Are you thinking of designing shoes in the future? A footwear designer famously called a shoe designer is a fashionista with creativity to develop boots or shoes. Several brands in the market, including Adidas, Nike, Puma, Under Armor, and others, were created by designers who chose to mainly go the sneakers way. Shoe designing is an art. It requires learning how to design shoes from scratch to make something better to fit the feet. Becoming one takes skill, talent, and dedication. Let no one lie about the ease of making an original shoe design. You need to input hard work and sacrifice before getting recognized for your production.

If you already have the skills, it may take longer before getting employed by a prominent shoe company. However, that shouldn’t demoralize your efforts. Accept that job from a small company and keep doing your best as you await greatness. People aspiring to be designers should track fashion trends to understand the material type and how footwear can be created plus more other things we shall discuss in this article. Let's look at the steps involved in shoe design.

Shoe designing steps

We're going to discuss what you should do to boost your shoe designing inspiration and make it a reality. The following are the main tips that will well-elaborated points to help achieve your dream. Please keep reading to understand better;

  1. Creating a plan

Develop a 3-5 year plan- Start by making smart goals. Create realistic and achievable steps, with each having a timeline. Make it flexible to incorporate any mind changes. A frequent revisiting of the plan to ensure you're taking the expected direction.

Make a choice- Are you interested in specifically dealing with shoes for men, women, children, or athletes? Select the most appealing. After that, think about what you want with the design. Is it for designing your shoes? Or do you wish to get employed by Nike? You may be in love with designing and not making them into finished products. That’s when you may need to work with others.

Enroll in a degree- A degree isn't urgent in shoe designing. However, it'll boost your knowledge and skills. Additionally, through lessons with other aspiring designers, you'd boost your connection in your market. Attending a two to four-year class will teach you how designer shoes are made. You don't necessarily require studying shoe design. It can any art form applies—for instance, fashion, product, graphic, or accessory designs.

Develop your model- An outstanding designer has a rough idea of what they may find impressive and is originally theirs. Once you get knowledge from your studies, it's time for coming up with your style. Besides, make your product’s brand too. Start by making various design categories for women, children, and athletics. Notice the common factors running across each. Reduce the equipment involved- limit color use to three maximum and one or two material types. It can be leather or fabric to maintain your innovation and focus. For better practice, make it habitual by designing a different shoe every day for one month. Don't be surprised by the repeated trends in those designs indicating what you love most.

Get your motivation- Extrinsic motivation is great for our growth. Therefore, look at what other people in the field re doing and see where you can fit. We don’t suggest that you duplicate their work. Doing that is very wrong and maybe subject to penalty. Various art zones around the globe can be of inspiration. A good example is Christian Louboutin- uses archeology knowledge to power his designs.

Understand the industry- Do you know what shoe designing entails? It has a lot. The field is into three groups; creative design, manufacturing, and retail. To elaborate, creative design involves being creative and developing your design. The knowledge acquired is more than what's simply sketched or drawn on paper. You should know pattern making, different designers in existence, determining a shoe fit through creating lasts- shoe reproductions, can be resin's made or plastic. In manufacturing, the developed and sketched design now gets converted to the material; gives the shoe pair made. In class, you'll learn more about the material section of production. Lastly, in retail, is where your shoes are exposed to the market for sale. You'll know what customers search for and see others putting them on. Did you evaluate your target customers? Which buyer stores will you use for proper displaying of the shoes?

Track the recent fashion- Doing your research online and knowing more about the industry’s trends is an excellent way of gauging oneself. Competition never ceases in fashion and design. For this reason, learn more to cut edges and stand out to win. Use social media, magazines, and fashion links to catch up.

  1. Build the skill learned

Drawing shoe sketches habitually- Can you envision a shoe and release it on paper? Doing that is an essential skill for mastering as a shoe designer. Ideally, you’re not copying what’s in your view. Instead, imagine the shoe and bring out the imagination through a sketchy image. It doesn't have to be on paper with the digital world, but getting a computer software is an option. Using the software is among the best ways on how to design shoes online.

Learn the software use- We’ve got various shoe design software and applications. For example, Adobe Creative Suite software. It features numerous programs such as InDesign, illustrator, photoshoot, and many more. In shoe designing, you’ll not use pencil sketching forever, but the computer is needed. Therefore, learn how to use such software for recreating the paper sketch on the comp. Take advantage of understanding 3D designs through computer-aided design programs-CAD. The relevance will be seen later during marketing your product online. You'll have to display it in all angles for a better buyer's view.

Understand shoe-patter designs- Getting a better comprehension of the various shoe parts and how they're made is a great tip. Start by realizing them when drawing, and you'll learn more about the shoemaking process. Come up with different patterns for different shoes.

Create a portfolio- Gather the best shoe designs depicting your designer's versatility and skill. Target around 15 and 20 different designs for a physical and an online portfolio, respectively. Keep your information updated from time to time. You may also open other networks for more exposure. Don’t forget to add your influencer’s statement and inspiration.

  1. Structuring your resume

Consider an internship- Get a company or individual designer and help carry out their daily shoe creation duties. By doing this, you'll realize the much you missed as you worked alone. Exposure to more roles and new knowledge in the company will enhance your growth by far. Again, you'll meet and interact with other people doing the same job. Through sharing your experiences, you might notice the gaps in your designing journey and fill. So, find yourself the best company to find out their requirements. Some companies may pay, whereas others not. But don’t worry about payment, get there and learn for the better.

Get a job in the manufacturing industry- It'd be best if you have a test of seeing how shoes are converted from the original form to the finished design. Have a look at how various shoe parts are linked and produced. You may also get in touch with people that will help manufacture your shoe design when crossing that bridge.

Work in shoe retail- The same way a manufacturing industry exposes you, is how the retail does. Serving customers in a shoe supply department or store reaches you out to useful individuals in the field. Treat them as expected because they're the same ones trying out your shoes in the future. Understand the business by going through the experience.

Get an assistant position for a start- There are various entry-level jobs in shoe designing art. Examples include sketching assistant, pattern maker, production assistant, and design assistant. The positions are excellent for enabling direct working with a major designer. Use those posts to change a designer's ideas into sketches and patterns.

  1. Networking

Increase your connection- Did you know that shoes have exhibitions just like agricultural shows? Yes, attend annual general meetings for various shoe companies, trade shows, professional gatherings, and trade shows. Ensure you look presentable in outfits with the best looking shoe pair. Find a chance to introduce yourself or side chat the attendees in a friendly way and aggressively. Talk about what you do, and use your cards to support your concern. Ensure the card has contact information for easier reach in case of anything. Another trick for growth is not limiting yourself to shoe-related shows but also in other fashion events. Some artistic shows may comprise individuals that may uplift you. To succeed, please be aggressive and cordial in approach.

Join a professional group- Most professional organizations have individuals with the same interest. They promote education plus professional growth, host conferences, give awards, and advocate policy. You may have to pay a registration fee before joining and acquiring full membership. Remember to stay active and ensure stronger relationships with members- they're your brand's sellers. An organization could be a local, student, or regional based. The bigger the zone it covers, the greater the development. Professional groups linked to shoe designing are the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Industry Designers Society of America, AND Association of Sewing and Design Professionals.

Get mentored- Regular talks with well-developed professionals in a shoe design career can take your desires to more improved levels. Utilize the time and opportunities gotten from working at the retail or manufacturing industries. Even at the internship institution, university, college, or company. It's you to approach someone seemingly having a solid establishment in designing and shoe business.

Design your shoe

Reach out to a manufacturer- You want the best shoe quality ever, right? Of course, yes. Therefore, you should do extensive research to get the best and most reliable to deliver something near or your exact expectation. Don't trust them too much because they differ depending on the shoe type. To illustrate, Hungary and England make thicker-soled shoes and rounded shoes. On the contrary, thinner leather shoes with a slimmer sole are produced in Portugal. Go round, looking for a manufacturer without disappointment. You can even seek referrals from other designers and mentors. Moreover, you can ask various manufacturers to get your sample design. Thereafter, liken and select the best.

Host a trunk show- Trunk shows mainly help sell products like shoes, dresses, accessories, and others may be in a store or shop. Use this opportunity to convince clients about your brand. It should be a nice thing to attract their attention for longer. It takes hours or a few days with promotional prices and offers. Do this to spread your name.

Pair up with a boutique- Partnering with an already existing boutique or fashion shop can get your shoes in the business. You'll have to agree on the percentage or commission on the sale of your products.

Start online shoe selling- You can open a website and allowing people to subscribe for updates. Post the shoes on sale with appealing descriptions and prices. Clarify how orders and deliveries can be made.

The bottom line

The article above has clear information on the steps involved in becoming a shoe designer. Designing not only means using a pen to draw sketches on paper but has more. You can as well design shoes using the computer. It's a good method of designing shoes at home and selling online at the comfort of your couch. As a designer, understand the language used in the market for selling your brand. Learn from the existing designers and manufacturers before coming up with your ideas. Have all the needed materials for selling; website, partner, and manufacturing industry for easier work. Shoe designing is tough. Be sure it won't be easy on you. Gain patience and develop a passion for shoe designing and art to take you through that journey. Consult where necessary, be aggressive, and teachable if you want success. Don’t forget why you started, right from the plan, goal setting, implementation, and others.


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.