Pediwear Paradis Paragon

Pediwear Shoe Review – Paradis Paragon

Several months ago, we were contacted by Mike Small of Pediwear shoes in Halifax, UK. He told me that they recently started to offer a high quality shoe line under their own name.Since we are always interested in providing you with honest, straightforward reviews of quality brands & products, we accepted a pair. At the same time, Pediwear decided to advertise with us but as always, this does not have any influence on our review.

 

Pediwear Facts

Pediwear was founded in 1976 in Halifax, UK as a brick and mortar shoe store and remains a family business today. They started their first website in 1998, which was certainly a wise decision in retrospect because it helped them to grow their business.

Pediwear’s core business is not the high end market of shoes such as John Lobb, but much rather they offer quality, goodyear welted leather shoes with a great value. They offer lines ranging from Loake, over to Tricker’s and then to Alfred Sargent.

In 2012, they launched their Paragon line of shoes, which is the best of their three house brands. Today, I will review the Paradis shoe from this collection today – a black business Oxford shoe with captoe brogueing on a slim last in calf leather.

Goodyear Welted Sole with Channel Brass Nail Heel

Goodyear Welted Sole with Channel Brass Nail Heel

Pediwear Paragon Paradis Shoe Review

Ordering men’s shoes online from a new brand can be a challenge because you do not know their lasts, and width length and proportions may vary greatly within the same size. Before I settled on the Paradis model, Mike asked me a few questions about other shoes I wear, the brand, width, sizes, etc. and I provided him with my shoe and foot measurements. Based on these, Mike suggested this particular model. If you ever buy shoes online that you have never worn before, this procedure will increase the chances you receive a properly fitting shoe, because what good is a fine shoe if it does not fit?

Sanded Corner on the Inside

Sanded Corner on the Inside

The Last & Fit

One of the first things I noticed about the last was the long slim line and the very elegant round toe. Especially compared to the Alfred Sargent shoe, this last is less edgy and more understated while providing a slightly elongated look. Interestingly, the monk strap shoe from Herring Shoes also had a similarly long last but the Pediwear shoe is less voluminous and has nicer rounded toe.

When I put them on for the first time, I was positively surprised by the snug heel fit since must shoes apart from Alfred Sargent have a wider heel that don’t suit my feet. Moreover, it was snug around my middle foot without being at all uncomfortable. The toes had just enough space so I felt all around comfortable. Generally, I break in shoes slowly, because otherwise my feet hurt. However, these Pediwear Paragon shoes were the exception for me. Overall, the fit is probably the best of all shoes tested so far. Of course, this is only because my feet seem to harmonize well with that last. If you have different feet, the fit may be totally off, which is why you always have to communicate with the seller before buying a new brand of shoes online.

Crooked Upper Seam

Crooked Upper Seam

The Paragon Paradis comes just in a F width, which is closer to a D width in other shoe brands and overall, I would recommend this shoe to people with bonier feet and slim heels, but not to men with wide, meaty feet. Unlike other British shoes, its sizing is more old school and the 10.5 UK is smaller than the same size at Loake or Herring shoes. Interestingly it is the same size and width I wear at Alfred Sargent but as mentioned, this one fits even a bit better.

Also, the heel height is designed to work perfectly with the last: when the heel is standing flat on the floor, the sole touches the floors in the area beneath my arch. Most RTW shoes from England will not touch the floor with the sole, which leads to excessive wrinkles in the uppers and a more uncomfortable walk. As such, I was surprised to see that these shoes did not seem to have this problem.

The Workmanship

The double welt of the Paradis is similarly fine as the Alfred Sargent. Unlike most other English RTW shoes such as Loake, Herring Shoes, Crockett & Jones etc , the goodyear welt is channeled. This not only looks much neater, but it also prevents the shoe from showing premature wear. Usually channeled soles are only seen on more high end shoes from England, such as Edward Green, Alfred Sargent or Gaziano Girling.

The middle part of the sole is slim and neater than Herring Shoes and Loake, but a bit less refined than Sargent. The heel is all leather with brass nails and matched to the heel to achieve a good stand but I doubt it is made by hand one layer at the time, but that’s something I only expect from bespoke shoes.

The brogueing is overall neat but on my left shoe, it is not entirely straight. Some argue this is the desireable imperfection of handwork, but I think handwork should not be mistaken for crooked brogueing. In addition, the back seam of the upper is slightly crooked on the left shoe. This is nothing that will impact your walking experience, however most people expect their high end cars very closely, so why should we wouldn’t we do that with shoes as well?

Captoe Brogueing Slightly Irregular

Captoe Brogueing Slightly Irregular

The stitching is very neat and straight along the edges, however, the stitch density per inch varies in the sense that every seam is slightly different. Again, this is nothing major but just a fine detail.

Inside, the shoe is leather lined and features a soft padded insert with leather on top. Personally, this always reminds me of cheaper shoes, where bespoke shoes are usually all leather. In addition, there are a few raised bumps on the inside sole and I am not sure why these are present. When wearing them, I can feel them a little bit and I am sure the experience would be better without them. However, it is not as bad as the Alfred Sargent problem that caused blisters.

Finally, the tongue is very comfortable, but I noticed that the ends are cut square and not rounded. Time will tell if this becomes a problem (the ends might fold over), but other than a giving the appearance of being unfinished I can perceive no issues with the squared edges at this point.

The Leather

progressively Widening Oxford Lacing

progressively Widening Oxford Lacing

The uppers are made from aniline chromium dyed box calf leather. It is softer than many other shoes we have tested, but not too soft so that it will withstand wrinkles. Our samples had no scars and overall the leather seems to be of high quality. Of course, you have to keep in mind that in order to keep prices as low as Pediwear, hides are used to the fullest. Even higher end shoemakers like Sargent do that for their exclusive line, but the hides Pediwear uses seem to be of decent quality; however, there will not bethe same degree of hand burnishings as with other, more expensive brands.

The lining is all leather, with a suede heel to prevent slippage, and it is comfortable without any pressure spots, except from the bottom as mentioned above.

Miscellaneous

The Pediwear shoe box was sturdy, en par with Sargent but not as nice as  Herring shoes.

In regard to the Pediwear website, it has fast loading times but the design looks somewhat dated to me. You can also tell that they do not invest large sums into their product photography, but maybe that’s the reason they can offer their shoes with high quality leather and features for a much lower price. The service I received was great and I can only recommend to work with them on sizing and fit because chances are much higher you will receive a shoe that is not only well made but also one that fits. As a side note, they don’t mention a “made in” location; however, we always believe that quality can be found in production all over the world.

Conclusion

Considering the low price of the Paragon (regular £212 – £177 without VAT , currently £179 - £149 without VAT versus £395-£355 on sale £329 without VAT – 295 on sale for the Alfred Sargent shoes, Pediwear offers comparable features such as the channeled sole and just a slightly inferior workmanship in certain areas but it only costs only at almost half the price! In terms of value, Pediwear is the probably the biggest bang for the buck we have tested so far – it is simply a well made, high quality shoe for a great price with just a few imperfections.

If you are on a budget and want great shoes for business purposes, you should definitely take a very close look at the Pediwear Paragon series.

If you know an interesting manufacturer of high quality products, or in case you would like to have your products tested on the Gentleman’s Gazette, please drop us a line. Thanks.

 

10 replies
  1. Park Jacobs Weatheby
    Park Jacobs Weatheby says:

    Onge again Mr. Schneider a truly well informative article, and I certainly plan to put your suggestions to practice…however there is just one inquiry I’ve been told that UK sizes run slightly smaller than here in the USA can you please shed some light on that?

    Regards,

    Park Jacobs Weatherby

    • Sven Raphael Schneider
      Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      Dear Mr. Weathaby,
      UK sizes will generally run larger than US sizes. However, the sizes between English manufacturers can vary more dramatically. For example, I have a Franz Baron shoe that is made in size 9.5 UK and it is the same size as the Pediwear in 10.5 UK. That’s what I was referring to.

  2. JD
    JD says:

    “At the same time, Pediwear decided to advertise with us but as always, this does not have any influence on our review.”

    I stopped reading right there.

    • Sven Raphael Schneider
      Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      Dear JD,
      We just mention it because we want to fully disclose our relationship so you can draw your own conclusions. Nobody forces you to read this review orr GG in general, so that’s your conclusion.

      We just believe that honesty and objectivity towards out readers are of utmost importance to us.

      If you have any questions, please let me know.

      Sven Raphael Schneider

  3. Art
    Art says:

    Since feet are so very different, one should buy shoes in a shoe shop rather than online. That may not be a guarantee for good information or service any longer, but one immediately feels if the shoe fits.

    That being said, I have had the pleasure of buying a few pairs through Pediwear… of a brand and in a last that I already owned several pairs of. So I may have contributed to the death of a shoe shop in one of our inner cities.

    Although the internet has given us so many possibilities as far as buying and new information is concerned, I understand JDs concern. New ways of advertising through blogs etc. have emerged as well. Look at Permanentstyle, which in just a few years has turned into a mixture of mere commercial and information. It is harder to find independent information than ever. Consumer be aware! Still, gentlemansgazette at least acknowledges its relationship.

    • Sven Raphael Schneider
      Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      Art,
      In your first paragraph you paraphrase what I said in article. Feet are different, however in my experience a lot of people wear shoes that do not fit properly, no matter whether they buy them online or at the store.
      Once you have a had a pair of bespoke shoes, fit becomes relative anyways.

      In regard to JD’s concern, I must say that we always have provided thorough and in depth coverage including out product reviews. I do not know of any site that provides reviews that are as honest, objective and thorough as we do. Running a website like this at this level requires a lot of research, time and knowledge. For example an article about the Trench Coat takes days to be completed, however it is really useful to readers and that’s what we would like to provide.

      Now, in order to be able to write pieces like that, we need some money to pay for our servers, office space etc. In order to make it work, there are basically three options.
      1. Donations, which simply don’t work
      2. Paid Subscription – how much would you be willing to pay for a publication that does not have advertising at all?
      3. Advertising: brands pay to get display time but the editorial coverage is independent. You get high quality information for free and have to look at an ad.

      I am sure, most people who have ever run an editorial website will know how much time and effort it costs to run a website.

      What would be your suggestion Art or JD? I am eager to learn about your constructive criticism.

  4. Art
    Art says:

    Thank you for taking the time to answer and for involving us readers in this debate. You are right, there are some obstacles (and costs) in running a website too. I have to admit I did not think about that. As a consumer and reader it is so easy to sit in your chair, read and criticize. It is so different from just a few years ago, when one only had printed media to rely on… and writing a comment took more time too.
    I have no answer as too the costs of running a website. I guess we are still observing a transition period with the death of so many newspapers, that are so much more expensive to run and distribute and hence have not had the same means to cover niches like menswear fashion. If your news appears periodically, say once a week or two weeks, then I would be willing to donate or subscribe. As a consumer I am eager to learn about developments and news in this field, so thank you for your efforts. My wish is that your reviews continue to be as critical as possible , i.e. not being negative, but mentioning pros and cons.
    I have no problems with advertisements, but am more afraid that the relationship to suppliers might influence the review of their items. My suggestion would be that you give your disclosure a more prominent place, since it is a little hidden now. The text “in a nutshell” would do.

    • Sven Raphael Schneider
      Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      Dear Art,
      Thanks for your comment. We are always happy to discuss matters with our readers because you are the reason it exists.
      I started GG because I was unhappy with the information provided and so I always wanted to provide in depth articles. Over the years, I have developed an expertise in all things concerning men’s clothing and I am very meticulous, which is why I started reviewing products. Unlike many others, I always point out the pros and cons because anything else is not a review. We only allow advertisers who provide products we genuinely like.
      We are turning down review and advertising requests every week that do not suit our niche because we only want to provide a platform for worthy products, so you the readers are never disappointed.
      The cost of running a website are rather low up until a certain point where you need to run your own server, then it gets much more costly. In addition, it takes a lot of time to do research, take and edit pictures and write and update articles.
      I am glad to see that you would be willing to subscribe and we will discuss that model internally in the future.
      I outline in the first paragraph that this is a product review of one of our advertisers. How can I make that more prominent in your opinion?

  5. Art
    Art says:

    Dear Mrs. Schneider, thank you for your thorough response. I can imagine it takes time to write an article from research to publishing. Your efforts are appreciated. As to your disclaimer, you might consider to have it placed as a separate article in between “about” and “advertising” all above. Or you might use the concluding lines “in a nutshell” and place them in the right margin between the ads. This is all I can contribute and I just express my own thoughts. As it is now, the ads on the right take all attention, as does the text “advertising” all above.Thank you for listening.

    As to the quality of industrial shoes nowadays, the French forum Depiedencap organised some interesting shoe dissections a few years ago. The results were quite disheartening. I believe the German forum newsaboutshoes. de also published some of the dissections in collaboration with the French.

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  1. [...] the black Oxford is the first proper shoe every man should buy. Not too long ago, we tested the Oxford Paragon Paradis from Pediwear in black, which was an excellent value. While the Pediwear shoe was constructed with traditional [...]

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