We don’t often hear about careers in shoe design. We rarely hear people we know claim their desire to design shoes. A career as a shoe designer is actually quite promising, despite the fact that you may not have heard much about it.

One such item that we simply cannot live without is shoes. Do you not concur? Every day, depending on the situation, we put on a different pair of shoes. We need comfortable slippers at home, nice shoes for school, sports shoes for playing, fancy shoes for events like parties and functions, and so forth.

Read this blog to learn more about how you can pursue a career as a Shoe Designer, where you can work, what your responsibilities would entail, and much more. Read on! 

What does a Shoe Designer do?

A shoe designer has a wide range of responsibilities. Take a look at a few of the duties you would have to carry out in your career as a shoe designer.

  1. You must have the ability to visualize the design ideas that come to your mind, be aware of the latest trends in the industry, and be up to date with what your audience wants.
  2. Being able to communicate effectively with your customers will help you understand the needs of your customers. Communication with your suppliers will benefit you in getting the correct raw materials for your shoe-making business. 
  3. You must have knowledge about the different shoe materials and how and when they are used. All shoes are not made from the same materials. Different shoes have different purposes and according to their use, the materials differ. 
  4. You have knowledge about various designing software, it would prove to be an asset. Having a rough idea or a visual representation of how your shoe would look, is an extremely important part of any field in designing. 
  5. Design is all about creativity and collaborative efforts. You might not be able to see a certain flaw, but your colleagues may help you point it out and help you resolve the problem.
  6. You must be aware of the materials you need and the kind of shoes you need to make before the onset of a particular season. Think about it, can you wear sports shoes during the rainy season? Can you wear slippers if the weather is too cold? No right? The needs of customers change with changing seasons as well. 
  7.  As a shoe designer, it is part of your job to think of ways you can choose to sell a shoe. You need to think of marketing strategies to up your sales and beat your competitors. 

Job Roles

The following are some possible job profiles you can consider in your career as a shoe designer.

  1. Designer of Footwear: A footwear designer imagines, creates, and develops novel footwear concepts. They come up with designs, select materials, and patterns, and offer instructions on how to create the products they design in an appealing and affordable way.
  1. Footwear Developer: To introduce and improve footwear designs with manufacturers, they collaborate closely with the shoe designer. Collaboration with material suppliers, agents, and factories is part of their role as they create collection plans based on price targets, seasonal requirements, and historical sales data.
  1. Footwear Specialist: This position’s main responsibility is to oversee the technical advancement of shoes. Through internal and external fit sessions, footwear technicians are in charge of ensuring that prototypes and samples meet the required standard.
  1. Manager of Footwear Development: They keep an eye on the specifications procedure and create goods that achieve or surpass the set gross margin goals. They are also responsible for informing the sourcing company and suppliers of the product specifications and details.
  1. Retailer of Shoes: Their main duty is to support the preparatory work of the footwear product life cycle for both brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers.
  1. Retail Store Manager (Shoes): Managers of retail stores are in charge of the staff and daily operations in the industry (shoes). They have to keep an eye on the schedules and the workflow. These managers need to be knowledgeable about the goods offered in their shop as well as any current and forthcoming sales and promotions.

Career Path to be a Shoe Designer

If you want to pursue a career as a shoe designer, check out the path you need to take. 

Path 1:

Depending upon the undergraduate degree you want to pursue from your choice of university, check the requirements for the background you must belong from. Pick your stream according and complete your 10+2. Prepare for your entrance exams simultaneously and appear for AIEED, CEED, FDDI-AIST, IICD EE, NID-DAT, or NIFT EE. Choose a bachelor’s degree in footwear design followed by a master’s degree. 

Salary in different career stages of a Shoe Designer

The following table represents the salary figure for different job profiles in the career as a Shoe Designer:

Job ProfileStarting Salary per annum (in INR)Mid Level Salary per annum (in INR)Senior Level Salary per annum (INR)
Footwear DesignerRs. 1,49,000Rs. 3,87,000Rs. 10,00,000
Footwear DeveloperRs. 1,20,000Rs. 3,45,000Rs. 8,30,000
Footwear Development ManagerRs. 1,20,000Rs. 3,45,000Rs. 8,30,000
Footwear MerchandiserRs. 3,50,000Rs. 6,70,000Rs. 13,00,000
Footwear TechnicianRs. 1,50,000Rs. 3,15,940Rs. 9,20,000
Retail Store Managers (Shoes)Rs. 1,98,000Rs. 3,95,000Rs. 8,21,000

Skills required to be a Shoe Designer

To have a successful career as a shoe designer, you need to develop these skills.

  1. Product Knowledge: The ability to know more about the product you are selling is known as product knowledge. For employees of businesses to connect with and tell customers about the product, they must have a working knowledge of the product. 
  1. Sales Goals: The sales team is given a set of objectives and targets to meet in order to motivate them and generate revenue for the business. Sales objectives that can be met are time-bound, pertinent to the business, greatly aid in inspiring the staff to attain them, and are fantastic for the revenue of the firm as well.
  1. Customer Service: The process of giving support to all present and potential clients includes answering inquiries, resolving issues, and delivering top-notch service. Building trusting relationships with consumers is the fundamental objective of customer service in order to keep them coming back for additional purchases.
  1. Photoshop: On resumes for shoe designers, photoshop is utilized as follows:
  • Creating marketing graphics and elevation renderings in Photoshop.
  • Taught other CAD operators how to use U4ia, Illustrator, and PhotoShop.
  • Using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, I flat-sketched an illustration of a piece of draped muslin that was then transferred to paper.
  • With the aid of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and Microsoft Excel, technical requirements and call-outs are created for use in tech packs.
  1. Point of Sale: The term “Point of Sale” (abbreviated as “POS”) refers to the moment and location at which a consumer completes a transaction. It might either be a virtual store or a physical store with POS terminals. A POS system streamlines store operations and keeps track of crucial sales information.
  1. Fashion Trends: To learn about fashion trends and consumer preferences, go to fashion exhibitions and read clothing periodicals and manuals. Observe current fashion trends as well as broader trends in materials, colours, and shapes. Analyze fashion trends, forecasts, and consumer preferences by attending fashion shows and studying clothing magazines and manuals.
  1. Sales floor: A sales floor is typically filled with sales representatives who are there to assist you while you browse and inspect the merchandise. The public typically has free access to a sales floor where they may watch, view, and learn more about the goods being offered.
  1. Engineering Designs: Technical drawings called engineering drawings describe the specifications for engineering parts or machinery. The languages and symbols used in these drawings are standardized. Engineering drawings come in a variety of formats, including isometric, orthographic (multiview), schematic, one view, and two view drawings, among others.
  1. New Concepts: New ideas are used in the following ways on resumes for shoe designers:

    Internal high management, including SVP + GM, marketing, VP, and brand, are given new concepts. Create new patterns, toys, concepts, and prints for baby gear collections using sketches. Push fresh ideas and trend research to modernize Fashion Track programs through social media and shopping. Offer suggestions for new concepts, line tweaks, and seasonal goods.
  1. New merchandise: The new products that are either newly developed or new stock are referred to as new merchandise. You can use knowledge about each customer’s preferences to market them additional items.

Is Shoe Designing a good career?

One of the most crucial components of fashion is footwear. Without a pair of complementary shoes, clothing and fashion are incomplete. Just like we need different pairs of clothes for different purposes, we need a variety of shoes for different purposes. 

Think about it, can you wear formal shoes when you go to play a sport? Can you wear sandals when you go on a trek? Can you wear sports shoes in the monsoons? No right, Every shoe has a purpose, and the material that is used to make different footwear also varies according to several factors. 

One of the exciting and challenging careers in fashion design is footwear design. The field of footwear design has reached its pinnacle and is now the most popular career path. It is the responsibility of footwear designers to develop original and artistic footwear ideas. One can work as a footwear designer for fashion houses, shoe brands, catalogue businesses, and many more. Therefore, a career as a Shoe Designer is quite promising.

If you are really keen on learning about these topics, want hands-on exposure, and want to learn more about your career as a Shoe Designer, check out the Clever Harvey JuniorMBA- Digital Marketing course.

Types of industries hiring Shoe Designers

If you want to start your career as a shoe designer, here are a few places you can start working at. 

  • Corporate businesses
  • Design consultancy firms
  • Designer Labels
  • Footwear production
  • Footwear Retail Brands
  • Import or export industry
  • Merchandising
  • Product Manufacturing
  • Retail and wholesale
  • Trading

Top recruiters for shoe designers in India 

Top recruiters in India
Action Shoes
Lee Cooper 
Inc 5
Liberty Group
Top recruiters in India
  1. Action Shoes
  2. Bata
  3. Adidas
  4. Converse
  5. Camper  
  6. Flex
  7. Crocs
  8. Lee Cooper 
  9. Inc 5
  10. Liberty Group

Courses to upskill as a Shoe Designer

If you are looking at developing your skills and enhancing your knowledge of footwear design before you commence your career as a shoe designer, take these courses. 

Course NameDuration
Advanced Course in Footwear Designing4 Months
Basic Course in Footwear Designing2 Months
Certificate Course in Basic Shoe Design & Pattern Making1 Month- 6 Month
Certificate in Creative Design and Shoe Making1 Month
Certificate Course in Footwear Manufacturing Technology1 Month
Certificate courses for Shoe Designers

If you are really keen on learning about these topics, want hands-on exposure, and want to learn more about your career as a Shoe Designer, check out the Clever Harvey JuniorMBA in Design&Branding course.

Educational Qualifications to become a Shoe Designer

In this section, we shall be sharing all the details about the educational qualifications you need to pursue a career as a Shoe Designer. 

Degrees in India
Here’s a list of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in India that you can consider.

Undergraduate courses for Shoe Designers

  1. B. Des in Footwear Design and Production
  2. B. Des in Leather Goods and Accessories Design
  3. B.Sc. in Footwear Technology
  4. B.Sc. in Accessory Design (Jewellery & Footwear)

Postgraduate courses for Shoe Designers

Course NameDuration
M. Des in Footwear Design and Production2 Years
M.Des in Footwear Design2 Years
M.Sc. in Creative Designing CAD/CAM (Footwear Design)2 Years

Degrees abroad

Here’s a list of undergraduate and postgraduate courses abroad that you can consider.

Undergraduate courses for Shoe Designers

  1. BA (Hons) Cordwainers Footwear: Product Design and Innovation
  2. Bachelors in Footwear Design
  3. BFA in Fashion Accessories Design
  4. Bachelors in Footwear and Accessories

Postgraduate courses for Shoe Designers

Course NameDuration
Master in Shoe Design8 months
Academic Master in Accessories Design1 year


Books to read

  • Footwear Design (Portfolio Skills: Fashion & Textiles) by Aki Choklat
  • Handbook of Footwear Design and Manufacture edited by A. Luximon
  • How to Start a Shoe Design Business by Becci Rolli
  • New Shoes: Contemporary Footwear Design by Rebecca Proctor
  • Shoes A-Z: Designers, Brands, Manufacturers, and Retailers by Jonathan Wolford


Watch Abstract: The Art of Design| Tinker Hatfield: Footwear Design on Netflix or Youtube

That’s all you need to know about your career as a Shoe Designer. We hope this blog helped you to gain a better understanding of the field of Footwear Design, what you should study, the skills you need to acquire, and what work you be doing as a Shoe Designer. Good luck!


What does a Shoe Designer do?

A footwear designer imagines and produces new products, keeps up with changing trends, designs the right product at the right time to satisfy customer needs, and frequently follows a design brief in accordance with production limitations and branding requirements.

How much capital is required to launch a shoe business?

A smaller shop’s initial inventory may cost up to 40L INR, and grand opening marketing may cost about 4L INR. Many of these costs are significant because shoes can be pricey. For the initial costs of your insurance, set aside 2L INR.

What are some job roles as a Shoe Designer?

Designer of Footwear
Footwear Developer
Footwear Specialist
Manager of Footwear Development
Retailer of Shoes
Retail Store Manager (Shoes)

What does a Shoe Designer do?

Visualizing, Brainstorming, and Researching design ideas
Communicating with customers and suppliers
Understanding different footwear materials and their usage
Sketching ideas by hand or using computer programs
Working closely with the design team
Analyzing requirements as per the season
Developing strategies for all products.

How much does a Shoe Designer earn?

In India, salaries for footwear designers range from Rs.0.2 lakhs to Rs.9.2 lakhs with an average annual salary of Rs.4.0 lakhs for those with less than a year to 16 years of experience.

What educational qualification is required to become a shoe designer?

Students must hold a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in fashion design or footwear.

How much capital is required to launch a shoe business?

A smaller shop’s initial inventory may cost up to 40L INR, and grand opening marketing may cost about 4L INR. Many of these costs are significant because shoes can be pricey. For the initial costs of your insurance, set aside 2L INR.

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