to be, rather than to seem

A happy pair of Paez shoes

It’s been a while since I wanted to get myself a pair of comfortable alpargatas. It was this book “Start Something That Matters” written by Blake Mycoskie that I came across the alpargatas – shoes from Argentina. Widely known as TOMS, I could not find the shoes anywhere in Malaysia. Months went by after finish reading the book and gradually the craving for TOMS dwindled until it no longer appears.

Then, I stumbled a few colourful pairs of alpargatas in Sole What, a store selling different brands of shoes and apparels. It was not the TOMS that I wanted but another brand PAEZ. I was told by the salesgirl that PAEZ originates from Argentina and is as comfortable as TOMS, better yet selling at a much lesser price too!

Each shoe is made from a soft Argentine canvas and features a cushioned leather insole and a high quality EVA rubber sole. The centre elastic panel insures ultimate comfort and a great fit. It’s 100% handmade, born and raised in Argentina. – PAEZ

Since I walk a lot and I want something different from the trend following crowd I chose my very first alpargatas made by PAEZ.

Perfect! An early Christmas present for myself.

I have always played by the rule, picking ordinary leather and canvas shoes, the alpargatas is a breakthrough for me. Quant enough, they are the most comfortable shoes I own. The name? Super Nada Cool Negra! (Negra means black in Spanish)

The general rule of thumb of choosing alpagartas is to choose one size smaller. Size 41 fits just nice and my feet felt like being snugged comfortably by the cotton around and the rubber sole underneath.

More information on PAEZ here.

The only place I know selling PAEZ is Sole What which has branches in The Gardens (Kuala Lumpur), One Utama (Bandar Utama) and KSL City (Johor).


  1. but why need to be one size smaller? wouldn’t it hurt your toes?

    • Choulyin, at first I thought so too but it won’t hurt your toes. You want them to be tight enough so that they do not slip at all in the heal when you walk. They will stretch and form to the shape of your feet after a few wear.

  2. lol accidentally press enter too fast… >.<

  3. Blake Mycoskie is of course the man behind TOMS. Inspiring individual.
    It was when holidaying in Spain, I discovered espardrilles..similar to Argentina’s alpargatas but denizen of Argentina will surely contest.as method of construction is different.
    @Daniel made a very good point; when trying out my espardrilles, a size that is true to what I wear normally will cause slip off at heel when walking, so the shop person also advise I go one size lower..and true enough..then over time, with wear and tear..mine is now almost 3 years old…canvas has loosened,so I bought the heel liner adhesive,and it works. The sole is still good-though of course stepped onto water, it wets very fast. Made of jute or a grass specially grown in a region in Spain.

    Enjoy your pair.
    Sole What also sells Red Wings shoes,which are awesome comfortable and durable shoes for engineer going into construction sites, workshop/factory floors. But I got mine in the States.

    But if you visit TOMS website, you could also order, or pop over to Rockstars or Peder Red in Singapore- They have TOMS.
    Of course what Blake does with his ONE for ONE is really awesome.I suggest do your bit too..well its Yuletide spirits in the air now.

  4. Another brand-very similar to Paze’s design, but insole in my opinion better construction.
    Zapi- available at Parkson Pavilion- many designs and colour and material-even in corduroy.
    Check out Zapi website- http://www.zapishoes.com.
    This is from Spain. Price is lower than Paze,and (well),if you have BonusLink card, collect points and shop in Parkson.

    • Hey Andrew! I must visit Pavilion one of these days, the shoes indeed look awesome. It looks more like TOMS, from the appearance, material and construction. I just bought one pair of dress shoes from ZARA, I guess this have to wait…..

    • Yep..can wait..but maybe just an hour on that ZARA dress shoes, you want your PAZE or this Zapi already. I seldom wear dress shoes anymore..though got few pairs–a Church’s, a Bally and a Crockett & Jones- all of brogue and Oxford designs with Goodyear welt construction.
      Another good flat comfortable shoes/sandals are Birkenstock (look for Alpro-it has a soft footbed and contoured footbed providing great “housing” for your toes and arch too. But they are rather expensive in Malaysia…I get them from HK or authorised Birkenstock ebay store (eg shoeworld24).
      If you need tips on shoes, drop me an email.

  5. Hey bro, can advise in which area,floor and shop in 1u and the gardens shopping mall? Thanks!

    • David,

      The shop is located at Lot S-229A, Second Floor
      The Gardens. It is near to the connecting bridge to Midvalley, nearby landmark is Starbuck.

      Where as the one in 1 Utama is Lot F346A, First Floor (New Wing). It is in the Rainforest zone connecting to Oval zone.

  6. hi bro…seriously should choose one size smaller??? if I wear US8.5 so the paez shoes will fit me well with US7.5??? afraid it will be too tight if one size smaller :(

    • Afify, it should fit you just nice because after a few wear, the material will stretch and snug your feet comfortably. I’d go for one size smaller. You won’t want to wear a floppy shoes around.

    • owhh……thanks bro, really appreciate your comment!!!

  7. There are online sellers of TOMS in Malaysia but they are fake! I was once fooled of buying one. I have 2 pairs of Paez that I bought from Sole What BU and they’re really comfortable. I normally buy TOMS in Manila because there’s tons of stores that sell them. Price-wise, I’d still pick a pair of Paez shoes.

    • Hye Milan, my Paez just gave in after half a year. The material inside the shoes just detached from the sole. Money wasted. Thanks for highlighting the fake TOMs sold online, will be extra careful.

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