We all know that shoes don’t make the man…but they certainly make the man feel more suave, debonair, and stylish that’s for sure! But, when searching for a pair of shoes to wear to the office or those more upscale events, the choices are vast. Classic dress shoes rarely go out of style. So when you’re ready to purchase, do so wisely as a well-informed consumer. We encourage you to read about Leather Shoe Construction and Leather Types Used in Shoe Construction – we hope you’ll find those informative and helpful articles as you begin your decision on which brand and style of dress shoes to purchase. And, speaking of brands, we hold Paul Evans in high regard, so let’s take a look at their Caine Bit Loafer.
Paul Evans is a small operation based in New York City, where the shoes are designed. Each pair of Paul Evans shoes is manufactured in a family-owned factory in Naples, Italy. They’re e-commerce only, meaning there are no middleman markups.
“When we set out on this venture, we knew we wanted quality, but we weren’t interested in creating a pair of thousand dollar shoes. We never understood why beautiful, timeless shoes were still monopolized by the traditional brands while other parts of the fashion world were being disrupted by the powers of technology.”
In January of 2014 we featured a guest post from Paul Evans entitled, “Why My Leather Shoes Are Made in Italy”, which is a great piece on (you guessed it) why Paul Evans’ shoes are made in Italy.
Each pair of Paul Evans shoes is made of Italian calfskin leather. The upper is made entirely of full grain Italian leather, in a beautiful black with a classy sheen. The soles are also leather, handpainted black to match the uppers. The inside is lined with soft, light brown leather that adds comfort as well a smart contrasting look.
The sole is Blake-stitched, which means the upper is wrapped around the insole and attached between it and the outsole. This gives the shoe a bit more flexibility, as well as a sleeker sole, and the ability to be re-soled in the future. The Caine is expertly constructed, with its subtle curves and perfect stitching.
The Caine Bit Loafers have a dressy loafer shape to them, with a bold horsebit crosspiece further embellished with a signature Paul Evans fleur-de-lis. With a high-polish leather, a pronounced heel (about 3/4 inch), and bold hardware, these shoes definitely stand out. The impression from my office mates has been extremely positive with lots of questions about them and positive comments about the color and overall style. They are not as modern of a style as most of Paul Evans’ line, but is still a versatile shoe with broad appeal.
The vamp is of medium depth, so the shoe can be worn with or without socks. The shoe definitely has Italian influences to it with the horsebit hardware and a somewhat elongated and elevated toe. The Caine comes in three colors: black, oxblood, and marronne (a medium brown). The black is of course the dressiest of the three.
Paul Evans warns that that their shoes run a full size and a half large, and they aren’t kidding. Be sure to order smaller than you’re used to. Paul Evans’ customer service has been very helpful in our experience, so don’t feel worried or afraid to ask questions. Once you’ve determined the correct size, ordered and received them, it’s time to get them on your feet. Holding a quality dress shoe in your hands is great…but walking in them is just awesome and such is the case with the Caine Bit Loafers. They break in quickly and all day comfort isn’t really considered – it just happens. The Cain Bit Loafers are a versatile style that can be worn in colder weather and then easily worn sock-less on warmer spring and summer days.
So far I’ve been very happy with the Paul Evans Caine Bit Loafer. They are definitely a shoe that I’ll wear for many years to come. Dress shoes can be ridiculously expensive, but these come in at $349. Yes, that’s still a decent sum of money. But, you are getting an Italian made shoe with high quality components, and when taken care of properly will last most of your working career. That makes them a great deal. The Paul Evans business model has so far been very impressive (direct to consumer with no middle man); their shoes’ quality and design could easily pass for brands twice the price. You can even save $25 when you join their newsletter or create a member account. So, go get ya some!