About Heel & Buckle
Heel & Buckle is a multi-brand shoe store featuring four brands: Alessandro and Rad Russel for men, Pazzion and Paco Gil for women. In Mumbai, the store’s at the Palladium, Lower Parel.
So what are these brands?
As the names would suggest, the brands housed at Heel & Buckle design premium pairs of shoes, high on style and quality (and thus not so easy on the pocket either, but more on that later).
The store looks neat! For a change, I didn’t get drowned in a sea of shoes. The shoes weren’t forced together like foot soldiers in battle, but grouped into mini-shoe stations with pairs of a specific theme displayed together. And because there aren’t hundreds of pairs overwhelming you, you’d end up carefully looking at each style, enjoying what you see (and therefore, more likely you’ll buy shoes from them).
Shoes in store
There are pumps, flats, stilettoes, embellished shoes for women, with formal, lace-up shoes, brogues and slip-ons for men. While most of the shoes I saw were meant for special and formal ocassions, parties and the like, you’d get a few pairs of everyday shoes too. BTW, there are also bags for men and women, along with belts and guys’ shoe accessories.
So what was good?
Most women’s styles were pretty, smart or elegant, but not too different from what I’d already seen at other brands. I liked some of the bejewelled shoes at the store and fell in love with a gold pair that I was very tempted to add to my trousseau! But overall I wasn’t too impressed with the women’s range, and found it a bit underwhelming given the prices.
And what was awesome?
But let’s talk about men’s shoes now, because they drew my breath away. The exquisite leather, the finishing and the colour options were excellent, and I felt that finally there were shoe options for men that weren’t too boring, and not too casual or teenage-y either. And while there were several colours and styles, they were “safe “enough that most non-experimental Indian men would be willing to try.
What about prices?
Most pairs of shoes were Rs 6000 and above, and I the prices could up to Rs 20,000 plus. Yes, these prices would be a stretch for plenty of folks, but there are shoes, and then there are shoes. IMHO, the better pairs at the store would be worth the price, especially the men’s shoes.
How does Heel & Buckle compare to other shoe brands?
Heel & Buckle is not like any other shoe store, as you may have guessed already. So comparing it with shoe brands in India like Charles & Keith or Aldo would be unfair. In terms of prices, Heel & Buckle shoes are closer to Steve Madden, though definitely higher.
So what are their best shoes?
Choose a smart versatile pair from the fabulous men’s range. Or look for an embellished style in the women’s range.
More on the decor
There are some very personal creative touches to the decor that makes you give you a warm feeling. The little shoe tree at the entrance was adorable (see below). And then, there was a vintage typewriter and other such things that added some personality to the store!
Should you shop at Heel & Buckle?
Absolutely yes for men’s shoes (if you’ve got the budget). If you’re a woman shoeholic, you’re spoilt for choice anyways. It would be best to buy a one-of-a-kind pair that would be the key piece in your ensemble or an investment for seasons to come.