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The Anti-Hype Sneaker: Q&A with Pointer Footwear

What would a sneaker brand be without a continuous stream of drops, special collaborations and highly-paid celebrity endorsements? As sneakers have continued to aspire to ever more lofty visions of hype and luxury, one brand is keeping their feet on the ground.

Founded over a decade ago in London, Pointer Footwear has quietly been cranking out elegant sneakers with clean lines and a reassured, minimal aesthetic. In a market saturated with soulless, overly technical and over-hyped limited-edition sneakers, Pointer simply makes sneakers that look good and perform every day.

Vamp recently spoke with Pointer Sales and Marketing Director Toby Jerman on the Pointer aesthetic, and what the brand has lined up for this fall.

VAMP: There are countless other sneaker brands on the market—what makes Pointer truly unique?
Jerman: Our continuous celebration of the individual, both our art direction and footwear mark this by offering something different, an alternative. We all come from different alternative or sub-cultural backgrounds, so all these influences are visible in our products, but the main focus is taking something that has been around for a while and has proven itself and give it a twist. 

VAMP: Which styles define the Pointer aesthetic?
Jerman: The Crago and the Connor. The Connor is our first shoe on a running bottom but still remains very clean with no heavy branding and very high quality materials. It´s a symbol of our never-ending will to interpret traditional forms in a modern way and give it a Pointer mark. For example, this fall we will debut the Connor with an Lyrca in-sock which really shows the idea—low key on the outside but techy on the inside, with an Ortholite sock liner and Lycra in-sock. The Crago has been around from day one and truly is a Pointer classic. The Crago is basically a simple Gibson that we gave a more contemporary shape and that’s what Pointer is about in essence—being inspired by heritage but adding our own twist.

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VAMP: What are your current best-sellers?
Jerman: For Spring ’16, the Connor, Seeker, John and Crago. Our customers don´t follow trends that much and care more about having something versatile and different—an alternative to the stuff everyone else is wearing that’s of good quality and timeless in its own way.

VAMP: Many of your shoes are unisex. What makes a successful unisex shoe?
Jerman: People know us for our will to design good-looking shoes with a modern touch. Unisex is a statement. Good-looking shoes are not gender specific. We are really happy that our factory helps us in every single way, so we can assure the shoes do look good in every size. In general, I think most classical and simple styles work best for unisex.

VAMP: What goes into Pointer’s shoes?
Jerman: Our shoes are all made in a small factory, Applesons of England based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. We are using Ortholite for all our sock liners as it is simply the best open cell foam on the market. We also try to use only natural materials for our footwear so they can be worn without socks and age nicely. Generally speaking we try to give our customers the most value for money possible.

VAMP: What’s new for fall?
Jerman: The key inspiration for the Pointer autumn line has been the hiking culture of the late ’70s and early ’80s. With all its vibrant and washed out hues of bright colors, oiled leathers and overall sturdy looks, the idea was to translate this feeling and the rebellious attitude into a more contemporary look and feel and cater to the modern day nomads.

New styles for this season are two completely new boots, the Kaine and the Kinman. The Kaine is based on a ’70s Canadian Para Trooper Boot, where the Kinman is a classic trail boot with a few modern twists. Another new style for Fall ’16 is the Shipton which is our take on the famous [The North Face’s] Back to Berkeley boot, but on an elevated vulcanized trek sole. This style really incorporates the Californian hippie culture which apparently liked to climb mountains from now and then. This will be a celebration of individualism, so get out there and embrace yourself.