The Shoe Wallah

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By Carla Maradey

If you have been living in India for several months now, I am sure you’ve already heard the word “Wallah.” It means the person involved or the person in charge of something a business of any kind.

The Shoe Wallah is the one in charge of repairing your shoes or making shoes, and you will find them all over the city or at least in every neighborhood or colony, as they are referred to in India.

Having a good shoe wallah as a reference is very important, and you will notice when time goes by, and you haven’t used that great pair of shoes. As when you decide to do so, the shoe will either melt in your hand or fall apart as you walk through the city without you even realizing it’s happening. Thanks to the high temperatures and humidity exposure during your first and consecutive years in India, it’s widespread and shared in this part of the world. It mainly happens thanks to the high temperatures, so be prepared as having a good shoe wallah will be your best bet to solve your future problem. If indeed you want to save your favorite shoes.

If you still haven’t arrived in this part of the world, my advice is to take the most necessary pairs of shoes. No stilettos are required, but you can bring a couple as backups if it makes you happy. Unfortunately, I had no choice other than to take all my things with me when I moved to India, but if you do have a choice, please think twice about it. It will save you from the hassle and trauma……lol.

Most big gatherings are usually on lawns, and even though this year has been an exception because the pandemic is not allowing many events at the moment, you may need at some point to have the right pair of shoes. Bringing comfortable shoes is your best bet rather than the fancy pointy high hills. Don’t bring all your shoes, just what’s extremely necessary as I can assure you; you will encounter some issues later, and not every shoe wallah will be up for the task nor have the skills to fix some of the shoe issues you may encounter. The heat is so fierce that one time, when I took out a pair of shoes after a while, they started to disintegrate while walking. Another time they melted in my hands leaving black stains on my nails. It’s honestly crazy!!

Your best bet is to bring sandals, flats, crock wedges, loafers, trainers, stylish Keds, and my favorite espadrille heels.  In my opinion, the espadrille shoe is the most comfortable and appropriate beside the sandal, and you can run on the lawn if necessary, without any worries. If you don’t have a pair of espadrille heels, you can always get one from our friend Ana Boluda ( who brings unique Spain models.

Usually, any shoe wallah can help. Now, if you want to recover or have a new pair of shoes made for you or some fashionable sandals, my recommendations are the following:

OM Boot House – Moti Bagh Colony

Located in Moti Bagh, this shoe wallah came from Rajasthan, and his family had been in the shoe business since 1970. They opened their first shop in Delhi at the Moti Bagh location in 1990. Click here for exact location:

Very convenient for people living in Vasant Vihar, West End, Anand Niketan, Shanti Niketan, and the Chanakya area. They know how to make beautiful European men’s shoes at a very reasonable price. If you don’t order a pair or two, you will regret that you didn’t. I can guarantee it’s well worth a visit, especially to make a new pair of shoes like this one in the picture below or only to repair some old ones at a great price. He has helped me save many of my shoes, and for that, I’m grateful.

If you have the time, please stop by and give MangoliMag reference to them; they know who has referred you, and you will for sure get a great deal on your shoes all though never stop bargaining as its part of the culture in India, but I will leave that for another article and up to your own judgment.


Another great shop is the Mehrason, established in 1947; they manufacture and export handmade leather shoes, riding boots, gifts & novelties, and have two shops in Delhi.

One in Connaught Place nearby other shops well worth your time to explore and another small shop in Meher Chand Market near Lodi Colony Market at the end of Meher Chand Market where you can find other exciting shops well worth a visit as well but that I will leave for another article. I have a friend who loved their riding boots and got them all made to her measurements at a steel deal plus, and the hand-made shoes for men are phenomenally beautiful.  Don’t miss the opportunity to stop by and get a pair or two quality shoes like the ones in the photo.

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