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Of all the confounding to-do’s on a groom’s wedding planning list, second only to buying the one ring to rule them all is picking out the outfit for which he will be judged eternally in countless photos. It’s high pressure, sure, but there’s a silver lining: It’s the rare opportunity for a guy to invest in nicer than normal duds. That goes especially for shoes, which if selected judiciously, can end up being a purchase that pays off for years to come (assuming your feet aren’t continuing to magically grow).
Finding righteous footwear is intensely personal and never a snap decision, but there are a few shorthand rules we think guarantee a winner:
1) Buy leather, and make sure it’s buttery soft.
2) As with sports cars and food, you can always trust Italian made.
3) And opt for tradition, both in style and manufacture—you’ll never go wrong buying timeless.
That formula tends to lead to top-shelf designer brands, which, while a great move for those with the wallet, puts most worthy options firmly out of reach. Thus the inspiration for Paul Evans NY, a men’s shoe company founded with the precise notion of creating luxury-level footwear at a price that’s far more down to earth. And, indeed, the company’s line of classic-inspired pieces, each $399, firmly fit our prescription for a winner in every way, from materials, to provenance, to manufacture—hell, every shoe is handmade and painted from Italian calfskin, in Naples no less.
If this sounds like an internet myth, no need to consult Snopes: Paul Evans keeps the overhead in check by adopting the direct-to-consumer business model. Not only does this tactic cut down prices dramatically, it allows the company to have a close relationship with its customers.
BONUS Paul Evans NY has the most generous shipping and return policy we’ve ever seen: free shipping back and forth, and a 365-day return policy. If you’re in the market for new kicks, there’s no reason to NOT try on a pair or three.
Here is our short list of wedding-ready styles for any conceivable groom and style of ceremony.