What shoe brands come to your mind when I say the words - running shoes?
Most of the people would say Nike or Adidas.
And what shoe brands comes to your mind when I say sturdy or trekking?
Now does that mean that Reebok shoes are not good for running or hiking?
No - these can be good, and some case better than Nike/Adidas or other similar brands.
My point here is - some brands have marketed themselves as leaders in certain categories. And they benefit from it whenever an average person like you and me think of buying the best running shoes or trekking shoes.
Having a good understanding of the best shoe brands in India will help you make an informed decision.
So that's what I will try to do with this article.
I will cover the 10 best shoe brands in India and also share brief about the history, what they are good at, the price range and the types of customer they cater to, and what you should consider it when buying a shoe for yourself.
Best Shoe Brands In India
If you're in a hurry, below is a quick summary of the best shoe brands in India (and a few details about each).
Running / Sports
Running / Sports
Running / Sports
Hiking / Trekking / Adventure
Running / Sports
Casual / Sports
Casual / Sports
Casual / Formals
Casual / Formal / Trekking
And if you've got time, let's quickly learn about each of these shoe brands (I promise to keep it interesting and fun).
Nike - Expensive High-Quality Shoes
Nike is a US-based company that started in 1964.
Over the years, Nike has established itself as the market leader in shoes and sports apparel category. And when it comes to product quality, NIKE is the gold standard.
All this goodness comes at a steep price though. If you go into any Nike store, you'll most likely find fresh stock shoes in the INR 10,000+ range.
When it comes to running and sports/athlete shoes, NIKE is right at the top in terms of quality. What I really love about NIKE is the level of innovation they bring in the shoes (be it the sole or the shoe material).
If you're interested in learning about the NIKE story, I recommend reading the book - Shoe Dog. It's an autobiography of NIKE's founder Phil Knight.
Pro Tip: While most of the shoes in NIKE stores are expensive, you're likely to find good deals and reasonable price online. On Amazon, you can easily find NIKE shoes in the 3,000-7,000 range.
Adidas - Expensive High-Quality Shoes
Adidas is a German shoe giant and when it comes to quality, it right there at the top with NIKE.
Adidas was started in 1949, and for a long period of time, it rules the shoe space in the US and Europe (until of course, NIKE arrived).
If you go into an Adidas showroom/outlet, you're likely to find shoes in the range of 10,000+.
Adidas is a great brand choice if you're looking for running or sports shoes. Adidas shoes are sported by many athletes and celebrities, who swear by its quality.
Based on my limited experience with Adidas shoes, these are sturdy and built to last.
Apart from Shoes, Adidas is also a big player in the sports apparel segment.
In January 2006, Adidas bought Reebok. This gave them access to a new range of customers who were already a Reebok loyalist and found Adidas shoes expensive.
Pro Tip: While most of the shoes in Adidas stores are expensive, you're likely to find good deals and reasonable price online. On Amazon, you can easily find NIKE shoes in the 3,000-7,000 range.
Reebok - All-in-One Mid Range Shoes
Reebok started in the US in 1958 and soon became a popular shoe brand.
In India, Reebok has been an extremely popular brand. I remember loving Reebok shoes when I was growing up in the 90's.
In January 2006, Reebok was acquired by Adidas. After the acquisition, Adidas kept the Reebok brand alive and Reebok has continued to charm Indian customers with their high quality yet affordable shoes.
Reebok shoes are great for running, sports, walking, and even as casual shoes under jeans. These are also one of the best selling shoes among gym goers.
One of the reasons Reebok is so popular in India is due to its wide price range. You can find a decent Reebok shoe under INR 1000, and most of their INR 2000-5000 shoes are good quality stuff.
And of course, there are higher priced shoes as well that can compete with the likes of NIKE and ADIDAS.
Skechers - Good Casual Shoes
Skechers is again a US-based shoe brand that is slowly spreading its wings in India.
You can find a lot of Skechers shoe stores in malls and markets in India metros and even second-tier cities.
Skechers shoes are more suited to a casual shoe that goes well with casual attire. You can also use these shoes for light running, sports and walking.
Among the few pairs of shoes I have, Skechers is one of the best looking and most light-weight. I find a lot of variety (in terms of looks in Skechers).
Most of the Skechers shoes fit in the INR 3000-5000 range.
Woodland - Adventure Shoes
When it comes to Woodland shoes, the only way to describe these is - Sturdy Adventure shoes.
Woodland brand is owned by the Aero Group, which is based out of Canada.
Woodland entered the Indian market in 1992, and since then, it hs carved a niche for itself which it completely rules. This is the adventure shoe category (which includes trekking/hiking/trail-running shoes).
Apart from shoes, Woodland also offers Jackets and outdoor apparels. I have been a huge fan of Woodland products and I can vouch for their quality.
One thing I love about Woodland brand is that they don't try to cater to everyone. They have a specific niche in the shoe market, and they deliver great value in it.
Woodland has many stores in India where you can check out their products.
One of the first things you'll notice when you pick up a Woodland shoe is its weight. These are not lightweight shoes meant for running or sports. These are heavy sturdy shoes that are meant to have a wonderful grip in any type of surface.
Woodland shoes are also popular as a casual wear in India because of their rugged sturdy design.
Woodland shoe price ranges in the 3,000-10,000, but you can often get a sweet deal during sale time.
ASICS - High-end Sports Shoes
ASICS is a Japanese footwear and sports equipment manufacturer. ASICS started in 1949 as a basketball shoe manufacturer and have now diversified into different types of shoes and sports equipment.
Fun Shoe fact: ASICS was earlier known as the Onitsuka Tiger Co, and Phil Knight (the founder of Nike), used to sell their shoes in the US. It was after Phil decided to sever ties from Onitsuka Tiger Co that Nike was born.
ASICS is a new entry in the Indian market and they are stepping up their India expansion by opening more mono-retail outlets. I have also started seeing their ads in malls.
You can also find ASICS shoes on multi-brand outlets such as Reliance Footprints.
In general, ASICS shoes are priced higher and are in the same category as NIKE and Adidas. ASICS has also been aggressive in selling their shoes online through Amazon and Flipkart.
ASICS shoes can range between INR 3000-10000.
In terms of the shoes, they focus on running shoes and sports shoes (cricket, wrestling, badminton, tennis, etc.)
Puma - A blend of Fashion and Sports Shoes
Puma is a German footwear and sportswear manufacturer that started in 1948.
Fun Shoe Fact: Puma and Adidas were both started in 1948 by two brothers (Rudolf and his brother Adolf Dassler). The brothers had a shoe company and when they split, Adolf started Adidas and Rudolf started Puma. Currently, Adidas is the second largest sportswear manufacturer in the world, and Puma is third largest.
If we talk about India, Puma is considered more as a casual and fashion shoe and less of sports and running shoes.
This is also the strategy of the company as it faces a stiff competition in the sports/fitness segment from Nike and Adidas.
Among the top 3 sportswear companies in the world (Nike, Adidas, and Puma), Puma stuff is more fashionable and trendy. If you have seen a Puma store, you would agree that it's a lot more colorful then the other two.
Puma is also the sponsor of Virat Kohli, a sports icon in India as of now.
Apart from casual shoes, Puma also has a range of running and sports shoes.
Their shoes are priced in the range of 2,000-10,000.
Just like with Nike, Adidas and ASICS, you can also find shoes way above 10K in Puma as well, but most of the people buy the ones in 2-5K range.
FILA - A Good Brand for Mid Range Casual Shoes
Fila is a South Korea based sporting goods company that started in Italy in 1911 (by the Fila brothers).
While it started as an apparel company, it got into sports shoes and became popular once Bjorn Borg (the tennis legend) started endorsing it.
In India, Fila operates through an official distributor - Cravatex Brands. And while you may not find a lot of FILA stores in metros and tier 1 cities, the presence is quite visible in tier-2 cities in India.
In India, Fila shoes are primarily sold through large format stores such as Shopper's Stop, Lifestyle, Central etc.
However, Fila competes head-on with other brands online and is quite popular in the lower and mid-price range (INR 1,000-5,000).
While FILA has sports shoes in its portfolio, you'll find a better collection of its casual shoes. Because of its low-mid price range, it's quite popular among college students.
Bata - A Brand Better Known for Formal and Leather Shoes
Before Nike and Adidas entered the Indian shoe market, Bata was the undisputed king in shoes and other footwear.
Bata has been around for so long that a lot of people think it's an Indian company - It's not. Bata is a Swiss company that entered India in 1931.
And even with all the footwear giants, Bata has been able to manage a niche for itself.
Bata is the preferred shoe brand for school shoes and formal leather shoes. In India, it has a strong brand recollection, especially in tier 2 and tier 3 cities, where the US and Germany giants are still struggling.
Bata also now keeps the Hush Puppies collection, which is more premium letter shoes. Hush Puppies is a US-based company that entered India through Bata in 2012.
I have bought a couple of shoes from Hush Puppies and I have found their quality to be top-notch.
Red Chief - India based Leather Footwear Brand
Red Chief is an India shoe brand and is owned by Leayan Global Pvt. Ltd, which in turn is owned by RSPL Limited (which also owns the popular detergent Ghari).
Red Chief started in 1995 and is completely into leather footwear. Over the years, it has made a name for itself. Its shoes are high leather and rugged look.
It manufactures shoes that are more suited for hiking/trekking and also as casual wear. Red Chief also has formal shoes which are high quality and can compete with Hush Puppies.
In the Indian market, Red Chief shoes primarily compete with Woodland.
Along with shoes, Red Chief also manufactures leather sandals and floaters.