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Last Updated: November 2021

Oliver Cabell Low 1 Review: Old-School Shoemaking With A Modern Twist

Oliver-Cabell-Low1-Offer

Low 1 / Marine Sneaker

Italian made, beautiful looking and feeling casual yet luxury shoe.

Featured Product: Low 1 / Marine Sneaker

Price: $227 (originally $350)

These Low 1 sneakers are made from high-quality Italian leather and Margom rubber. Handcrafted in Marche, Italy, these shoes stylishly offer durability, comfort, and unique visual elements. Designed to look slightly worn, the dark blue suede leather exterior of these shoes is soft to the touch.

Oliver-Cabell-Low1-Isolated-Side

Ratings Breakdown

quality

The craftsmanship is fantastic on these sneakers! Premium Italian leather inside and out with a solid rubber sole. Stitching is durable, and the design is fun and innovative.

value

If you are looking to own a pair of luxury, Italian leather, handmade sneakers with a worn look at a fair price point, these are a great choice. For me, the distressed look brings the value down a bit.

customer experience

The outsoles/insoles are rigid and strong, yet somehow manage to make my feet feel comfortable and cozy. Oliver Cabell promises high-quality, durable, unique shoes and I believe they deliver on these claims.

brand

Oliver Cabell’s mission is clear “We hand make footwear using old-school techniques then offer them to you, minus the markups”. The brand is honest about how the leather it uses is ethically sourced from Italy and the rubber is made by “Margom,” which is a family-owned and operated company.

Who Is Oliver Cabell?

Founder Scott Gabrielson decided to step into the footwear business after being overworked and unfulfilled as an investment banker. 

His footwear journey began when he took a trip to Asia during his graduate school studies. There he witnessed female workers in confined spaces constructing designer shoes for less than $8 per day.Oliver Cabell Founder

Because of his finance background, Gabrielson knew the shoes being made were sold at inflated prices, and the designer brand was being dishonest about its manufacturing.

 Gabrielson returned home and started a career in investment banking, which he eventually left to pursue a more fulfilling and impactful profession.

Oliver Cabell was founded in 2016 with a mission to create hand-crafted European shoes at an affordable price point. The Oliver Cabell website claims “With us, you could buy two pairs of premium sneakers and boots for less than the cost of a single pair of shoes from another top brand – and still have enough left over for a haircut.”

Pros

  • Stylish and unique look
  • Handmade, premium Italian leather (inside and out)
  • Ethically sourced materials
  • Shoes are weighty and durable with a solid rubber sole
  • Craftsmanship is clear, strong attention to detail in design

Cons

  • Price, when compared to non-designer leather sneakers
  • “Worn” design (subjective)
  • Laces don’t match the shoe quality

Oliver Cabell Low 1 Fit & Performance

Oliver-Cabell-Low1 DeliveryThe Low 1 / Marine sneakers felt sturdy and hefty out of the box, which made me think they would be pretty uncomfortable, but I was surprisingly wrong. After putting them on for the first time my feet felt very secure and supported. 

You can tell these shoes are made well because of how solid they feel.

In terms of support, I thought they would be similar to a Converse because of how rigid the insoles are. 

These shoes feel shockingly comfortable and cozy though, and I felt well supported despite the internal arch support being subtle. Oliver-Cabell-Low1-Couch3

I imagine these shoes will become even more comfortable over time as the leather insoles mold to the shape of my feet. The smooth, white leather insole and textured leather grip at the top of the heel assist with putting them on. 

They are easy to slip on and off, even without untying. The outsole is made of thick Margom rubber, and every stitch on the Italian leather sneaker body is tight and secure.

Wearing The Shoes

I wore my Oliver Cabell sneakers anytime I left the house for seven days. I didn’t experience any discomfort, despite doing quite a lot of walking in them. Oliver-Cabell-Low1-Walking

I was comfortable every time I wore these shoes, and it didn’t take any time to get used to how different they felt from my usual shoe choice (flip-flops and running shoes). 

After a week of wear, both outdoors and indoors, I didn’t notice any external wear. This may partially be due to the intentional distressing covering up any damage I had caused, but regardless, the shoes still looked brand new after testing.

What I Didn’t Like

I only have three complaints about these shoes: slip factor, pre-worn design, and shoelace quality (discussed below under “Is Oliver Cabell Quality”). 

The bottom of the rubber soles offer minimal grip, and the shoes are a little slippery when worn on smooth floors. After I got used to walking in the shoes, this didn’t seem to impact me too much. Oliver-Cabell-Low1-Sole

Secondly is the manufactured distressing on the exterior of the shoes. I could do without the “pre-worn” design, but that is my personal preference, and I’m sure plenty of people enjoy this style. 

I purposefully chose the Low 1 sneaker in Marine Blue because it was one of the least worn-looking sneaker options. 

If you’re into designer distressing (or distressing yourself with an Oliver Cabell kit), you would probably enjoy some of the more worn-looking Low 1 styles like Chicago, Drip, and Venice.

Oliver-Cabell-Chicago-Offer

Low 1 / Chicago

Italian made, beautiful looking and feeling casual yet luxury shoe.

Oliver-Cabell-Drip-Offer

Low 1 / Drip

Italian made, beautiful looking and feeling casual yet luxury shoe.

Is The Oliver Cabell Low 1 Good Quality?

The build, materials, design, everything is premium with these shoes.

Oliver Cabell is open about where it sources its products, as well as where the shoes are crafted. This information can be found under the “Materials” drop-down section of each shoe. 

Almost all Oliver Cabell shoes are made with leather and Margom rubber from Marche, Italy, and the company specifies its leather is 100% ethically sourced.Oliver Cabell Shoe Quality

These sneakers are superior in quality to any shoes I’ve owned in the past. It’s impressive that Oliver Cabell found a way to use the same materials as other designer brands, but offer products at a significantly lower price point. 

My only major quality complaint is the shoelaces. 

They seem like an afterthought and feel like typical shoelaces. I find it bizarre that Oliver Cabell didn’t create more premium feeling laces to match the craftsmanship and toughness of the sneakers.

Oliver-Cabell-Low1-Venice-Offer

Low 1 / Venice

Italian made, beautiful looking and feeling casual yet luxury shoe.

Is The Oliver Cabell Low 1 Worth It?

According to the Oliver Cabell website, these shoes should last a lifetime of everyday wear if cared for properly. Low 1 Marine Value

$250 feels like a lot to pay for sneakers, but they are heavy, durable, and you can literally feel the quality when wearing them. Because the interior/exterior of the shoe is Italian leather, and the sole is premium rubber, I feel Oliver Cabell shoes are well worth the money. 

In terms of high-end footwear with a distressed design, Oliver Cabell is a great find, and the brand offers some of the most cost-effective leather sneakers out there.

Oliver-Cabell-Distressed Kit

Distressed Kit

This Distressed Kit includes a bottle of our Premium Shoe Cleaner, Shoe Cleaning Brush, Wooden Shoe Trees, and 24 Quick Wipes.

Oliver Cabell Coupons & Discounts

Oliver Cabell seems to offer sales frequently, and every time I’ve been on the website over the past month the shoes are listed for lower than the “original” price.

During my initial research, there was a summer sale offering 15% off sitewide plus a free bracelet with a stated $70 value. If you’re looking for the best time for a deal, I would stick close to the holidays.

Oliver Cabell Shoes Slip

faqs

If the item is in original packaging, unworn, and in a re-sellable condition, an exchange can be made within 30 days of receiving your order. International orders will receive store credit upon returning.

Free shipping is offered for US orders over $100, and orders over $170 for shipping worldwide.

If a product arrives damaged/flawed, please contact [email protected] for assistance.

Oliver Cabell offers multiple care kits on its website. You can also buy items individually including shoe trees, repelling spray, leather conditioner, shoe cleaner, brushes, and extra laces. You can find product-specific cleaning information under the “Shoe Care” section of the website.

Yes! Under the “Coming Soon” tab you can see Oliver Cabell clothing items. T-shirts, sweatpants, and hoodies are just a few of the items in the works.

 

Oliver Cabell Summary

It seems Oliver Cabell has cracked the code on creating an affordable luxury shoe without sacrificing quality. 

If distressed/pre-worn-looking shoes aren’t your style, Oliver Cabell does offer less-distressed shoes, but options are limited.Oliver Cabell Shoes material

All in all, the positives far outweigh the minuscule negatives and I would highly recommend these sneakers. If you are in the market for premium, hand-made, durable, unique, Italian leather sneakers, you should definitely invest in a pair of Oliver Cabell shoes.