Step up your shoe game

Don't forget matching leather accessories and shoe trees.

Italian Leather Belt - Marrone

Italian Leather Belt - Marrone

Cedar Split-Toe Shoe Trees

Cedar Split-Toe Shoe Trees

Italian Leather Wallet - Cacao

Italian Leather Wallet - Cacao

Italian Leather Card Case - Chocolate

Italian Leather Card Case - Chocolate


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Oxblood Shoes: An Overview

Posted on
  • Chelsea Boot in Oxblood by Paul Evans
  • Wholecut Medallion in Oxblood by Paul Evans
  • The Brando in Oxblood by Paul Evans

Let us consider the merits of oxblood, the handsome dark red hue found on The Brando, our Italian semi-brogue and most popular product. A simple black shoe will always work and a burnished brown shoe adds warmth to your wardrobe but oxblood brings an unexpected twist, a sophisticated color to your footwear options.

The word oxblood originated around 1700 but research reveals that the color refers not to the blood of oxen but is an abbreviation for “oxygenated blood” which turns a deep dark red color when it is exposed to the air. This shoe color has long been a cobbler favorite but was particularly popular with preppies on college campuses following World War II. In his menswear book entitled Elegance, G. Bruce Boyer, who is co-curator of the upcoming exhibition at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City on the fashions of the 30s, states that, ”There was virtually not a middle-class young man or woman in the United States who did not own a pair of oxblood penny loafers in the 50s.”

Producing leather in this rich color is a complicated affair. First the skins of calves or cows are carefully cleaned. Then the raw skin is tanned which makes it water resistant, soft, durable, and imputrescible, which means it will not decay. After it is tanned in a bath of chromium salt, leather is typically a pale bluish hue. The oxblood color dye is precisely mixed and the leather is dyed in huge tubs. After it is smoothed with a heavy iron, the finished oxblood-colored leather is ready to be cut and sewn into shoes.

Oxblood shoes go well with a range of clothing, from grey and navy suits to khakis and jeans. And they offer a subtle change-up from black and brown. An outfit of a white shirt, great fitting jeans and oxblood shoes is both casual and sharp at the same time, and is a simple way for the wearer to say that he has good style and taste. Over the last couple of years, fashion magazines stated that oxblood was a trend that was “in,” but oxblood is never really “out.” It’s a timeless classic that lives above the vagaries of fashion’s shifting currents and eddies. After all, oxblood is thicker than water.

See our entire collection of oxblood shoes and belts here.


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And if it doesn't fit, don't worry! We offer free shipping and returns.

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We recommend ordering a full size below your regular US dress shoe size.

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Like most other Italian brands (Gucci, Prada, Tod's), our shoes run a full size larger than US dress shoe brands.

Extra room in your toes is by design. Think sleek and sexy.

Resist the urge to press down on your toes to assess the fit. There's always going to be extra room because of the shape of our shoe lasts.

You have the perfect fit when:

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There is enough room across the widest part of your foot and your heel sits comfortably in the shoe. If you can confidently strut your stuff in the shoes, you're good to go.

And don't worry about minor heel slippage or extra room in the your toes!

Minor heel slippage is normal in a new pair of leather-soled shoes.

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After you break in your new shoes, the heel slippage will stop. Our Italian calfskin leather needs a chance to conform to your foot. If it doesn't, email us and we'll make it right.

Paul Evans US (Dress) Euro UK
5.0 6.0 39 5.5
5.5 6.5 39 6.0
6.0 7.0 40 6.5
6.5 7.5 40-41 7.0
7.0 8.0 41 7.5
7.5 8.5 41-42 8.0
8.0 9.0 42 8.5
8.5 9.5 42-43 9.0
9.0 10.0 43 9.5
9.5 10.5 43-44 10.0
10.0 11.0 44 10.5
10.5 11.5 44-45 11.0
11.0 12.0 45 11.5
11.5 12.5 45-46 12.0
12.0 13.0 46 12.5
13.0 14.0 47 13.5
14.0 15.0 48 14.5
15.0 16.0 49 15.5
16.0 17.0 50 16.5
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