Here at Paul Evans, we take pride in the handcrafted quality of our Italian leather shoes. Their superiority as a shoe can be attributed to our skilled team of artisans crafting each and every pair in our Naples factory. If you’ve ever wondered what exactly goes into crafting a pair of high-quality leather shoes, here’s the basics.
The very first step to making any pair of Paul Evans shoes is picking the highest quality, full-grain leather. We select the finest Italian leather for our styles, which not only provides a sturdy sole for longevity, but the cuts of calfskin for the uppers. Calfskin works best for the upper part of the shoe because it is softer and easier to mold into an elegant shape. Speaking of which…
After selecting the perfect cuts of calfskin, the shoemakers carefully press the hides into uniform thickness before cutting. For styles like The Martin Wholecut, this requires one very skilled cut of hide. For other styles such as The Cooper Blucher, several pieces are shaped and cut including the tie, the vamp, and the quarters. All of this is done by hand with the greatest precision. If the shoe style has brogue detail, like The Brando, this is when those fine details are implemented. Finally, a matching leather lining is sewn to the completed quarters before the vamp is stitched on, resulting in a completed upper.
All of Paul Evans’ shoes are constructed by blake welting; that means the stitching of the upper to the sole is done on the inside of the shoe by a machine which maintains a clean appearance and sturdy composition. While it is impossible to do blake welt by hand, the machine used to stitch takes a skilled craftsman to operate.
For a blake welt, the upper is formed around the insole and attached between it and the outer sole. One stitch penetrates all three layers, creating a tight bond, but allowing for the shoe to maintain its structure while still being an easy pair to re-sole. Most cobblers have their own blake machine to repair these shoes, so you won’t have a problem finding a good place to get your leather shoes repaired when the time comes. Furthermore, because there are no exterior stitches with blake welting, the outsole can be cut as close as possible to the upper, meaning there isn’t a thick perimeter of leather creating bulk where there need not be.
THE FINAL TOUCH
Before any pair of Paul Evans leather shoes is complete, they are hand-painted in our Naples factory. Our stains create rich colors without disrupting the natural beauty of the Italian full-grain leather.
Now that you know how they’re made, you probably want your own pair of handcrafted Italian shoes. Find your perfect pair here.