What do you get when you mix minimalism, affordability, and luxury into one leather sneaker? If you answered “Oliver Cabell,” you must be some kind of sneaker connoisseur.
Started in 2016 by Scott Gabrielson,
Focusing primarily on its “Low 1” leather lineup,
As we mentioned above,
- Source of each individual material
- Cost of manufacturing, including shipping, packaging, and miscellaneous expenses
- Cost of each individual material
- True mark-up costs
This transparent approach, coupled with quality materials and craftsmanship, has won over a number of shoe connoisseurs, all while helping shift the status-quo when it comes to what we expect from luxury apparel brands.
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Construction: Stitched and lasted in Marche, Italy | Upper: 3oz full grain calfskin leather from Marche, Italy | Outsole: Margom Italian outsoles — renowned for their durable, lightweight rubber | Footbed: Italian calf-skin over removable molded in-sole | Lining: Italian calfskin leather | Counters: 3oz full grain calfskin leather from Marche, Italy | Laces: Italian cotton
Oliver Cabell’s most iconic shoe, the Low 1, is a nod to minimalist design in its purest form. Competing with popular alternatives such as the similarly inspired Common Projects, the Low 1 is a perfect balance between simplicity and quality.
And on that note, let’s dive a bit deeper into what makes the
The first thing you’ll notice with your new
The beauty of
A truly versatile design, whether you opt for the all-white original or something with a bit more flair, you’ll have no problem wearing these shoes with a variety of different outfits, and on a variety of different occasions.
Speaking of versatility,
Not only do you have color options, but you also have the option of a sub-line of Low 1’s, featuring a more rugged, “scuffed” finish to its leather.
Sizing and Fit
Similar to other brands (such as Common Projects, Koio, and more), the Low 1 is a low profile, slim-fitting sneaker with enough sizing options to satisfy most any buyer. That said, these shoes don’t come in half sizes as it stands; however,
We should also mention that while the Low 1’s are relatively narrow, the term “narrow” should be given some context. Shoes within this realm of design tend to cater towards a very sleek, highly-fitted (read: narrow) construction, and while the Low 1’s do fall into this category, they are a bit more “loose” fitting when compared to something like the iconically narrow Common Projects.
Like most quality leather shoes, the Low 1s can take a bit of time to break in. A few wears (maybe 3 or 4 if you’re doing a decent amount of walking) should get you headed in the right direction, and unsurprisingly, these shoes seem to increase in comfort over time due to the initial stiffness of the leather.
As for the footbed (or insole) on these shoes, they are made from both foam and recycled rubber and are said to compress only about 5% over time. This means the level of comfort for the bottom of your feet should feel similar throughout the lifecycle of the shoe.
Remember that shoe comfort has a lot to do with both the size and shape of your foot—what works for us may not necessarily work for you. Generally speaking, though, these are very comfy shoes overall.
We touched on pricing a bit earlier in this article, and the uniqueness of
The general cost breakdown can be seen in the “price breakdown” drop-down on the
Leather: $26.04 | Lining: $8.12 | Outsoles: $6.60 | In-soles: $3.80 | Cutting/ Manufacturing/Quality Control: $34.88 | Packaging: $3.96 | Transit: $12.43 | Duties: $5.36 | Shipping: $11.50
This is a somewhat shocking level of transparency from the folks at
Low 1’s typically run around $249 (at the time of writing), which is considerably lower in price when compared to some of its competitors. Additionally, it’s always nice to view the mark-up on your purchases, and
Care and Maintenance
Oliver Cabell’s Low 1’s are pretty solid sneakers in terms of durability, but taking care of and maintaining leather shoes can help to prolong their lifespan in addition.
Standard maintenance rules apply here, but regardless, here are a few tips for keeping your Low 1s looking new.
Use shoe trees to help maintain the shape and form
You may not usually consider shoe trees for these seemingly casual shoes, but it‘s beyond beneficial to do so because of the construction and materials.
Not only will a good shoe tree increase the longevity of your Low 1’s (particularly something like cedar for moisture absorption), they can help decrease leather wrinkles, creases and overall keep your sneakers looking newer for longer.
Periodically spot-clean and deep-clean your
Oliver Cabell sneakers
It goes without saying that your Low 1s will pick up some dirt, grime, and scuffs over time. But as opposed to letting these imperfections pile up, it does a lot of good to do both regular spot cleaning, as well as the occasional deep clean from time to time.
Oliver Cabell makes it easy to find the correct cleaning solutions for your Low 1s with a dedicated “Shoe Care” section on its website.
If you don’t already have your own emergency kit for things like spot cleaning and maintenance, these products from
Alternate between shoes from time to time
As much as you may love your new
Giving your shoes some downtime to air out/dry will lessen issues you may experience with excessive moisture, leading to material degradation over time.
Our Experience With the Low 1s: Pros and Cons
- Great affordability, especially when compared to competitors
- A variety of color schemes and leather finishes to pick from
- Solid design, stitching, durability—you’re truly getting your money’s worth
- Versatile and works well with most wardrobes and on a variety of occasions
- No half sizes
- Run a bit on the large size
- Some (very) minor quality issues with stitching over time
- May squeak a bit when brand new (seems to be more of a problem with older batches)
Final Verdict: Are
Oliver Cabell Shoes Worth It?
All in all,
You may not have bragging rights to the most expensive shoe on the market, but you’ll more than make up for it in comfort, manufacturer transparency, and thoughtful craftsmanship.
Ultimately, we would absolutely recommend you check out
Hopefully, if you’ve gotten to this point you’ve discovered our love and praise for
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