyed with a little bit of wax on top and that’s all been done to it, remain uncolored and without surface treatment, are referred to as being “in the crust”.
Such leather is seen as a blank canvas for the shoemaker to work with, which allows them to put inks and stains into the leather that builds up a beautiful finish. But the finished shoe also requires more frequent care to remain in splendor, as the dye and finishing sits mainly on the surface and is thus more easily affected by the inevitable occasional scuff or scratch.
Almost each of there model justifies the tag of best formal shoes for men. Alike this Wholecut Oxford, each model is beautifully balanced and features all the hallmarks of an exceptionally well-made dress shoe that one would expect from a firm like Escaro Royalé.
Bridlen Goodyear-welted WingTip Oxford
The Bespoke Experience
- Incredibly Versatile
- 360° Goodyear Welting
- French Calf Upper
- Cork Footbed
- Highest Perforation Rate
- Break-In Required
The Bridlen Wingtip Oxford is an iconic model from their Goodyear Welted Bespoke Grade collection. It pretty much Epitomizes the ethos of Bridlen. Bridlen’s Goodyear Welted Bespoke Grade collection truly represents the highest levels of both designs and craftsmanship of the firm.
It’s a shoe that appeals a bit more to the very Classic Gentlemen for whom traditional styles are a bit too forward. The shoe is crafted on the company’s ‘Zip’ last, which features an almond toe.
More flattering and elegant than the simple round toe; the Zip last exists in the “Goldilocks Zone” of Dress shoes. It provides a bit of foot elongation but is not at all extreme.
Bridlen prides itself on using the highest quality leathers from the upper to the outsoles. The upper of this Wingtip Oxford is sewn with the highest grade French Calf (tanned with chrome salts), ensuring that the shoe will not only be incredibly beautiful from the start but will also age and patina equally well.
It is a leather with very tight grain and few imperfections, it is the perfect material for most higher-end dress shoes. The grain in particular is very fine but is quite durable and pliable. This is because calves have a dense fiber structure that is stronger than regular cowhide or older animals.
All patterns are clicked by hand which allows the clicker to take into account the unique characteristics of every single calf skin ensuring only the best areas of that skin are being used.
Another important element of the design includes the diminished width of the lacing as it goes up the tongue of the shoe – just creating an additional level of elegance.
The upper with double row stitching at a very high stitch density creates a smooth and nice visual separation that reflects the ethos of the brand and what makes it one of the best formal shoe brands in India.
What makes this Wingtip Oxford so comfortable is the fact that the longer you wear this shoe – it does mold to your foot because of the Cork Footbed and that’s what makes a really high-quality pair of Goodyear Welted Shoe – Personalized.
The finishing work on the bottom of these shoes is just as beautiful on the upper and that is more frequently a hallmark of only Bespoke.
A perfectly finished natural bottom with a slight fiddle to the tight waist features (one of the only bespoke elements) Invisible (Closed) Channel Stitching.
A feature that only high-end brands would even dare to execute, an invisible channel is when the maker (instead of simply creating the stitch and the channel at the same time) first slice a millimeter thick by a ten-millimeter wide piece of leather and stitch then sole to the welt. After this, it is glued back down, thus creating a uniform surface without anything showing on it.
Bespoke style pitched heels with Brass Nail embellishments are built layer by layer and then shaped to produce a beautiful narrowing silhouette.
One of the things that are immediately remarkable to the eye is the higher stitch density on the outsole. It just delivers a very smooth visual separation and creates a finesse to the finishing of the shoe.
Another detail that elevates the level of finish on this Wingtip Oxford is Welt Fudging. The small indentations are pressed on top of the welt by a fine fudging wheel, used by the bespoke shoemakers to mark out where their stitches would fall on the welt.
It lends that impression of detailed work to this Wingtip Oxford. The welt is broken up and adds a different aspect of decoration to the shoe and is one of the things that makes this shoe one of the best formal shoes for men.
There is no aspect of this Wingtip Oxford that has not and carefully considered. Is quite simply one of the most elegant ready-to-wear Wingtip Oxford we’ve ever seen.
We admit that extra exclusivity does put a steeper price tag and there’s no question that a pair of shoes from Bridlen is an investment piece that will be sure to last decades if cared for properly. You can try their Essential Collection (extremely affordable range) or Goodyear Welted Boots Range, whichever you choose – you’ll able to proudly display the Iconic Classic Luxury.
Bridlen Goodyear-welted Bespoke Grade Collection
Hush Puppies Brown Derby
Best Business Casual
- No Break-In required
- Simple Design
If you’re looking for a more outgoing style, Hush Puppies’ Brown Formal Shoe was our favorite model from the brand that provided the most versatile. Although a wide range with a variety of styles, we are particularly fond of the Apron Toe Derby for our list of best formal shoes for men.
Dress codes (formal) are much more relaxed in our country, “No Brown In Town” are simply not valid in India. These shoes are suitable for outfits ranging from smart to smart-casual.
Gentlemen, its a footwear staple for the contemporary gent and a perfect addition to your business casual wardrobe.
A brighter sole adds a little bit more versatility to this shoe. It comes up with Hush Puppies Zero G® technology that makes the shoe super light. It’ll be an amazing pick for Gentlemens who are not gonna trade-off durability for style, thanks to stitch all around the shoe to connect upper with the super-light sole.
And if you choose a shoe simply because it’s comfortable, this shoe will get the job done for you. With a wide toe box – toe pain and blisters are not the cases with this bad boy. Hush Puppies uses natural leather to line this shoe.
Having a natural fiber like leather goes a long way in terms of comfort and also in terms of preventing odor. Since leather is a hide, it’s breathable and less likely to retain moisture than other materials.
- Amazing Price
- Stitched Sole
At BestShoe99.in, we love dress shoes but we also realize that not everyone shares our passion. Therefore, sometimes you simply want the shoes that stick to a reasonable budget and offer the best value for money. We got frugal and tested dozens of pairs to find the best formal shoes for men – when on a budget.
SeeandWear is well-known for providing excellent value. For instance, these Black Cap Toe Derby are manufactured using Buff Milled leather.
Just like any other derby, these are less formal than Oxfords and feature no additional ornamentation or perforations across the cap toe.
I have always known SeeandWear to be like a go-to place if we need something like Affordable Basics. It is no question that you won’t necessarily be able to access the quality or more premium shoes simply due to the sheer construction costs for the manufacturer.
But still, this shoe is a safe bet. You’ll get leather upper (Not Too Soft). The grain (or surface) is very different looking than cowhide.
But here they use Milled leather where the surface grain is removed through sanding to make the surface more uniform in preparation to be embossed. If the lines & streaks don’t bother you, then you will love this upper.
So instead of cementing the upper with the sole (often done by manufacturers to reduce cost), they go for Blake Rapid Construction. Due to the direct attachment without any intermediate layer, a thinner outsole can be used making the shoe lighter and more flexible.
Lastly, they glue a rubber sole that gives a decent structure to the shoe along with much-needed traction. All-in-all, We are not expecting the shoe being such amazing – to be completely honest.
The Royale Peacock David Cap-Toe Oxford
- Extremely Durable
- Full Grain Leather Upper
- Goodyear Welted
- Simple & Sleek Silhouette
- Require Break-In
The Royale Peacock offers a huge number of selections and it is puzzling to pick a few pairs from such a huge and engaging offering. We believe the label’s David CapToe Oxford Range will be a safe bet. Of all the iconic shoes in our list of Best Formal Shoes For Men – David Captoe Oxford is the most durable.
Now, a Cap-Toe Oxford is the dressiest formal shoe that you can have in your wardrobe, perfect with the suits or casual suits.
The Royale Peacock presents it in a very simple and sleek design, something that’s been around a long time.
A simple design, lack of broguing, closed lacing system combine to create a silhouette of unparalleled beauty. The Royale Peacock’s David collection is not subject to the whims of fashion, it can be in style forever.
The high stitch density increases the clean lines and formality of this shoe. One element that makes this lineup even more dressy is the Leather Sole.
When you walk it gives that really elegant sound and they maybe a little more difficult to maintain but a good leather sole won’t let water in even if it’s raining.
Built around a sleeker last, The Royale Peacock David range is a traditional English round toe. Striking a perfect balance between visual interest and elegance.
Available in both Cemented and Goodyear Welting construction, we recommend don’t be afraid of laying down a few extra bucks if you’re able. You can’t go wrong with adding these shoes to your wardrobe.
Alberto Torresi Arthur Monk Strap
As we have now tried a number of different models to realize that they were quite addictive! We’ve gone through all their collections, picked up one pair of boots, and then we just hooked from there.
If you’re looking for a more outgoing style, Alberto Torresi’s Blake Rapid Arthur Monk-Straps was our favorite model from the brand that provided the most comfort.
Today, a sleek pair of monk strap shoes are the hallmark of the fashion-forward yet traditionally-inclined modern gent. Skirting the line between classic and contemporary with beautiful precision.
We’re particularly fond of Alberto’s approach to the double monk strap – Seamless design with a smooth finish. An ethically crafted shoe from Genuine Leather, they’re made using a Rapid Blake stitch construction and offer fantastic value for money.
The big difference is Stitch Density on the Outsole. Higher stitch density on these Monks is just aesthetically pleasing.
These little details really do make a difference if you are into more nuance differences of shoemaking. Fans of double monk shoes should certainly give this model some serious consideration.
They are also fudging the welt, as we can see the addition of ridges to the welt of the shoe. It was generally agreed that the stitching on a welt looks the best when the stitches look like a string of pearls or a tiny beads half-submerged in the welt. If you do not shy away from contemporary updates of classic designs – this monk strap is one of the best formal shoes for men.
Red Tape Oxford
- No Break-In Required
- Snug Fit
Red Tape’s overall value offering is very hard to beat! With one of the widest ranges of different styles available – It’s hard to pick a pair. But for those looking to add some Amazing formal shoe to your arsenal but who don’t want to overspend – we’ll get you covered.
Whenever it comes to formal shoes, a black Cap Toe Oxford is as Classic and as Timeless as you can get. The reason a Cap Toe Oxford is (Probably) the best selling dress shoe ever is that it’s a shoe that’s never gonna go out of style – Looks as good today as it looked sixty years ago and will look just as good sixty years from today as it does now.
This Black (and Brown) Cap Toe oxford from Red Tape represents a good value at their respective price point. There are so many interesting things about this shoe, starting out with the upper. They use Genuine leather for the upper that going to produce a good shine. Now, is it the highest quality leather? Heck, NO, but it’s a good quality leather for what you get at this price point.
At this price point, one of the things that immediately change the look of the shoe is a higher stitch density on the shoe. Stitch density on the shoe is one of those things that creates a finesse to the finishing.
Now if we look a little bit more closely at the midsole area – you’ll notice another detail here that really elevates the level of finish and that is something called Welt Fudging. This is the small indentation that you pressed on top of the welt and shoemaker uses a wheel those in.
The only downside is the foam of shoe construction. Red Tape uses Cementing (AKA Gluing) method to connect the outer sole with the upper. Either way, it’s a great shoe and it’s a shoe that unequivocally we can recommend if you are just starting up your formal lineup.
Bata Tormo Black Derby
- Extremely Comfortable
Your style journey is not about mindlessly collecting pieces to earn the respect of your peers. Need is, after all, in the wallet of the beholder. All of which is a long-winded way to say that when faced with a choice of smart lace-ups, it’s wise to pick Derbies over Oxfords.
Put simply, a solid pair of Derbies can slot into near-enough any wardrobe. Good shoes don’t have to cost an arm and the leg they’re supposed to go on. Case in point: pretty much anything you can find in the Derbies section of Bata.
Being very versatile, this shoe can be worn across a broad spectrum of environments. In fact, they’re even wearable with a suit in a business professional setting. Nevertheless, what’s great is that they can be paired with jeans or chinos for a more business casual look.
The giant does an excellent line in the unexpected. You’ll find square toe and interesting leathers, but at a price that lets you dip a toe in something new. Unquestionably – Bata Tormo is one of the best formal shoes for men when on budget. Unfussy, well-made and extremely affordable – what else would you expect?
While you can find Derby in many different colors, black is the most traditional and easiest to find. We’d actually suggest that you grab your first pair in black so they can be worn with almost anything.
Types Of Formal Shoes
Dress shoes – You need a new pair, so you go out there do a quick search.
TONS of options – You love options but maybe not this many options because you’ve got all these different types of dress shoes in front of you.
And you’re trying to figure out – what is the RIGHT style for you?
Which is going to fit the formality of the suit? OR…
Which one is going to be more Casual to be dress down with jeans?
Gentlemen, the purpose of this section of our guide on Best Formal Shoe Brands In India is to break out those Dress Shoes and explain to you the variations so that you can buy the right pair for you.
If you’re looking for the quickest and easiest alternative, then you’ll love this infographic.
Whenever it’s come to dress shoe, an oxford is as classic and as timeless as you can get. The reason an oxford is probably the Best Selling Dress Shoe EVER is that it’s a shoe that never gonna go out of style. This shoe looks as good today as it is looked fifty-sixty years ago and it will look just as good fifty-sixty year from today.
An Oxford is Quintessential formal shoe. This is a foundational shoe found in every shoemaker line for the last 150 years. Perfect for looks ranging from the most formal to smart casual, Oxfords are as versatile as they are timeless.
The Reason behind the beauty of this elegant footwear style is in it’s Unique and Iconic Closed lacing system.
For a closed lace system, the vamp is sewn on top of the quarters and the shoelace eyelets facings are stitched underneath the vamp.
This construction technique provides a slim silhouette that makes an Oxford snugger on foot and more streamlined, giving it a more formal appearance.
Picking the perfect footwear is easy when you have derbies in your wardrobe. These sleek and timeless shoes can suit practically any occasion and outfit.
As such, they’re a style every gent should own. Ideal for work, the weekend, and nearly every event in between, derby shoes have you covered in both style and practicality.
Derby shoes feature an open lacing system while Oxfords have a closed lacing system that is stitched shut across the bottom. Therefore, the eyelet tabs, where the laces weave through, are sewn down on Oxford shoes and left loose on derbies.
So, Oxfords are more rigid and formal while Derby shoes are slightly more relaxed and comfortable.
Classy yet fashionable, a Monk Strap can be slipped on and off and are perfect for the lace-adverse gentleman. The finely crafted nature of the monk strap lends it a dash of formality with a sophisticated note.
The Monkstrap is a shoe with a no-lacing system, supported by a broad strip of leather across the vamp, and fastened with one buckle (single Monkstrap) or two (double Monkstrap) on the side.
It can be worn in multiple environments and in various settings. You will look equally sharp wearing them (with the right combination of course) in an important business meeting or a night out with your lady.
When we’re talking brogues, we’re not talking about a silhouette, but the detailing that goes on top of it. Any shoe with broguing is called a brogue, even if it’s an oxford.
These are typically meant for more casual affairs. It’s usually something you add to your collection once you have all the basics covered. Definitely – not something to start out with.
Despite the name, there’s nothing slovenly about this slip-on. Loafers are traditionally a laid-back shoe. Over the years designers have modernized this casual slipper to achieve a higher level of formality.
With their sleek and gleaming finish, formal leather loafers make the perfect punctuation mark for smarter looks, whether that’s a full suit or smart-casual tailored separates.
Never do business with a man in loafers. And that’s TRUE as Loafers are CASUAL by nature. But Undoubtedly, this stands out of all the shoes in my wardrobe, these are probably the ones that get the most compliments.
There are many of us men who prefer classic boots as an alternative to regular dress shoes. In this day and age, the line between city shoes for the weekdays and country shoes for the weekends is blurred.
Whether it’s a question of style or ankle support, there are dress boots to choose from.
Simply as they are comfortable, versatile and practical (as we live in a part of the country).
A pair of boots can take you from work to the weekend with ease. Many can even match smart casual and semi-formal ensembles, making them a valuable wardrobe addition.
3 Signs of a Quality Formal Shoe
There is nothing more frustrating than having the heel or sole of your favorite (or New) Formal shoe starts coming loose.
Every Gentleman (Just like YOU) need a good quality pair of Dress Shoes.
But, How do you tell the signs of QUALITY?
If you don’t know what you’re looking for – chances are you’re probably just gonna be using price as an indicator.
And if that’s all you’re looking at, chances are – You gonna Overpay.
So If you’re in the market for a new pair, look for these Three hallmarks of top-quality Formal shoes.
A Quality Leather Upper
All the Best Formal Shoe Brands In India claims that they craft shoes out of 100% Real Leather. And Undoubtedly they DO.
As for most average shoppers, leather is just leather. But do you know – As with most things in life leather has variations, or “grades”.
They are nothing but different types of leathers based on their quality. Tha’s why some materials last longer than others and why a particular formal shoe costs thousands, while others cost a fraction of that price.
So, What’s the best leather?
Full-grain leather is the highest quality leather – more expensive and more sought-after than any other type of leather.
It comes from the top layer of the hide. It has not been snuffed, sanded, or buffed to remove any natural marks or imperfections from its surface.
As the grain has not been removed – this type of leather retains the inherent toughness. Thus, it is also the most expensive.
It absorbs body oils and develops more of that rich patina over time – a character that we look for in really high-quality Dress Shoe.
So what you have with Full-grain Leather, is a leather that looks better as the shoe ages (it develops a patina). So the more you polish the shoe and the more you wear it, the more richness and depth you’re gonna see with this leather. Recommended and Guaranteed.
Top grain is the second-highest grade of leather. The surface is sanded to get rid of inherent imperfections. Pigmentation or staining gives the leather an attractive look.
This also makes top grain leather smoother and more flexible than the full-grain. Although this type of leather is strong and durable, it tends to stretch permanently over time.
Genuine leather is produced using the skin layers that remain after the top is split off and from the corium predominantly (see diagram). A lot of time it’s actually SPRAY PAINTED to look like higher quality leather.
Construction Of The Shoe
There is nothing more frustrating than having the heel or sole of your favorite Formal Shoe starts coming loose. Even if the rest of the shoe is in good shape – Your favorite footwear is impelling towards the bin.
That’s why the most important thing to look for in a Good Quality dress shoe is a Shoe Welt. The shoe welt is the spine of the shoe, where the outsole attaches to the rest of the boot or shoe.
Anytime we start to talk about the best way to attach the upper down to the sole – the word Goodyear Welted is going to pop up into the conversation.
Goodyear Welt is the whole point of well-made dress shoe and that’s what allows the shoe to be resoled.
Such type of construction is for those who want something that they can invest in.
While a Goodyear welt construction carries a price tag, the technique means that the soles can be replaced time and time again, and the shoes will last a lifetime.
Think about it – if you’ve spent a lot of money on a dress shoe it’d be kind of ashamed to throw them away just because the sole wears out. It’s almost like spending a bunch of money on a car and then sending it to the scrap heap just because the tires will wear out.
Goodyear Welt is the secret to longevity. It involves stitching the boot’s upper section to the sole, using a leather strip called a “welt.”
The welt joins these two sections along the sole’s perimeter, and the visible stitching left behind is the tell-tale sign of a Goodyear welt.
Next up, we’ve got the Blake Stitched formal shoe. Imagine taking the Goodyear Welt actually moving the stitches on the inside and getting rid of the welt, and instead simply connecting the upper with the inners and outer sole all together with one stitching going through.
With Blake Stitch, you’ll get all the durable advantages of the Goodyear Welted shoe at a lower price.
It’s a more modern type of stitching process, very common in an Italian dress shoe because it enables to create a very SLICK looking dress shoe of high quality.
But in India, the most common way to manufacture formal shoes is through a process called Cementing. They’re using an adhesive to connect the outer sole with the upper. Because little craftsmanship is involved, this is the Least Expensive Form of Manufacturing.
The biggest disadvantage is that once the soles come apart, you pretty much have to throw the shoes out. The upper could look beautiful, but you still have a useless shoe. They’re basically producing DISPOSABLE shoes.
The final thing to look for in a quality dress shoe (at least in my opinion) is Affordability. This may seem counterintuitive to you if you don’t know the signs of a Quality Dress shoe because again you might be using price as your only judgment. While there’s some correlation between cost and quality.
At retail, you’re gonna pay two hundred to three hundred percent markup. So, the extra cost that you’re paying isn’t necessarily going towards the Quality of the shoe.
What you’re actually paying for is the cost of the Carrying Inventory, Rent of the Store and Hedge against Risk of Mass Production.
As you are going to invest considerable funds for buying your favorite pair of dress shoes and ensure that every penny you spent is towards the quality of your new pair of dress shoes, make sure that you Buy Online from the brand’s official website (not from any e-commerce website).
While making a final decision is up to you, the details provided in this section of our guide on Best Formal Shoe Brands in India – has everything that will surely level up your knowledge to make the final decision.
Which Shoe Brand Is Right For You?
If you’re preparing to purchase a new pair of dress shoes, you might be wondering, how much should I spend on a shoe and on which shoe brand?
In this section of our guide on Best Formal Shoe Brands in India, We’ll gonna make it even more difficult for you to go wrong (or overpay). So, let’s dive right in to find out EXACTLY which shoe brand is Right for You and How Much You Should Spend on Formal shoe.
Gentlemen – The answer heavily depends on your Lifestyle, your Professional Need, your Personal Need, and your Style Wants.
In this day and age, everything is more vague and fluid , so looking at some basic elements can help you to nail a perfect brand out of those best formal shoe brands in India.
This might fell under two categories – whether your career calls for professional attire every day or you occasionally attend formal events.
If you’re locating opportunities or instances (not too many) where you have to dress up and need a dressy shoe – Bata and Red Tape are brands that’ll get the job done.
We (Generally) just don’t wear formal shoes very often and don’t really invest a huge amount of money on a pair. Bata and Red Tape – simply fantastic brands when on a budget. Their massive offerings will definitely complete your occasional formal attire.
But for style-conscious Gentlemen, Alberto Torresi is Best Bang for Your Buck. They’re sleek, slightly fashion-forward aesthetic. With Alberto Torresi you’ll find something that fits you with your style, your wardrobe, and your wallet.
But if you’re on the other side of the camp, spending countless hours in meetings and presentations or you’re standing all day or spend most of your time in a formal environment – we need to step up a for you.
Pellé Santino is a perfect brand to start with – stylish but appropriate. A good (high quality) pair of leather dress shoes that will not blow your bank account. you’ll never be out of luck for a big work event with any of their model.
But if you want to stand out and showcase your style in a dapper manner – you can’t do anything better than a pair of Brune & Bareskin.
If you’re the kind of Gentlemen who wears a suit with some regularity but also needs a pair of shoes on hand that’ll work for date night on the weekend, Brune & Bareskin won’t do you wrong.
If you start involving your style and accepting that adding leather shoes to your location can actually make you look more stylish – Escaro Royalé is your brand.
Even among this pantheon of some of the best formal shoe brands in India – Escaro Royalé still stands out. You can find some Jewels at very decent prices.
Each shoe brand has its own uniqueness that is going to appeal and just connect with you differently. All the brands represent good value at their respective price points.
But Anything above ₹10k – You really begin to hit the point of diminishing marginal return. That extra money isn’t necessarily going towards the Quality of the shoe.
Honestly, Majority of brands produce dress shoes that are made to be worn for a year and then be thrown away. The upper and sole are Glued (not stitched) together. Before you know it, the upper starts to peel and the sole slowly comes off.
With upper made up of Synthetic Leather – The material gives in easily to creases and cracks which you’ll soon begin to see. You can polish and take good care of these shoes but they eventually degrade.
But If You Consider Formal Shoe As An Indicator of Your Status and Wealth, then don’t be afraid of laying down a few extra bucks if you’re able – here’re 5 Solid Reasons To Invest In Quality Dress Shoes:
Now the bigger question arises – What shoe brands you should invest money in and which ones to skip?
We guarantee the brands that now we’re going to revel make some of the best formal shoe money can buy. We’re not talking about Gucci or other designers which automatically charge more because they have a name.
So without further ado, let’s get started…
If you want to step in to inside the world of Quality Dress Shoes – Meermin – An excellent introduction in the world of luxury shoes. Many consider them to be a more affordable, and sleeker alternative to Allen Edmonds. They offer well made, quality Goodyear Welted shoes at a price which is Incredible.
For $195 (₹14k) you can have REAL Goodyear Welted Dress Shoe. This means that the shoe can easily be restored and resoled for years and years of wear to come. If you really don’t know what’s a Goodyear Welt, It might sound expensive.
With the finest materials sourced directly from the tanneries, these Handcraft shoes are directly distributed to customers to eliminate those extra layers of cost.
There is not a single doubt in my mind: Spending ₹14k for a pair of shoes from Meermin is almost an infinitely better investment than spending any amount on a pair of shoes from any formal shoe brands in India.
Meermin is an Excellent Value Specifically for the price. With all that in mind, Meermin is definitely a solid place to consider.
With Justin FitzPatrick Footwear, We might be crossing the majority of readers’ comfort zone (Budget wise). But if money is of no concern to you and if you’re passionate about Quality Dress Shoe – J.FitzPatrick is the perfect halt for Gentlemens like you.
With such a saturated shoe market and competition at every price point, it is very difficult for a new player to infiltrate it. This is exactly what Justin FitzPatrick has done with EXCELLENT shoes. Not only that, he just started in 2013!
Believe me, for $400 to $450 ( ₹29k to ₹32k) you’ll get a pair of classic, Full Grain Leather, Goodyear Welted timeless dress shoes that will last for years.
The brand has an extensive line of Dress Shoes and Boots with different styles.
J.FitzPatrick’s Made to Order program gives you the ability to customize many of the components that make up one’s shoes; such as the last shape, the leather, the sole choice as well as many others.
Little details in the shoes show that the Brand really thought about everything from start to finish. Very Good Investment -name to remember Justin FitzPatrick Footwear.
There is no better way to end this ultimate guide on Best Formal Shoe Brands In India with the Most Iconic Dress Shoe Maker In The World. The brand continues to be recognized around the world for its classic English Aesthetic and Uncompromising Quality. In my opinion – The Best Formal Shoes that money can buy. Gentlemen, It’s Edward Green.
Edward Green. Aficionados of smart dressing nod their heads in familiarity when they hear this name, a synonym for quality and style for over a century.
When we’re talking about Edward Green, in fact, we’re talking of an extremely limited amount people on the earth. $1000 (₹ 72k) without question Exceptionally Expensive, which makes each pair of Edward Green Dress shoe an Investment Piece.
This historical footwear manufacturer has been around a lot longer than (1890) any other formal shoe brand we’ve considered in this guide.
Northampton based brand has over sixty skilled artisans making around 350 pairs of shoes a week, many for export to the world’s leading boutiques and department stores as well as our own shops in London and Paris.
Cut and crafted by hand from the world’s best leathers, every pair that walks out of the factory is the result of an artisanal process that has remained mostly unchanged since the house was established in 1890.
Only superior leathers such as French and Italian calf are used (which gives an Edward Green shoe its signature antiqued patina), time-consuming processes – such as the hand-cutting of materials – are employed and every sole is oak bark-tanned for nine months to ensure unrivaled comfort.
Having built a reputation as one of the finest shoemakers in the world, throughout their time they have done everything they can to ensure that this prestigious reputation stays intact.
Edward Green Dress shoes are truly investment pieces for those aficionados for whom only the best will do. The Label is not a Fashion shoe, you’re not paying for one way marketing. What you’re paying for is an Exceptionally Well-Made Classic shoe that if maintained well – will last probably All Your Life.
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