Paul Evans Caine Bit Loafer Review – $349

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.

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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.

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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.Paul Evans Caine Bit Loafer 6


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.Paul Evans Caine Bit Loafer 5


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.

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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!

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Paul Evans Grey Belt Review – $149

Over the past few years, the online market for dress shoes has proliferated, but few companies produce anything that can stand toe-to-toe with the likes of Alden, Allen Edmonds, and Crockett and Jones. Paul Evans is one of the few. Frustrated with the limited offering of stylish and affordable shoes from traditional manufactures, Ben Earley and Evan Fript set out to design a well-constructed, stylish shoe for a reasonable price. All of their shoes are hand built in Italy using Italian calfskin and are finished with a sleek Blake construction. But, I’m not here to talk about their shoes. They also provide belts and I have to say, they are pretty slick.



The belt is handmade from thick, fine Italian leather, uses heavy-duty thread for stitching and is finished with a solid brass buckle. Everything about the construction screams durability and style, but the craziest part is that the belt is cut-to-fit. When I heard this, I immediately had images of the dual sided belts from the discount store come to mind, but once I realized how it worked, I was pleasantly surprised.

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What Paul Evans does is very tasteful. The buckle is a separate assembly that connects to the rest of the belt with a hefty Chicago screw. The part that is cut off is hidden between the buckle assembly, which gives the belt a seamless unity. Of course, this means that the owner must cut his new belt and then punch a hole for the screw or take it to a shoe shop to have them fit it for you. Even though the build quality is top notch and the materials are excellent, for the price, I would like the belt to fit me before it comes to my door. The design is ingenious and definitely allows Paul Evans to provide customers with more selection, but having measured or made-to-order belts available instead would definitely increase the value.


The belt from Paul Evans held up my trousers with style. Outside of doing exactly what a belt is supposed to do, its surprising thickness gave me confidence that I will be wearing it for many years to come without much worry of the leather breaking down.


Paul Evans did a great job with this belt. The color is rich and deep and the look can be dressed up or down with relative ease making it incredibly versatile. On mine, the Chicago screw is exposed and the stitching is very noticeable making it a little bit harder to wear in extremely formal settings, but adds class to an otherwise casual look. The only part of the belt that looks rough is on the backside where some dye has bled through the stitching. Both of these issues are minor and probably have been remedied since their newer offerings have covered the screws and down played the stitching for a sleeker look.


Paul Evans makes one mean belt. By putting together great styling with quality materials, this is one is tempting, but for the price, I would like to have it ready to wear as soon as I got it. If you do not mind the extra work and your are looking for dress belt that stands out, check out the selection on their site. While you are at it, spend some time drooling over their shoes.

Check out Paul Evans at

Why My Leather Shoes Are Made In Italy

This is an opinion guest post by Paul Evans, Co-Founder & CEO at Paul Evans, a fairly new NY based shoe company.

You have most likely heard that American manufacturing is undergoing a renaissance. Many believe that our country’s manufacturing costs are becoming more competitive and that future economic prosperity will be tied to growth in the manufacturing sector. While many industries are well situated to benefit from a rise in American manufacturing, I do not believe footwear is among them.

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In the United States there are virtually no footwear manufacturers still in operation. Beyond Alden in the Northeast and Allen Edmonds in the Midwest, shoe manufacturing in the United States is limited to a select number of local boot manufacturers. Believe me, I’ve looked. I spent over a year sourcing factories internationally to find the best possible product at my retail price point. I found that factory in Italy after extensively traveling the country.

Italy is a superior choice for shoe manufacturing because of expertise, tradition and location. There are thousands of factories in Italy that have been in operation for generations, passing along the savoir-faire and passion necessary to create beautiful shoes. The Italian artisans have been around for so long that their experience ensures stylish, quality footwear. They’ve seen thousands of styles throughout the years and know how what works and what doesn’t. Feedback from my factory has ensured I am able to produce a shoe that will endure.


Additionally, factories are clustered in communities that are dedicated to producing shoes. During one of my sourcing trips I was driven around town to meet the many suppliers involved in the production process. The relationships my factory has with its suppliers ensures production will be as seamless as possible, while also keeping production costs low. And of course, the numerous trade shows in Italy contribute to the continued success of the Italian fashion industry as ideas are shared, relationships are forged and new and creative merchandise is sold for international distribution.

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Two of the most well known Italian trade shows are Pitti Uomo and Micam. Pitti Uomo is a menswear extravaganza with something for everybody. Held twice a year in Florence, menswear buyers, brands and enthusiasts are able to see new product, order merchandise for their stores and of course create lasting relationships. Micam is held bi-annually as well in Milan and is arguably the most important footwear trade show in the world. Anybody who is anybody in footwear is there. And again relationships are key in this industry. The relationship I have with my factory is without a doubt my brand’s greatest asset. They don’t pick up the phone for just anyone. It takes time and effort to cultivate a lasting bond with these Italian artisans who are so passionate about fashion.

And that’s why my shoes are made in Italy. The skilled artisans, the convenient infrastructure and the presence of a large footwear community make Italy a superior choice for shoe production. Italy is the ideal country for new brands looking to break into the world of fashion.