I work in an investment bank in London and wear brown shoes with blue and darker grey suits, all the time.
I don't see many other people wearing brown shoes at work but then again I don't see many other people wearing EGs, G&Gs or Alfred Sargent either.
Balmorals look like an oxford unless you have one leg crossed on top of the other. Much like Chelseas give the appearance of a wholecut (albeit without the laces). Either is a splendid choice whilst wearing a suit.
Just my opinion of course.
Still, I agree that balmorals, like oxfords, look too formal to wear with anything other than a suit.