Paul Evans—Designer Quality Footwear at Half the Price
June 8, 2018
Are you tired of the traditional retail experience when you go shopping for men’s shoes? You are not the only one. Shoes are either incredibly expensive or simply fall apart after a few months of moderate wear. People used to keep shoes for years, getting them resoled periodically—but these days, quality is hard to come by. Which is why Paul Evans, NY was created.
Founded in 2013 by former investment bankers, Ben Earley and Evan Fript, Paul Evans was started as an initiative to carve out a niche in the already-crowded men’s footwear market by pricing shoes that normally cost about $1,000+ at $350-$400. While spending a few hundred bones on shoes might not make sense for everyone's budget, Paul Evans aims to make luxury shoes at least a little more democratic.
Designed in NYC, Made Across the Pond
Paul Evans shoes are designed in New York and handmade in Naples, Italy by skilled artisans. The detail put into every shoe is precise, giving you a product that is classy and a cut above many of the men’s of the options you’ll find in the men’s footwear scene today. Paul Evans shoes are comfortable and well-made using high-quality materials to ensure your shoes last for a long time, like they did in the old days.
Paul Evans brings direct to consumer to shoes—so instead of scouting out cheap shoes at the local department store or shelling out $1,000+ for some serious Italian leather, shoppers buy directly from Paul Evans and can expect to pay about $400 per pair.
While that might sound a little steep to the fashion-averse, Paul Evans claims they are using the same materials you’d find at the big design houses, minus the marketing, retail, and branding costs that drive the price up and well into four-digit territory.
In fact, the About Us page comes with a handy infographic demonstrating how they’re helping you get a great deal by losing the middle man. On top of the perceived savings, all products come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee (free shipping and returns!), alleviating the worries that come with trying a new shoe brand from the internet.
So—What are They Selling?
The company ethos is to keep things simple, elegant, and reasonable. The Paul Evans aesthetic is an appealing blend of Italian and English sensibilities. You're getting those buttery Italian leathers paired with the English quality and construction.
Paul Evans currently has a handful of models—each named for the stars of yesteryear. You’ve got the Newman Chukka Boot, the Dean Chelsea boot, the Stewart Penny Loafer, and more.
Each of them comes with a Goodyear welt construction, which is something you do not find in all men’s shoes, not even the high-end ones that cost over $1,000. Stitching is kept to a minimum, creating a sleek, dressy look.
It's true; it is a bit of a challenge to find anything negative to say about these shoes, aside from the pricing. While they are much more affordable than those that cost thousands of dollars, $350 to $400 for a pair of shoes is still out of reach for many customers.
Yes, they are well made, high quality, and handcrafted, but the truth is that at this price point, they are still not very accessible for a lot of men.
Whether the quality is up to snuff is relative. One Redditor described Paul Evans' stuff as "Instagram-tier overpriced," as in—you’re getting shoes that look good on social media, but aren’t quite worth the price tag. Others weren’t sure that the leather was on par with whole grain Italian calf leather—but again—these shoes were generally well-received.
Worth Checking Out?
If you're looking for high-quality, elegant, handmade shoes for men, Paul Evans is a could be a good place to begin your search. The pricing is a bit steep for people who truly want affordable--it's not necessarily ideal for the guy who needs a single-use pair of dress shoes for a funeral or job interview. We were impressed with the designs, but it would be nice to see more colors and more interesting cuts in the future. Still, Paul Evans boasts a timeless collection of shoes—the kind you can wear every day for the next year or more.