Shoe Designer

Create stylish shoes for every occasion.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$33,000 – $131,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Shoe Designers do?

The job of a Shoe Designer is pretty self-explanatory: you design shoes. Whether you work on sneakers or Sex and the City heels, you work as a Shoe Designer requires basically the same steps.

You begin by figuring out what your target audience wants in a shoe. If you are making kids soccer cleats, for example, comfort and durability will be important. With those priorities in mind you look at different fabrics, fits and designs to create the best soccer cleat around. You then create technical designs of the shoe drawing either by hand or on a computer using specialized CAD software.

Keeping in mind cost of materials and labor, you use these drawings to make a sample shoe. This sample shoe (along with your communication skills) helps sell your ideas to those above you (the ones with the money to okay your design decisions).

Once you have the okay on your shoe design it moves to the production stage, which you oversee and perform quality checks on to ensure the end product is exactly as you imagined it.

Within the field of footwear design there are three levels: assistant, Designer and senior. You will start as an assistant, doing everything the Designer and senior Designer need to get their jobs done. The more experience you get the higher up you go until ultimately you become the senior Shoe Designer who is the one who calls the shots and has final say on all designs.

Should I be a Shoe Designer?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.

  • Also known as: Flower Shop Laborer/Designer, Footwear Designer, Shoemaker, Style Advisor, Sweater Designer

    How to become a Shoe Designer

    Most Shoe Designers have a Bachelor's degree or an Associate's degree. Chart?chd=s:is9pap&chl=no+college+%285%25%29|certificate+%2826%25%29|associate%27s+%2836%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2824%25%29||doctorate+%289%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,5,36
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