Footwear Design Process???

I having a 10 page paper to do on what exactly goes on in the process of bringing a shoe to the market. I prefer info on an athletic footwear because I feel like it would be more complicated, because not only do have make sure the product looks good but also performs where lifestyle products are usually only focus on looks. I have a very general idea of what goes on but if anybody can provide any insights of what goes could you provide in any info. Anything from the patents, trademarks, mold making, design briefs, engineering, etc. would be very helpful. Thanks.

everything is complicated my friend.

think about how many styles have performance footwear,and even worst,how many designers are designing performance footwear.

Lifestyle isn’t just for looking fancy.

Have you checked out coroflot mag #3?

Yeah I have but I was looking for something a little more detailed.

Well: here is a rough outline of how it CAN work (it doesn’t always go like this)

1> Marketing (and hopefully design) look at last year’s sales numbers, and generate a line plan (or range plan) detailing what models at what prices will need to be developed. This might reflect divesting of some businesses that did poorly (lets say $65 non-technical running has been doing poorly, the team might decide to get out of that price point, the line plan might reflect were growth will be (lets say $65 non-technical running has been successful, you might see additional sku’s here, maybe some additional at $70 and $75 so we can improve the product), and there will probably be some gaps filled (Lets say there was no $65 non-technical running product, and there was a shoe with that spec that a competitor did well with… you get the idea)

2> Marketing writes briefs for each product in the line based on retailer, sales, and consumer data and presents that to design and development which will probably have feedback for them to adjust.

3> Design starts a research phase which might include travel to see athletes or inspirational sites.

4> initial concept generation

5> design presents initial concepts to key regional and sales representatives to see if they have any pertinent input

6> concept refinement

7> final concept presentations by design to VP’s, merchandizing, regional reps, sales to get approval to move to prototyping.

8> design adjustments, technical drawings, 3d modeling.

9> travel to Asia to work with factory on samples.

10> marketing presents samples to regional reps, sales, key accounts to get feedback

11> design makes revisions based on feedback

12> Might be another asia trip, some more feedback, some more revisions…

13> Sales meetings, account sales visits, bookings, shoes get produced, shipped distributed…

I have a question too. Who designs/decides the last? Or, what determines the design of a last?

The reason why I am asking this is:

  1. I am reviewing someone’s work(a conceptual shoe) and so I need some background information.

  2. The last is the shape of a shoe, not the foot. Therefore I am wondering how the design comes about.

Actually, I just found this site:

Ok this is what I was looking for. I use to wonder how a company determinded what shoes get made. Its basically market driven. I never really sat down and thought about it.

Yo I have question I don’t know if you can answer or are allowed to answer, but if products are driven by the market why does Nike continue to push a shoe like the Kobe when it continues to do poorly except maybe in California or the LA metropolitan area. On top of the that the shoe has really poor marketing compare to Wade, Melo, and Lebron. To me it seems like that doesn’t make business. I can imagine that it cost millions to bring a shoe to the market and for you not to market it right seems backwards to me. I am not complaing I like the Kobe line but it just doesn’t make sense.

I’m not YO, but have you also wondered why does Ford sell Focus in North American even though they are practically losing thousands of dollars for EACH Focus they sell?

For Ford’s case, it’s for market placement and brand image.

For Nike, I am guessing, Kobe’s fans aren’t going to buy Kobe products only. They will support whoever that supports Kobe. Kobe has a big fan base as I’d imagine, so Nike, by selling Kobe licensed products helps them in selling other Nike products to the same people.

You can no longer look at a product as a product by itself today. You have to look at it as a part of a bigger strategy that affects the entire company’s movement.

True I guess you do have to look at the bigger picture instead of the details.

great thread. more!

this is not really an answer to your question, but i believe the bean is pretty popular internationally, especially in china…

Thats what I was thinking Junglebrodda. But I was wondering if it may have been more to it.

thanks for the outline yo, could also talk about the timespan for each step? also I am curious about what #5 means? what type of information is exchanged?

jugglebrooda great questions I was just thinking the same.

I’ll elaborate when I start seeing some other sharing going on :wink:

boooo!!! give up the goods sir…

you work at a footwear company… how is it done there? Lets compare and contrast…

well technically, i work for an apparel company that is making shoes…so the process is a work in progress; and i am not sure i could really speak on it i(or if i am allowed to?) in definite terms because it has changed every season i have been here as we are still trying to hit our stride (no pun there…) so my understanding is rudimentary at best. which is why i asked, it seems like it is dependent on the type & focus of the company. however i can say there are many revisions, it is almost endless & quite we’re missing quite a few of the steps you outlined, which is why i was curious…

“8> design adjustments, technical drawings, 3d modeling.”

Who does the technical drawings? Engineers or the Designers? Does a designer do tech drawings for the upper and a Engineer does tech drawings for the sole? What 3D programs are used? Are the shoe 3D printed also?

“9> travel to Asia to work with factory on samples”

What exactly does a designer actually do when they go to these factories? Pick materials? Colors?

At what point are samples produced and given to shoe testers or giving to target consumers for feedback?

What are the roles and responsibilities of the Senior Designer? Mid-Level Designer? Jr. Designer?

If ANYBODY has any info to provide PLEASE let me know. Thanks in advance.