The following is a featured post for Paul Evans. All opinions and thoughts are my own, they just want to make sure their goods are seen by you. Fair?

Hey Gents,

7_22_13_PaulEvans_Shot9_0001Shoes are one of the things I encourage you to spend a bit more on, because when making a wise purchase, they tend to last longer and look great throughout the years (assuming you take proper care of them).

When you’re buying shoes at a higher ($300+) price point, you have to be somewhat of a connoisseur. You learn about the details, and you look for specific qualities.

Most likely you’re interested in top quality calfskin leather uppers, leather lining, and leather soles.

You probably shudder thinking of shoes finished in anything other than Goodyear Welt or Blake construction (although you shouldn’t, but we’ll save that for another article).

You research options that have the best craftsmanship, quality, and style… all, of course, at a (relatively) decent price point.

Though, if you’re in the market for a quality pair, you’re willing to spend a bit more.

There are a few brands to consider in this price range: Allen Edmonds, Loake 1880, Magnanni, and To Boot New York, to name a few.

But let me introduce you to one more: Paul Evans—a relative newcomer to the shoe game—founded in 2012. Paul Evans makes high-end calfskin dress shoes using Blake and Goodyear welted construction.

General thoughts and observations


The folks at Paul Evans sent me a pair of The Cagney (on loan) to check out in closer detail. The Cagney model is actually made in Spain, while The Brando and The Grant are made in Italy.

The Cagney is Goodyear Welt constructed, while the other two are Blake constructed. (Still unsure of the differences? Read more here and here, if you are so inclined.)

The shoes come nicely packaged and include a branded burgundy shoe bag, great for storage (keeps the dust off) or traveling (keeps the scratches away).

Out of the box, it’s quite an attractive shoe. It features a clean finished cap toe with no visible stitching, which contributes to this model’s elegant, formal look. The vamp is also clean finished (good call, Paul Evans).

You know how I always preach about noticing and relishing in the little details of your clothing? This is the kind of thing I’m talking about. I love when I find little details that set a garment, shoe, or accessory apart from the rest.

Even if the lack of visible stitching isn’t your thing, your clothing should have features, hidden or otherwise, that you like about them.

The Cagney’s leather color is something else entirely. It’s listed as burgundy, though depending on how the light hits, its color shifts slightly from a dark brown, to a burgundy, to an eggplant shade.

This wouldn’t affect how you wear the shoe (and what you wear it with), it’s simply something to notice and admire. Again, the little details.



What Paul Evans may currently lack in terms of selection (due to newness in the game), it makes up for in shape and color.

The shoes’ silhouettes are more modern, sleek, and trend-forward (in a good way), and colorways such as oxblood and burgundy provide something a bit different from your usual choices. Even the dark brown color of The Grant model has a certain richness to it, unlike the flat brown color I’ve seen in comparable cap toes.

In summary, Paul Evans is a good alternative worth exploring if you’re in the market for a nice dress shoe, and if you want something other than the typical brands at this price point.

A little something for EG readers

By the way, Paul Evans is providing $50 off to all EG readers; just use code EFFORTLESSGENT13 at checkout. They offer free shipping and free returns, so if you’re even the least bit curious, there’s no risk in checking out the shoes out for yourself.

Shop Paul Evans here.

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37 Responses

  1. Axel on

    Dear Barron,

    I’m a a 31 year old reader from Argentina who has, for the past few years, made a conscious effort to start dressing a bit better than “jeans and a t-shirt”; I’ve been following this page and a few others and while I have made some (I hope) progress most of the environments I usually find myself in like work, class and going out with friends don’t really lend themselves to wearing suits, so usually find myself wearing, at most, jeans, shirt and a jacket.

    Lately I have been thinking about dressing up a bit more and was wondering about the appropriateness of using vests with jeans, shirt and a jacket. I have seen it often enough online, but I was wondering what your take was on what makes something like that “work” in regards to fabrics, patterns and what to use them with.

    Kind regards,


  2. themodestman on

    These shoes look amazing. At this price, I’m assuming they will resole / restore your shoes for a fee after a few years of use? I’m still breaking in my AE Park Avenues, so I’ll have to wait for Paul Evans to produce some more models. Anything more casual in the works?


    • Paul Evans on

      Brock, thanks for the note. I’m sorry we didn’t find you quick enough to save you from Allen Edmonds. You are more than welcome to send us your worn Paul Evans; we can resole and clean up for double the price of your local cobbler, a la Allen Edmonds. Or, you can get to know your local cobbler and save your money for the same quality work, while supporting a neighborhood business in the process. We absolutely have more styles in the works, and a few more casual options. Without giving too much away, penny loafers and drivers are in the works. Feel free to shoot me an email any time if you have any further questions, [email protected]. Thanks!

      • Gregory on

        I’m sorry, but this post by a Paul Evans employee just hit me the wrong way. There’s a lot of snark in the response aimed at not only Allen Edmonds but the original poster as well. While the Paul Evans shoes do look great, if this is how their employees react to an honest question, I want nothing to do with their product.

        • Paul Evans on

          Greg, thanks for your note. My message was full of snark, no doubt. I was simply pointing out the ripoff that is Allen Edmonds repair policy. This isn’t just a blind attack at a competitor, it’s a simple fact. They charge nearly double for work you can get done just as well around the corner. In addition, I think we should all make it our business to support quality local businesses. No snark intended for Brock at all; we are on a men’s style website, where having fun while sharing tips among our interested peers is the norm. That’s why we are here. If you are truly offended by my internet voice, I apologize, no harm intended. If you want to contact me, again, [email protected].

          Ben Earley
          Co-founder & Head of Business Development
          Paul Evans

          • Gregory on

            Thanks for the reply, Ben. Even though we don’t see eye to eye, I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to explain yourself, and, of course, your company’s generosity in offering a discount to the readers of Effortless Gent.

          • Brock on

            Yes, thank you. I also interpreted that response as a little mean-spirited. Thing is, I love my AEs. Their program may be overpriced initially, but it is a deal if you have a really old, beaten up pair (even one you got secondhand) that can be completely restored/replaced for $100.

            You’re right that we should support our local cobbler’s. My question was more about whether you offer the same level of service (warranty, in a sense) as other shoes companies in the same price range.

            -Brock (

          • Paul Evans on

            Brock, again, I didn’t mean to attack, your comment simply hit a nerve I have with these shoe companies that offer the “recrafting” services. They are WAY overpriced! I wouldn’t use the term “warranty” to describe AE’s recrafting service. I know some heavier-duty shoe makers have somewhat broad warranties (Red Wing, some Timberland, workwear-type boots) but I don’t know any luxury shoe makers that offer warranties.

            To follow up specifically on my claims of overpriced, I asked my cobbler and a few show shiners I know in Grand Central what the following AE services would go for here in Manhattan (which is already the most expensive city in the US):

            New Heels, $50: $25-40 depending on shoe

            Refinishing Package, $50: A shoe shiner here could do nearly the same job in 15 minutes for $3-6, leaving with him overnight for at most $20 for a more thorough clean.

            Standard Package, $125: $55-100, depending on shoe (I had an AE loafer resoled and restored for $65).

            Prestige Package, $150: This is basically a more thorough Standard package (which I guess wasn’t thorough enough) where you pay for a shoe bag and cedar trees. This might actually be the best deal with the additional stuff you get, but again, this is simply a resoling and lots of love to the upper, which you can get done around the corner.

            We may at some point offer this service to customers, simply as an added way to keep customers engaged, but it certainly would go against our stated goals of providing our customers with a better product at a better price than others can match, because your local cobbler could sure make us look bad at the same task. Wouldn’t you rather us spend our time finding ways to improve our existing products, design new styles, and shake up the men’s dress shoe industry in the US rather than shining your shoes?

            Apologies again for poking fun of Allen Edmonds.


          • Bond on

            I have to agree with Ben here. It isn’t “snarky” or “mean spirited” to point out an obvious overcharging for a service that costs a fraction of the service price AE asks for.

    • Paul Evans on

      Chris, I’m biased, but comfort was a sticking point in our manufacturing process. I have to wear these shoes everyday as an ambassador for our brand, do you think I would want anything less than the most comfortable shoes I could manufacture? My feet would hate me otherwise! You also have to remember that our factories have been making shoes for over 100 years. So while Paul Evans is a new name and brand, the intellectual capital behind their construction is older than all of us. And while you do have to take my word on this, we haven’t had a single return in nearly 2 months of operation, so I guess we are doing something right. If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to shoot me an email, [email protected]. Thanks!

      • Chris Jones on

        Thanks for the reply, and I agree with you if you have to wear them they’d better be comfy!

        I want a pair of “The Grant” so badly (fantastic color and style!), but even with the EG coupon, I think my wife would kill me if I bought another pair of shoes right now 😉 Maybe in a few months!

    • Sam on

      I’ve got a pair of the Cagny’s… I was kind of shocked at how comfortable they were right out of the box when I tried them on. Big fan… wear them to work every day

    • Paul Evans on

      We don’t have a set deadline at this time, but I imagine we won’t want the code running around the Internet for years to come. If you try the code in the future, and find it doesn’t work, feel free to shoot me an email, [email protected]. Thanks for your interest Jarrett.

      Ben Earley
      Co-founder & Head of Business Development
      Paul Evans

    • Paul Evans on

      Wilson, thanks for you note. Our shoes are true to fit. We made sure in our manufacturing process that our sizes are consistent with dress shoe brands that American buyers were already comfortable with, i.e. Allen Edmonds, Calvin Klein. Our lasts are definitely sleeker, I’m glad you noticed, but we haven’t had a single problem with fitting thusfar. I personally have a relatively wide, very very flat foot, and neither the trim hips nor the higher arch cause me any problems. Let me know if you have any further questions, [email protected]. Thanks!

      Ben Earley
      Co-founder & Head of Business Development
      Paul Evans

      • Charles Sanabria-Skaar on

        Hi Paul, Allen Edmonds come in size EEE. I wear a 13EEE and these shoes, beautiful as they may be, don’t seem anywhere near AE’s. Sizing wise I’m speaking. I’d love to grab a few pairs of PE’s but as with MOST great looking shoes I have an interest in, they don’t offer a wide size option.

  3. Guest on

    Humph, coupon code doesn’t work anymore. Was just about to buy a pair. $50 to a $350 pair of shoes (that are kind of unproven) is a significant difference.

  4. Travis on

    Do you think the Brandos in oxblood are suitable for business casual attire? I’d love to wear them with my Navy suit but that thing only comes out 2-3 times a year right now. Most of the time I wear chinos and jeans. The price has gone up to $369 and the code has expired so even though they look great, I want to be sure they get in on the weekly rotation. I don’t mind standing out, as long as its for the right reasons.

  5. Oliver Chang on

    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.

    • Barron on

      Hey Oliver,

      Sorry to hear you’ve had a bad experience with their brand. I’ve invited Paul Evans to respond here. Not sure if they will or not, but regardless, I just wanted to acknowledge your comment.

      • Paul Evans on

        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 =(

        • Oliver Chang on

          Post 1.. (I had to edit the comment because this post was meant for styleforum, but they censored me/blocked my posts)

          Ben mentioned”these boards” are friends of paulevansny.. <–if this post goes"poof" i.e. information cannot be freely disseminated and censorship is necessary I would question the integrity of the forum. I'm happy to provide all email communication to the forum moderator if an email address is provided
          through PM.

          I was going to let "sleeping
          dogs lie", but since this was requested I'll share 🙂 All I'm doing
          is leaving my feedback and experience with this company. Pics are
          attached in this post after only using Saphir Renovateur (before I could even
          polish with Saphir Pommadier Cream and Saphir Pate de Luxe
          Wax on the toebox.)

          I have no issue with a company
          explaining in detail what might have occurred with customer error in applying
          product etc, but it was the "tone" and how condescending Ben was in
          our communication back and forth. I would say it wasn't an earth
          shattering issue if this were between "two pals throwing back some beers
          and being a bit rough around the edges", with regards to tone/language,
          but WAY below expectations for service and the product could use some checking
          with regards to quality control.

          The solution is to offer me a $75
          discount code so I can buy more shoes. I'm questioning "quality
          control/discoloration of leather:. Why would I buy more shoes from paulevansny?
          I'm dumbfounded if that is "the solution". Before I posted my
          review there "wasn't a care in the world for this customer", but once
          information came to light, paulevansny attempted a 180.. i.e. pr for damage
          control, as most call it.

          I was considering taking my
          review/poor experience down, but…. I received an email from Ben
          (co-founder) threatening me.
          I will paste what was sent to me below, my response and you be the judge
          of whether I was threatened or not. I
          will update a second post with the whole email string from the beginning. I'm
          a reasonable person, but the repeated condescension, sarcasm and threat/s
          were too much.

          I copied and pasted from the
          browser. Everything is time-stamped and I can forward if needed.. just PM me as
          I mentioned earlier. (Evan/Ben, please stop calling me and harassing me.
          I am paraphrasing here, but your vmail was along the lines of "This
          is Evan Fript, please give me a call so we can discuss.. I know you are upset
          Oliver and I Know You Will Call Me (there was emphasis in the tone and I still
          have the voicemails) as you are going around Spreading
          this." Evan.. leaving me a voicemail where there is still some
          sarcasm/attitude i.e. "talking down to me" didn't help.

          I've already spoken with my
          employer and updated them on this situation about Ben's threat to my employment
          (I'm going further with this, but if Ben is willing to threaten employment I'm
          concerned about my
          personal safety <– you have my shipping
 never know in this day and age, but because I'm "detail
          oriented" and prefer contingencies I had to update my employer and
          significant other on all communication.)

          If my employer were to ask me
          about this, Ben obviously followed through on his "threat", which I
          would then have to make others aware.. as I clearly stated in my final email
          communication to paulevansny (below). At this point "it is what it
          is"…. Going
          forward Ben/Evan please do not EVER contact me as my email below is Crystal
          Clear on what next steps "i would take" if the threat/harassment were
          to continue.

          Benjamin Earley

          May 9 (4 days ago)

          to me

          Oliver, running around the
          internet commenting on blogs that are friends with us isn’t going to make
          anything better. However, you did use some racist language in your email to me.
          If your comments continue, I’ll be emailing your employer a full transcript of
          our conversation.

          Save your time and effort for other endeavors.


          Oliver Chang

          May 9 (4 days ago)

          to Benjamin

          Ben, I stand behind my comments
          and disagree with your assessment. For me to quote your racist comments and
          post them on the forums shows that I am completely at ease with our
          least my portion, not yours. I am more than comfortable emailing anyone a
          full transcript of our email communication as your condescending tone and
          racist remarks and I quote “french creme crap” crossed the
          line. Please do hire a customer service professional to handle all email
          communication for paulevansny.. I’ve already notified my employer of your
          threats and shown them our email transcripts as I would not be surprised if you
          “doctored/edited” my responses. Due to your threats, I have archived
          all time-stamped email communication between us. Threats are not appreciated
          and if they continue I will be reporting you to the BBB, Business Insider,
          CNBC, Fox Business, Forbes, etc and and any other organizations/media
          outlets/law enforcement agencies I may find as further harassment will not be

          NeroCagneypic1.jpg1,677k .jpg file

      • Oliver Chang on

        do you receive emails on this account? just checking before i send more info about what transpired.

  6. Paul Evans on

    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 =(

    • Sven Raphael Schneider on

      I have used Saphir renovateur on many shoes and often without the finish ever coming off.
      Leather is a natural good, and it can happen that one skin takes the dye not so well. Mistakes can happen.
      If there is a flaw in one of our products, I usually want to see the product in person so I can make sure the same mistake won’t happen again, and I would send out another product for free. But that’s just how we do business. Each to his own.

  7. Harvey Nicholson on

    Has anybody worn shoes by Thomas Bird? They’re a UK company but seem to do something similar to Paul Evans by importing directly from Italy. Seems much better value for money too? I couldn’t find any Goodyear welted so perhaps that’s why they’re cheaper.