Our Story

Nordic Casual design. Passion for shoemaking since 1960. Sustainable quality made in EU.

We at Pomar are a shoemaking family and collective of three generations and over one hundred skilled shomakers. All our shoes are made in Pärnu, Estonia in our own factory according to EU standards taking into account safety, work conditions and environment.  We are proud of our shoemaking tradition and craftsmanship.

Pomar brand is built around Nordic lifestyle and Finnish roots. Our origins are visible in everything we do, from clean functional design to our deep appreciation of nature.  The Pomar look is Nordic Casual, lasting design for everyday life with up-to-date detailing. We specialize in footwear with waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX® membrane, a winning formula for changing northern climate.

We work only with the most advanced material suppliers and tanneries to be able to offer innovative and durable quality footwear. All our products are made in our own shoe factory in Pärnu, Estonia, EU. We are one of the few manufacturers still producing shoes in Europe. We want to keep our production close to ensure the sustainability of our operations and to serve our clients with agility.

Pomarfin Oy, the company behind Pomar brand is a family company, started in 1960 in Pomarkku, Finland.  Our passion for shoemaking has lasted over a half a century and three generations.

Read more about us in our brand book here

It all started...

in a small rental cottage in Pomarkku, Finland in 1960. There Toivo and Kirsti Leppänen started making shoes for toddlers. There was no need for warehouses and stocks, as the finished products were delivered on a bicycle to the nearby railway station at the end of the day. The operations quickly expanded – new machinery acquired, factories built and employees hired. Although volume grew bigger, selection widened and sales steadily increased, Toivo and Kirsti never compromised quality. As the business grew, so did the family. At the same fast pace, Päivi, Birgit and Marko were born.

In the 1970s our focus was on developing the collection. It paid off as the now legendary Pehmis style was born. It has sold over one million pairs during the years. In 2010s remodelled new Pehmis pays hommage to the original everyman style and has gained a bit of a cult status among younger generation. Towards the end of the 1970s we started exporting shoes to Sweden and Norway, but also to the Soviet Union. Our main focus was in domestic market and exports to the West, not the East as many other Finnish manufacturers. This required more marketing and by the mid 1980s we had attracted plenty of Finnish pop & rock stars to strengthen our marketing efforts.

In the 1990s new generation took over as Toivo and Kirsti’s daughter Päivi became the CFO and their son-in-law Jarno was appointed the CEO. During the 1990s Pomarfin faced challenges in the form of cheap exports from the Far East. Also exports to the East collapsed with the Soviet Union. These challenges were met with differentiation and locating part of the production to Pärnu, Estonia. GORE-TEX® license was long pursued and finally acquired in 1994, when Pomarfin became the first and only Finnish shoe manufacturer with a licence to produce GORE-TEX® shoes. In 90s The Pomar Curling Boot was a new product for us. During the years it has gained a status of a classic, especially in Sweden.

After year 2000 the importance of GORE-TEX® grew rapidly. It proved to be a winning concept for Nordic climate due to its waterproofness and breathability. Together with strenghtening the GORE-TEX® collection our focus was in enhancing the technical features of our products. Pomar shoes need to stand the test of time and harsh climate, so our special attention has always been on the quality of the materials and our production methods.

In the 2010s brand, design and new techniques of shoemaking are our main focus areas. Now our collection is all about new ideas, modern materials and fresh Nordic look. One of the newest product innovations is The Pomar Felt Boot. This GORE-TEX® wool felt collection has been a sales hit and widely noted in media. It has also gained a strong presence in social media. The collection received in January 2017 Fennia Prize Hounourable Mention for good design. Today we are excited to export to new market areas too. In addition to our traditional market areas Scandinavia, The Baltics and Russia we are now exporting also to Japan, Italy and Spain. The company is still fully family owned and the third generation is learning the ways and earning their wings - Pomar is looking ahead.

Nordic Shoemakers Since 1960