"Our shoes are instantly recognisable, mainly because of a refined appearance rather than an impactful presentation."

Andreas Klingseisen

One welcome development in the menswear world over the last few years has been the proliferation of simply designed sneakers made with high-quality materials. The German brand VOR makes sneakers in this genre, but rebuilt, literally from the ground up. Founders Andreas Klingseisen and Jörg Rohwer-Kahlmann weren't entirely satisfied with the industry-standard Serena sole. They preferred a softer, more comfortable sole, with higher rubber content. When they couldn't find one they liked, they had one made, which they and they alone use.

Nor is this the sole distinguishing feature of a VOR shoe. VOR makes their shoes in Pirmasens, Germany, near the French border. Pirmasens was once the heavyweight of German shoemaking, turning out 62 million pairs in 1969. With much of that production having fled to Asia, VOR is one of a few brands gaining a foothold in the return of Pirmasensian shoemaking. Even if the heavyweight scale of production never returns, Pirmasens is a promising welterweight, with VOR as its top trainer.

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