The Paul Evans Shoe Review

The Paul Evans Shoe Review

paul evans shoe review

Often I am ‘set up’ with a brand by a friend who thinks it would be a good fit.  Sometimes it is, sometimes it is not.  Fortunately, the set up with Paul Evans was of the former.  Evan (who is one half of the company) and I first met up out in Vegas during market week.  Stetson is the other co-founder, however, I have not met him yet.  The two gents met at Tulane, where they graduated from a few years ago.  Since then they have been pursuing their respective careers but have had an inkling for men’s style, which in short, has brought about Paul Evans, which launched a few months ago.

The company ethos, as far as I have been able to discern seems to be to keep things simple, elegant, tasteful and reasonable (my words, not theirs).  I refer to the styling in the former three and price in the latter.  The aesthetic of the shoes is an attractive mix between English and Italian.  One could argue the best of both worlds.

But $350 for a pair of shoes is not reasonable, you may say.  And to that I say you should start spending more money and buying better shoes.  True, there are similarly priced shoes available (Allen Edmonds and Meermin Linea Maestro), but Paul Evans delivers a much more attractive shoe than Allen Edmonds and a more Italian looking shoe than Meermin.

Currently, the brand has only three models; The Cagney, The Brando and The Grant; unfortunately, they also only offer each shoe in three sizes.  I choose to review The Grant.  However, I find all of the shoes good looking.

The Grant is Blake welted and made in Italy (and no, just because a shoe is Blake welted (also known as a McKay stitch) does not mean it is lower quality than a Good Year welted shoe, it is just a different aesthetic and feel for the shoe).  The Grant is essentially Paul Evans’ take on the classic cap toe.  They change things up by adding concealed stitching on the vamp and having the cap be the same piece of leather that extends, whereas most cap toes have a separate piece of leather stitching on over the toe.  I think what Paul Evans has is a much cleaner and sleeker look.  So far the shoe has been quite comfortable to wear, even when running in them on the treadmill (more on that in a bit).   The last shape is classic and the leather used is of a good quality.

paul evans shoe review
The Grant

But in my experience no shoe is perfect, nor should one expect it to be for $350.  There are two critiques I have for Paul Evans’ shoes.  First, on some places at the base of the upper there seems to be welt paint/stain on the leather (see photo below).  Second, on the heel of the sole the shiny welt finish is chipping/deterioration at what I believe to be a premature rate (see photo below); however with some stain and wax the issue is concealed.  I should note that I do not expect either of these things to effect the longevity of the shoes and to most untrained eyes, neither present any problem.  That said, they are certainly not reason enough  to deter one from buying the shoes.

paul evans shoe review
Note the out of place stain right behind the stitching.
paul evans shoe review
Note the heel finish coming off.

Some of you may have read a brief review by Derek Guy over at Put This On in which he expresses a fear that the leather of Paul Evans shoes will crease easily (in particular compared to Meermin’s Linea Maestros), I thus far do not find this to be the case.  I have even taken the shoes on a brisk run on the treadmill at the gym and the creasing seemed normal.  That said, I don’t expect the leather to be problematic, as I think quality leather was used.  And yes, I did get some very perplexed looks from the middle-aged moms in Lululemon, which I am totally okay with.

paul evans shoe review
The (normal) creasing.

As far as I am concerned the shoes can be worn in any situation where you would otherwise wear a brown dress shoe (for more on what to pair your brown shoes with check here).  Equally at home below a suit as with jeans, if you wear them.  But anyway, I have dragged on long enough, here are some more photos of The Grant.

paul evans shoe review
Note the burnishing. A very nice touch.
paul evans shoe review
The Blake welting on the inside.
paul evans shoe review
A nice shape on the bottom of the shoe. Yes, the soles can be replaced.
paul evans shoe review
A nice look from behind.
paul evans shoe review
I really like the clean line of the vamp that extends. The concealed stitching is a nice touch that differentiates the shoe from many others out there.
paul evans shoe review
The visible stitching on the sole here is non-functioning and for aesthetic purposes. I think it is a nice addition.
paul evans shoe review
Fine, not blurred, lines.

In conclusion, I really do like these shoes from Paul Evans.  Although there are a few shortcomings, I think partly these come with being a very young brand.  However, as I have said before, none of this should be reason to not buy the shoes.  I also expect that all of this will change for the better in the coming months and years.  Anyway, for the money these are certainly some of the best shoes out there both in terms of quality and style.  That said, I certainly recommend them to all of you.  If you have any questions, comments or thoughts of your own, please sound off in the comments.



Note: FYGblog did receive a pair of shoes from Paul Evans for the purpose of review of Paul Evans shoes.  However, the utmost care was taken in providing an unbiased and objective review.  If you think this is not the case, please say so.


  1. How’s the sizing? I generally wear a US 12 but can wear a 11.5 in some brands. If they run true or slightly large, I’d be tempted to take a chance and return them if I must. (Per the website, they offer free returns.) If they run small, however, there’s little chance the 11.5s would fit. Thanks for the blog!

    • Thanks for your question Dan! And thanks for the review Justin! Our sizes run fairly consistent with most well-known shoe brands sold here in the US. If anything though, they run a tad large (call it a quarter size if such a thing exists). I personally wear a 10 in most dress shoes and prefer the 9.5 to the 10.5. Give it a shot Dan, with free domestic shipping and free returns, you can’t go wrong. Don’t hesitate to shoot me an email with any questions.


      Ben Earley
      Co-founder & Head of Business Development
      Paul Evans | New York, NY

  2. I bought a pair of the Grants and they arrived a few days ago. They are great shoes and I look forward to getting the other two models in the future.

    For what it’s worth, I also think they look noticeably nicer in person than they do in the pictures in this article – a pleasant surprise.

    Thanks for bringing this brand to my attention.

  3. I’ve had a terrible experience with Paul Evans. After an incorrect shipment followed by a second pair that were at least a size too large, I was told that that I was not going to receive a refund OR shoes. I remained friendly and helpful up until the end, but after receiving emails like this from Benjamin Earley (copy-founder) “A year ago, we might have just said fuck [sic] it and sent you another pair. But we can’t keep that practice up and have to be more considerate of the current bottom line as the business grows, unfortunately.”… would you shop with them?

  4. I have just received my Paul Evans Stewart loafers and matching belt. Very high quality. Nice fit. I really like them and more importantly, my wife loves them. Trust me, women, particularly Italian women will go crazy for the look of the Paul Evans shoe. More than worth the money based on her reaction. Damn I thought I had the shoe fetish….. Comes with a very nice felt-like travel bag and very nice horn shoehorn, at least it doesn’t seem like plastic, but I am not an expert. I had an issue with shipping and Ben Earley was right on it. He had it here 10:30AM today. He was pleasant on the phone and in email. It is unfortunate that Gannon had the experience with Ben as he described. Let me just say we all evolve in our chosen vocation and I would give Ben the benefit of the doubt on this. Also I don’t understand why they wouldn’t have accepted the return if they were not worn in any way. I think there might be more to the story.

  5. I bought two pairs of shoes from them and two belts. Unfortunately, their products, especially the shoes are of “subpar quality” and after only using Saphir Renovateur “the finish” started to strip and the color of my shoes weren’t the original color anymore. (great shoeshine care guide on The original non-dyed nude color began to show underneath the black finish. (email me if you want pictures. I even have the rude emails I received from the co-founder, Ben Earley. Ben and Evan need to hire professionals to handle their email communication as Ben’s correspondence with me has shown a lack of professionalism.) These guys are sourcing direct from Naples and clearly getting fleeced on quality. Unfortunately, they are too blind to consider it a possibility. I suggested for them to check their “quality control” on the dyeing process but their co-founder, Ben (replies in emails with his Wall street Dbag attitude) would not consider that as being possible and explained that to me through a pleasant email.
    This is a direct quote from co-founder Ben in our email communication and he says (verbatim), “There’s no reason to be using product this early in their life. This is absolutely not a problem with our shoes. That looks like Saphir Renovateur. Why are you using that at all at this point? The calf that provided the leather was literally recently killed and the shoes were produced just this year. These are as fresh and brand new, top notch, handcrafted Italian shoes as you’ll find. There’s no reason to over product them with some french cream crap for a long time. I reject the notion that because you’re using “the best” polish or wax that the problems are ours. Ben”
    Apparently, the fine leather shoes from paulevansny cannot be polished and any issues with the leather must not have to do with the crap quality of product they are selling. Instead of taking some accountability or even researching the matter, one of the co-founders got defensive and blamed this “french cream crap” that is higher in quality that a $8 shoeshine you would receive at a place that shines shoes. I mean, Saphir has only been produced since 1925 so for them to be in business for around 90 years it would strike me as odd if that were what was stripping your cheap shoes of their finish. That’s the kind of “customer service” you can expect for an inferior product from a sham company such as paulevansny.

  6. Directly from dieworkwear at styleforum: “I’ve been advised by both Saint Crispin’s and A Shine Co. to not use Saphir Renovateur. They told me it’s too harsh and can easily strip off finishes.”

    And then from patliean1: “Why the heck are people so quick to use Saphir on their newly purchased shoes though and how hard are you rubbing? Unless you’re wearing the same pair of shoes daily (which is never recommended) through miles of urban jungle you should be fine for a few months before initially needing Saphir.”

    We were sorry to hear Oliver hurt his shoes. Fortunately, the damage was minimal and easily fixed by taking his shoes to a professional. We also gave him a $75 store credit because we felt bad. Unfortunately, he was only interested in a free replacement, which we are not in a financial position to do.

    Sorry Oliver =(

  7. I would never buy your shoes based on Bens last comment. You proved all the negative posters correct with your professionalism. Quoting random posters from style forum is just a hilariously unprofessional thing to do. Obvious 26 yr old “co-founder and director of BD”, enjoy your short-lived LinkedIn title. 😉

  8. Recently purchased my first pair of Paul Evans shoes. They were a bit small and Ben sent me out a new pair right away. The shoes are great. The shoes are very comfortable. They are better looking than the picture. I had a few compliments in my office the first time I wore them. The return was as easy as possible. Ben emailed me (as it appears he does everyone who emails the company) and was easy to deal with. My experience has been excellent. I am looking forward to my next pair of Paul Evans shoes.

  9. I too had a bad experience with Paul Evans. My wife ordered a pair of what looked to be very nice dress shoes for me for Father’s Day. But a couple weeks after she ordered and never heard from them and Father’s Day had passed, she emailed them and they told her they were a very small company and didn’t have the inventory to fulfil her order at that time but that they would ship them by the end of July. Well, August rolled around and still nothing so again she contacted them and this was their response:

    Subject: RE: Order #2468 with Paul Evans
    Date: August 11, 2015 at 4:17:35 PM CDT

    Hi Kathrine,

    Hope you are doing well. I wanted to touch base about your pre-order for the Martin. We unfortunately oversold our new inventory and are not going to be able to fulfill your order until October. We do however have a few Lewis wholecuts available which are very similar to the Martin but have a medallion on the toe. We can send you the same color you ordered in the Martin. Let me know if that’s cool or if you would like to continue waiting for the Martin.


    Paul Evans”

    Sad, no offer for a discount for our patience or any other compensation. Terrible customer service. I’m going to put this review on every site I can find.

  10. How can I see your shoes. Am looking for a chukka boot. What is the web site where I can see that boot and other shoes?

  11. Bad experience. I ordered the oxblood whole cut following all their procedures and after several days was notified that my order had been cancelled due to a computer software issue that flagged my account because the place I wanted the shoes sent did not match my billing address on my card…ok whatever. Customer service was very helpful in allowing me to try again after the transaction was reversed so I did.
    Waited another week and wondered why my shoes hadn’t arrived and discovered that the delivery service kick a digit in my address and was unable to deliver the shoes to me so they held them at the post office…again no big deal I got my shoes I was ecstatic.
    Get home and had a bit of a box opening ceremony were I carefully opened and looked at everything in the box starting with the matching belt I purchased. The packaged items and accoutrements were very well done…until I got to the shoes.
    Upon removing the shoes from the plastic wrapper and examining them I quickly noticed that the vamp had creases on both shoes as if someone had previously worn them and decide to return them and that upon returning said shoes to Paul’s Evans the shoes were given a quick do over and sent back out to the next customer…me. OK no big deal right? I wanted to break them in myself but what the heck I got my Paul Evan shoes that I was hunting for to go with a Charcoal Birdseye suit I was having made; to be dressed up with a light grey Gingham shirt and oxblood tie ,with a rose gold tie bar,watch and cuff links…the build was almost complete…I just need the shoes.
    Let me tell you; when I put them on…the fit was slightly off but the vamp felt stretched to hell (aforementioned previous owner I guess;no proof of course) and it felt like when I walked in then the top was caving in. I’m pissed.
    Some of you will say “hey don’t settle for that! Send them back!” And you’d be right but I’m so disenfranchised with this whole ordeal that I simply threw in some shoe trees,boxed the shoes and shelved them as a loss.
    I’m disappointed in my first Paul Evans experience but will not give up hope. Moving forward if I ever feel the desire to purchase another pair of shoes from this company; it will have to be from a store front where I can ensure the right fit and quality is there before investing in another pair. It’s a shame really…I really wanted those oxblood shoes to complete my latest suit build.

  12. I was really impressed with a lot of their shoes. That’s where the pleasantness died. After communicating with them I received poor attitude and snotty responses. Therefore I will stick with what I know and appreciate Allen Edmonds. Yes their shoes are not as fashionable but they are stylish. Fashion fades while style stays. In addition AE customer service has been superb by me.

  13. I had two pair of PE shoes in my shopping cart, but decided to read some reviews before I purchased and landed here. Needless to say, my shopping cart is now empty; I wouldn’t ever purchase any product from a company that treated its customers like this. I will look elsewhere.

  14. Paul Evan … just painted shoes. I bought it within week it’s full of wrinkles. Wrong sizing replacement big headache like I bought million dollar ship . Coustemer service very bad. They sent wrong size and item even not ordered hold money till long time . I email and contact for other change beside than pair I buy almost every other day . I am not highly not prefer this brand at all please be aware not good quality as picturize.. it’s polish paint … I do not know I will wear this pair I already bought and I never ask this company for refund … I just fell I trapped by picture look and bought …once I call c.s and very rude answer direct me to email my concerns.. wow $399.00 and this quality ????

  15. $300-400 for a painted blake welt shoe is a complete waste of money. Their factory isn’t in Italy to make their shoes better, it’s there because outsourcing cuts costs. And you can’t just brush over the fact that they are a blake welt shoe. Shame on you for this obviously biased review.

    These guys decided to use a Blake welt because it’s much cheaper and less labor-intensive than a Goodyear welt. All the “handcrafted”, “hands of skilled artisans” propaganda on the Paul Evans website is meaningless because Blake welt shoes have to be assembled by machine.

    Speaking of which, where are you going to get these resoled? Didn’t see anything about recrafting service on their website (sending them back to Italy couldn’t be cost-effective). Skilled cobblers are hard enough to find locally, let alone find a cobbler with a Blake machine. Resoling a Blake welt shoe is GUARANTEED to be more expensive than resoling a Goodyear welt shoe.

    Paul Evans doesn’t make anything. The entire business model here is outsource, over-hype, and drop-ship. Spend the same amount of money on a pair of Allen Edmonds, or a little more for some Aldens… REAL SHOES, made in America, that are actually worth what they cost.

    If you’re reading this Ben or Paul, change your business model and make a shoe worth $400. Or go out of business.

    In response to one of Paul Evans comments… Saphir Renovateur is not harsh and should be safe to use on any quality shoe. Maybe your shoe is the problem.

  16. They look like cheap rubbish. More like a discount outlet mass-produced shoe than a high end hand-made shoe.

    The ‘Made in Italy’ stamp doesn’t mean a thing today. It’s well known that even giant brands like Louis Vuitton have some of their shoes made in Transylvania, Romania which are then shipped to Italy to have ‘Made in Italy’ stamped leather soles applied. Slightly dishonest don’t you think? There’s nothing here to suggest these cowboys aren’t doing the same thing.

    $399! I make that just short of £300. You could buy a very nice pair of English made shoes from Joseph Cheaney or Tricker’s for a few quid more.

    Wasn’t Paul Evans founded by two former investment bankers? Clearly they thought they could make a quick buck selling outsourced shoes. If I wanted quality shoes, there’s absolutely no way I’d be buying them from two former bankers!