shoe research info

I’m working on a shoe design project for a product class…

i’ve found some interesting books, and was wondering what kind of resources are out there in regards to manufacturing processes, componentry and materials (specifically relating to shoes).

I really haven’t found much on the subject. To learn about shoe making and construction I would recomend going to the Salvation Army or Goodwill Store and buying a whole bunch of different types of shoes. Then cut them up on a band saw.

Cut the lefts all from toe to heel, and the rights in several places (toe, arch, heel) from lateral to medial side. Now you will have cross sections of shoe you can study in depth. You’ll learn a lot.

One of the cool things about shoes is that it combines old world craft (Hand sewn leather, synthetic and textile uppers) with high tech manufacturing ( injection molded foam midsoles, injected heel counters and components, blow molded air bags, etc.) There can be over a hundred parts to each half pair, they are pretty complex products.

Good luck with the project. Would love to see it in proccess if you would like to post it up!

to yo

Thanks for your input. I was thinking of doing exactly that!
I already have an old pair of Puma Mostros which i’ve hacked into, and have a brand new pair of Converse basketball shoes which i plan on sacrficing to the knowledge gods!

My project will also involve packaging/storage and point of purchase concepts, as well as advertising. Alot to tackle in one semester so lets hope i can get all my ideas out on paper. I’ll be happy to post up some of my ideas the further i get into the project. I hope to be well into the design process by mid-semester to i can mill out molds and cast the shoes as a pair, from some form of rubber/latex.

I’m doing a footwear design project also. I just finished deconstructing some Air Max Motos from a year or two ago. Taking an athletic shoe apart piece by piece is pretty intense and very enlightening.

Anyway, since this thread is already started, I’m trying to find out what kind of cost is involved in manufacturing shoes, particularly athletic shoes. The cost to the manufacturer and the wholesale cost would help me out a lot.

I plan to post some stuff soon, also. I’m still trying to sink my teeth into the fundamentals of shoe design, though.

shoe design costs-production costs-

material costs-development costs-

these all work under a budget-I rarely work on the hard number for production costs-I do-and have to design with a production cost in mind-for alot of the shoes that I have designed the costs have ranged to 14 dollar shoe ( mid hiker-injection sole-upper 80% synthetics + mesh material-other 20% rubber and leather) to a 25 dollar mens safety construction shoe (100 oil full grain leather)

the cost of the total shoe is in levels and from what i work on alot is soles-they are also apart of that total price for the shoe-I just finished a project with an air sole and the sole was 8 dollars- this is very expensive for a sole in production-I would like to end up with a cost no more than 4 or 5 dollars ( you problem solve alot with your designs and try to find ways to make it and keep it well designed but also make it inexpensive)

We ended up lowering the height of the profile and used less rubber-we also made the midsole thinner-what we are doing is cutting back on materials in which will lower our costs-also since these sole was outsourced to be developed you have to consider there costs on the sole other than for the make up the sole-like packaging and dilivery but also costs for the blue prints and wooden moulds and also to open up a mould is very expensive-that is why you might go through a couple wooden moulds to get what you want because you dont want to open it and then find errors-

also a major portion in a shoe’s cost is its shipment and production (factory costs-company costs-keep people paid) costs-these are why the shoe that costs 19 dollars are costing you 100 dollars in stores-I havent delt with this too much but i have known of factories that have been late on shipments and because they are late they cant ship them they had to air frieght them and that is alot more expensive-

I havent done too much athletic some runner but mostly hiker and boots-

YO should be able to tell you much more-just been in the biz about 1.5 yrs-but the trip to china kind of answered alot of the questions you are asking-

will post more have to run to class- good luck on your assignment-post work would like to see-


these are why the shoe that costs 19 dollars are costing you 100 dollars in stores

Based on some other info I’ve found, it seems that a huge chunk of that $100 retail goes to the retailer. So that $19 shoe gets sold to the retailer for maybe $45 and then retails for $100. A story about Nike mentioned that they operate on a 1-2-4 scheme, where actual production cost is doubled for the wholesale cost, and then the retailer doubles that for the retail cost. This correlates well with Nike’s 40-45% reported margins on all of their products.

Thanks a lot for the info, by the way. I dig the cool dialogue here between experienced people/professionals and the students running around on here.