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Career as Footwear Designer

Career as a Footwear Designer

About Footwear Designer

Footwear Designing is a dynamic field of fashion design. A career in the field of Footwear Designing is for those aspirants who have a keen interest in footwear and everything related to it. Footwear designers come up with creative and innovative ideas for shoes and other types of footwear. These designers work for various brands, fashion houses, high street stores, catalog companies and specialist manufacturers of leisure and sportswear.

Most Footwear Designers start their career after gaining an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in fashion, art, design, or any other related subject. The Designing industry has become highly competitive these days, so it is important for those entering this career path to have a thorough knowledge, aptitude, skills, and interest in the fashion industry.

Responsibilities of Footwear Designer

Enlisted below are a few duties or responsibilities performed by a Footwear Designer:

  • Visualising, Brainstorming, and Researching design ideas

  • Communicating with customers and suppliers

  • Understanding different footwear materials and their usage

  • Sketching ideas by hand or using computer programmes

  • Working closely with the design team

  • Analysing requirements as per the season

  • Developing strategies for all products.

Eligibility to become Footwear Designer

The eligibility criteria to become a Footwear Designer is elaborated below:

Education Qualification

  • Completed class 12th with any stream from a recognised board of education.
  • Must have qualified a Bachelor’s or Master’s course in Footwear Design.
  • Popular Certificate or Diploma courses in Footwear Design can also be pursued.

Work Experience

  • Not mandatory, however, an individual with full-time job experience/ internship experience may get better employment opportunities


  • Creativity
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication skills
  • Drawing skills
  • Flair for colour, texture, and patterns
  • Visualisation
  • Well-versed with computer design software
  • Strong organisational skills
  • Good interpersonal skills

Courses to become a Footwear Designer

Provided below is the list of popular courses that one can pursue to become a successful Footwear Designer. To take admission related assistance from our experts, free to either dial the helpline number 1800-572-9877 (toll-free) or fill-up the Common Application Form.

Name of Course

Course Fees (Annual)

Top Colleges for Footwear Designing

B.Des. in Footwear Design and Production

Rs. 1,00,000 to Rs. 2,50,000

B.Sc. in Footwear Technology

Rs. 1,00,000 to Rs. 2,50,000

M.Des. in Footwear Design and Production

Rs. 1,50,000 to Rs. 2,70,000

Diploma in Footwear Manufacture & Design

Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 70,000

Advanced Course in Footwear Designing

Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 1,00,000

Entire List of Top Footwear Designing Courses in India!

Note: Admission to most of these courses is done through merit or entrance tests such as FDDI AIST, NIFT Exam etc.

Types of Job Roles Footwear Designer

The profession of a Footwear Designer is competitive, demanding yet lucrative. One can showcase his/her creativity and innovation by choosing this career option. By entering this field, one can choose to work for a footwear manufacturer, brand or retailer. One can also work for footwear companies on specific projects, sportswear companies, designer labels, at both junior and executive levels. After gaining significant experience, one can progress to senior designer, design director or head of the department.

Following are some of the job profiles for a Footwear Designer that one can opt for:

Retail Store Manager (Shoes):

They oversee day-to-day retail operations and staff. Their job is to monitor the workflow and schedules. These managers must be familiar with the products sold in their store and any current and upcoming sales and promotions.

Footwear Developer:

They work closely with the shoe designer to launch and develop footwear designs with manufacturers. Their job is to collaborate between material suppliers, agents, and factories, and develop collection plans according to price targets, seasonal needs, and previous sales data.

Footwear Designer:

A footwear designer visualises, designs and comes up with innovative concepts for footwear. They create designs, pick up materials and patterns, and provide directions on how to make the products they design in an affordable and appealing manner.

Footwear Technician:

The primary function of this role is to be responsible for the technical development of shoes. Footwear Technicians are responsible for ensuring that prototypes/samples fit the required standard through internal and external fit sessions.

Footwear Development Manager:

They oversee the specifications process and develop products that meet or exceed the predetermined gross margin targets. Their responsibility also includes communicating the specifications and product details to the sourcing organization and suppliers.

Footwear Merchandiser:

Their main responsibility is to assist with the planning of the life cycle of footwear products, for both retail stores and the online business.

Employment Opportunities for Footwear Designer

Nowadays there is a great scope of work for Footwear Designers. In order to bag a good job as a Footwear Designer, one must have extraordinary skills. There are ample employment opportunities for Footwear Designers in retail buying, sales and marketing, and in footwear manufacturing. Some highly experienced Footwear Designers can also do freelancing and work for different fashion houses. Few of the sectors/ industries where a Footwear Designer can find employment opportunities are listed below:

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

Top Recruiting Companies for Footwear Designer

Few of the leading recruiting companies where a Footwear Designer can find employment opportunities are as follows:

  • Converse
  • Adidas
  • Camper
  • Crocs
  • Nike
  • Puma
  • Bata
  • Skechers
  • Flex
  • Action Shoes
  • Liberty Group
  • Woodland
  • Lee Cooper

All About Popular Career Options for Footwear Designers in India!

Planning to choose Footwear Designer as your career?

Pay Scale/Salary of Footwear Designer

The salary of a footwear designer depends upon where one works. Whether one has been hired by some company, or he/she works as a freelancer or is a self-employed/entrepreneur. The salary of a Footwear Designer usually increases with experience in this field.

Following is the relative salary figure for different Footwear Designer job profile:

Job Profile

Starting Salary per annum (in INR)

Mid Level Salary per annum (in INR)

Senior Level Salary per annum (INR)

Retail Store Managers (Shoes)




Footwear Developer




Footwear Designer




Footwear Technician




Footwear Development Manager




Footwear Merchandiser




Note: The above figures are an estimate and may vary from individual to individual and company to company. 

Books & Study Material to Become Footwear Designer

Candidates who wish to enter the field of Footwear Designing should have good manual dexterity and a flair for fashion and foresight regarding upcoming trends in the industry. Besides this, candidates must also be aware of the best books for a career in Footwear Designing that can impart right knowledge about shoe design and production.

Some Footwear Designing books are listed below:

  • Shoes A-Z: Designers, Brands, Manufacturers and Retailers by Jonathan Wolford

  • Footwear Design (Portfolio Skills: Fashion & Textiles) by Aki Choklat

  • New Shoes: Contemporary Footwear Design by Rebecca Proctor

  • Handbook of Footwear Design and Manufacture edited by A. Luximon

  • How to Start a Shoe Design Business by Becci Rolli

Pros of becoming a Footwear Designer

  • Creativity is an integral part of the job. One gets to use his/her imagination along with the sense of style and see it all come to life.
  • The profession of Footwear Designing provides creative freedom and an option to explore entrepreneurship.
  • There is a wide scope of opportunities for professional growth and advancement.
  • There are various travel opportunities for fashion shows or meetings with clients.

Cons of becoming a Footwear Designer

  • In this field, it may take years of patience to become successful.
  • The job demands long working hours that may sometimes exhaust the body and mind of an individual.
  • Footwear designing does not have much awareness compared to apparel designing.
  • When compared to fashion designers, footwear designers are paid less in India.

Paths for Being Footwear Designer

FAQs about Footwear Designer

What is the future scope of a Footwear Designer in India?

Footwear designers in future have a bright career scope. With the increase in popularity of the footwear industry, many companies from around the globe have opened up their ventures in India. Not only that, but plenty of freelancers and Indian companies are also experiencing huge demand for pleasing footwears. With so many opportunities knocking the door, a footwear designer has a safe and secure future.

What are the top companies that hire a Footwear Designer?

Top companies that hire a footwear designer are Converse, Camper, Nike, Adidas, Crocs, Bata, Puma, Flex, Skechers, Woodland, Action Shoes, Lee Cooper, Liberty Group etc.

Are certificate courses available for aspirants who want to be a Footwear Designer?

Yes, certificate courses for footwear designers are available in India. Some of the most efficient and popular courses are Certificate in Footwear Technology, Certificate Course in Basic Shoe Design & Pattern Making, Basic Course in Footwear Designing, Certificate in Creative Design and Shoe Making, Certificate Course in Footwear Manufacturing Technology, Certificate in Computer-Aided Shoe Designing, Certification Footwear Maker etc.

I want to be a Footwear Designer. What should I do?

To be a footwear designer, you need to ensure that you acquire either a diploma, certificate, graduate or postgraduate degree in footwear designing. Start preparing for entrance exams such as FDDI AIST, NIFT etc. to get admission in the top-notch college. After completing the degree, make sure to gather adequate work experience and enhance your skills. Doing so would provide you with plenty of amazing employment opportunities.

What skills are required to be a Footwear Designer?

To be a footwear designer basic skills are required such as a creative eye, knowledge of foot anatomy, a flair for colour, texture and patterns, CAD skills, good drawing ability, exceptional communication skills and time management.

What are the advantages of being a Footwear Designer?

The advantage of being a footwear designer is that a person gets to utilise his/her imagination and creative skills to the fullest. It breaks the monotony of the job and does not make it dull. Multiple employment and travel opportunities are also provided to a footwear designer.

Is CAD necessary to be a Footwear Designer?

Yes, It is important to have a sound knowledge of CAD to be a footwear designer and most of the courses offer education in Computer-aided design as an individual requires it in the professional world.

How much does a Footwear Designer make?

The salary of a footwear designer varies from individual to individual. A person can make money from anywhere between Rs.2,50,000/- to Rs.10,00,000/-

Can I be a Footwear Designer after completing my diploma?

Yes, the footwear designing industry gives importance to creativity, rationality and visualisation skills. With a diploma in a relevant discipline and right skills, anyone can be a footwear designer.

What does a Footwear Designer do?

A footwear designer visualises, research and create designs for a variety of footwear. Their aim is to come up with innovative ideas and create footwear that is not only aesthetic but also functional.

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