Stepping In Style: The Oxblood Wholecut Shoe

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Maxwell Scott leather briefcase and Citizen "gold" watch

When I first started to get serious about refining my personal style, I ran into an industry fellow who categorized himself as a “shoe guy.” As more or less a style novice, I didn’t quite understand his predilection for footwear.

Since I was just getting my footing – pun, honestly, not intended – in the broader world of men’s style, my mind was focused on things like the tenuous distinctions between bespoke and MTM and the merits of patch pockets v. flap pockets. Footwear was calculus and I was still learning to add.

paul evans shoe review

Fast forward several years and I can now say that I “get it.” Shoes are the anchor of every outfit and having the right footwear for the right occasion is key. Cap-toes and wingtips are essential footwear styles, but once you really get down into it you realize there are so many other styles that can be the perfect complement to the perfect outfit. Take the wholecut shoe, for instance.

paul evans shoe review

| WEARING | Daniele Alessandrini coat, Al Bazar blazer, Saks Fifth Avenue shirt and tie, Vintage Yves Saint Laurent pants, Citizen watch, Briefcase c/o Maxwell Scott, Vintage cufflinks, Martin Wholecut Oxford Shoes c/o Paul Evans | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Rob McIver Photo

What is a wholecut shoe? It’s fairly simple, actually, and exactly what it sounds like. Most shoes are made with multiple pieces of leather stitched together to form the shoe’s upper. A wholecut shoe, on the other hand, is cut from just one piece. The result is a very clean, refined and elegant look.

paul evans shoe review

paul evans shoe review

In black, they are a good candidate for replacing the patent leather tuxedo shoe. In fact, I’d say that a black wholecut looks better than patent leather with a tux any day of the week. And in oxblood, they’re perfect for a polished business ensemble. The pair I’m wearing are a new offering from NY-based footwear company, Paul Evans. Here’s a bit about them.

paul evans shoe review

High-quality footwear can be a costly endeavor, but as a direct to consumer luxury footwear brand, Paul Evans completely eliminates the middle man and, thereore, the retail markup. A similar shoe would cost upwards of $800 in a department store, but they’re able to sell at a much lower price point – $400 and below.

All Paul Evans shoes are handmade in Naples, Italy, using the best Italian calfskin leather in a family-owned factory of artisans trained in the fine art of Italian shoemaking.

The Martin Wholecut is actually my second pair of Paul Evans shoes – I’ve also got a pair of oxblood cap toes. The shoes are comfortable and fit well, though I’d definitely order a size down, as their site recommends. As these are new for me, I can’t speak to how they’ve broken in over time, but as they’re made with high-quality leather, I’d be surprised if they don’t continue to get better with age.

paul evans shoe review

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style

In partnership with Paul Evans. The opinions expressed herein are mine alone and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Paul Evans.


Chime In

  • Roberto José Villarraga

    I just love your Daniele Alessandrini coat!

    • Brian Sacawa

      Cheers, Roberto. It’s become quite an HSS fan favorite!

  • Sourav Tantubay

    Hello Brian – bug report: The picture slideshow at the beginning of the article does not work in Google Chrome (latest version). Only 2 pictures show up. After that all you get is blank as you keep clicking to the right. I observed this with your previous posts as well but at that time had thought it was a one off case. Interestingly the page works just fine if you open it in Internet Explorer. So it is definitely something that can be fixed. You could let your tech team know.

    • Brian Sacawa

      Thanks for the heads up, Sourav. I use Chrome as well – latest version – and do not have any problems. Nevertheless, I’ll forward your concern to our developer and see if he has any insight. Have any others had this same issue?

      • Travis Rozich

        Hi Brian! I too have had this exact same issue, where after two pics they disappear when using Chrome, this happens on every article – also on the Style Guide, I can’t seem to click on any of the options on the left hand sidebar when using Chrome… I usually just switch over to Firefox when I want to use the Style guide or view all the images.

        • Brian Sacawa

          Thanks, guys. Getting some answers for you. Could have something to do with ad blockers – most issues readers have had have been a result of that. Will let you know when we hear back from our developer.

        • Brian Sacawa

          @souravtantubay:disqus @travisrozich:disqus Okay, guys. We are certain the issue you are having is being caused by an ad blocker. It shouldn’t normally be an issue – this was taken into account during development – but some ad blockers are more aggressive than others. We’ve made a couple tweaks, which should alleviate the issue for you. Let me know if that works!

          • Travis Rozich

            Hi Brian – everything seems to be working perfectly now! I can view all the images in the carousel above, as well as utilize the Style Guide with no issues, while my Adblocker is enabled.

            The quick follow-up is impressive, thanks so much!

          • Brian Sacawa

            Cheers. Glad it’s all straightened out.

  • centimo123 show me that gold watch is very nice option…guess it will match with the cufflinks

    • Brian Sacawa

      Good eye. Cheers.

  • Adam Martin

    Love the briefcase here in the photo :) Quick shoe question, how many pairs of shoes do you recommend one have (I.e. 2 black, 2 brown)?

  • Nathan

    Hi Brian, I was wondering how your Paul Evans are holding up? Do you wear them often?