Footwear designer | Explore careers (2023)

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a footwear designer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role


You could do a degree or postgraduate qualification in footwear design, or a fashion design qualification that includes footwear.

You should look for courses that teach both the design and technical skills needed by the industry.

The British Fashion Council is a good place to start looking for courses.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

(Video) How To Be A Sneaker Designer For Nike and Jordan Brand | Jobs Unlisted

  • a foundation diploma in art and design
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More Information


You could get into this job through a fashion and textiles product technologist higher apprenticeship.

This typically takes 22 months to complete as a mix of workplace learning and off-the-job study.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information


You could start as a design assistant in a studio and learn on the job. With further training, you could begin to produce your own designs.

More Information

Career tips

It's very important to put together a portfolio of work that you can take to interviews. This should include designs, technical drawings and mood boards to show your creative talents.

Further information

You can find more details on careers in footwear design and production from UKFT.

You can get more information on working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

(Video) Footwear Designer Offers Career Advice

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • design skills and knowledge
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You could create exclusive 'one off' haute couture designs or ready-to-wear, high street pieces. You will typically:

  • research design ideas, materials and fashion trends
  • use computer aided design (CAD) and traditional hand-drawing techniques
  • create your own original designs or adapt existing ones
  • oversee the development of product samples and prototypes
  • present your ideas to the design team
  • be aware of costs and timescales for production
  • develop technical specifications to help the manufacturer produce your design
  • check the quality of finished products and suggest design changes when there are problems

Working environment

You could work in a creative studio, from home or in a workshop.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

(Video) Interview with Saul Santos, Footwear Designer on Career and how to make it in the industry

Career path and progression

With experience within a company, you could progress to senior designer, design director or head of department.

You could also become a freelance designer, employed by companies to work on specific projects, or become self-employed and launch your own collection.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a footwear designer right now.


The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Footwear (with Fashion) BTEC Higher National Diploma

  • Start date: 24 September 2024
  • Location: Leicester

Cordwainers Diploma in Saddle, Harness and Bridle Making (Level 3)

  • Start date: 04 September 2023
  • Location: Enfield

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.


1. Career as a Footwear Designer
2. Footwear Design - scope, careers, colleges, skills, jobs, salary #footweardesign#carrercounsellor
(Eduhub Point)
3. What It Takes to Make It As A Footwear Designer
(Complex Hustle)
4. Discover Careers: Footwear Designer | Sortyourfuture
5. Day at Work: Shoe Designer
6. Abstract: The Art of Design | Tinker Hatfield: Footwear Design | FULL EPISODE | Netflix
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Madonna Wisozk

Last Updated: 19/08/2023

Views: 6052

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (68 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Madonna Wisozk

Birthday: 2001-02-23

Address: 656 Gerhold Summit, Sidneyberg, FL 78179-2512

Phone: +6742282696652

Job: Customer Banking Liaison

Hobby: Flower arranging, Yo-yoing, Tai chi, Rowing, Macrame, Urban exploration, Knife making

Introduction: My name is Madonna Wisozk, I am a attractive, healthy, thoughtful, faithful, open, vivacious, zany person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.