So if you’ve been following my Instagram stories over the past week (insert “WHY YOU NO FOLLOW” meme), I mentioned having ordered a pair of shoes from a less-well-known manufacturer/store overseas. I said I’d come back with a review on quality; the site is Zeve Shoes (pronounced “zif”). They’re located in Malaysia and apparently haven’t made much of a footprint (pun intended) in the US so far. This means you should be aware of a few things:
- The shoes are available at an incredibly affordable price compared to other online shops selling the same style; this particular pair was listed at RM419 MYR, which converts to about $103 USD. The only other places I’ve found this style of shoe for sale are a couple of Italian online stores, where they’re sold for around $215 on the low end and upwards of $430 on the high end (not including shipping), making these a virtual STEAL.
- Shipping from Malaysia is pretty doggone expensive. We’re talking about $50USD for ONE PAIR OF SHOES, and about a week in shipping time, so this isn’t the kind of purchase you’re going to want to make if you need the shoes for the upcoming weekend’s festivities. I personally ordered these about three weeks in advance of my first intended wearing, and watched via the UPS tracking as they made their way from Malaysia, to Singapore, to Korea, to Alaska, to Kentucky and eventually to Charlotte. The box arrived well-wrapped in protection, and everything inside was undamaged. Also, you CAN combine shipping; I placed three pair in the cart and went to checkout, and shipping only went up by about $10.
- These shoes are NOT leather-soled; the sole is a premium hardened rubber that LOOKS like leather, but isn’t. Now, this isn’t the Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) sole on dress shoes sold at PayLess (the company sells shoes with the EVA sole in their Ultralight Series), but I want you to be aware that it’s definitely NOT leather in the interest of full-disclosure. With that being said, virtually all of the dress shoes at Aldo use a composite rubber sole except for the ones that cost $150+ (you can check the description in their website listings for yourself), so if you’ve bought shoes there, these will be no different.
Ok, so now that all of the prerequisite info is out of the way, let’s get into my experience:
I went with the Double-Monkstrap Slipper in Cognac Tan from their ‘Alpha Series’; I liked the look of the hand-painted patina leather, and needed a lighter brown shoe for the warm weather months. I have a personal affection for double-monkstrap shoes, and I’d been interested in owning a pair that I wouldn’t have to worry about running into someone else wearing, so these offered to check off several of the boxes I just named at once. The shoes arrived after a week on this past Tuesday afternoon, and I have to say I am VERY pleased with them. The packaging is well-presented, fit and finish is superb, and the quality of the leather is great for the price. The composite rubber sole is pretty premium as rubber soles go; should hold up well for infrequent wear at least, and I have no intention of making these “daily drivers”. I’d definitely recommend them if you’re looking for a stylish, standout shoe for a more budget-friendly price.
Speaking of budget-friendly pricing… if you’re like me you’re unfamiliar with the word “Merdeka“; it’s a short-name for ‘Hari Merdeka’, which is Malaysian for “Independence Day”, and is celebrated annually on August 31st. During the ENTIRE month of August, Zeve Shoes has discounted shoes in their ‘Classic’ and ‘Ultralight’ Series to $62 and $74, respectively; the Classic Series in particular has some really nice leather and suede loafer slippers, double-monks, oxfords, brogues and even Belgian loafers (note, as evidenced by the product descriptions, it appears that models in the ‘Classic’ series do in fact come with a leather sole, which is AWESOME). With prices this low and combined shipping, it would be pretty advantageous to get yourself over there and check them out.