For years, women bought their husbands and sons shoes. Shoes didn’t mean much to men back in the early part of the 20th century. And that mentality carried right on through the middle of the 20th century. Men considered shoes “foot covering.” Nothing more than that. Some men even wore black leather shoes no matter what color suit they were wearing. Black shoes, no all men’s shoes in those days, were blocky, stiff, uncomfortable and boring, but men didn’t care. Even though men’s shoes were useful accessories, they didn’t really do anything for men other than make them look like they should throw a party. That party should have started with an invitation to ask their short tailor pants to come down and touch their usually unpolished shoes.
Men started to change their perception of shoes in the 1970s and 1980s. Men finally realized their shoes told a personal story. Running shoes hit the scene and suddenly their old blocky shoes didn’t seem to fit their running attire or their personality. Men began to wear shorts and running shoes and by the time the 1990s rolled around men’s sandals were the rage. T-shirts, shorts, fisherman sandals, and just about any other type of sandal became the casual look of the 21st century.
Shoe companies were partially to blame for the lame presentations and the limited choices they offered men before the 1970s. But when global shoe manufacturing hit the scene in the 1980s, the shoe companies began to gear their advertising to men that wanted to look good from the bottom up, not the other way around. Shoe companies began spending a lot of money on advertising, and they expanded their product lines to include different styles, colors and treatments. They began to give shoes names. Naming shoes helped changed the men’s shoe business. Finally, men could be proud of their Michael Jordan’s or their Cole Hahn’s. Timberland was the darling of the working man, and Sperry Topsiders were the uniform of the preppy set.
But trying to find the right size, color and style in a favorite shoe was still a challenge. Retail stores carried a limited size run, so if a man’s shoe size was bigger than a 12 or smaller than an 8 he was in trouble. But those days are over. Men with large feet and a free spirit can find shoes that fit their feet as well as their personality. When Paul Evans Footwear hit the men’s shoe business, men discovered they can buy shoes that fit from Italy, the home of the oldest shoes makers in the world.
The owners of New York based Paul Evans Footwear Company figured out a way to sell a man a style of his choice, in the color and size of his choice, and ship it directly to him from the Italian factory that made it. That direct form of selling has never been done before, and it’s working. Fine Italian men’s styles made in calfskin, with leather linings, leather soles and heels and yes, leather insoles are now available through Paul Evans Footwear. That’s a quantum leap in the men’s fashion footwear industry.