Planning Your Shoe Manufacturing Business

The container yard
A massive container yard of product awaiting shipment or delivery.

When to launch your shoes into the market

All your work getting your shoes designed and built is at risk if your market timing is wrong. You need to make sure your winter boots arrive in time for the winter selling season. Make sure to carefully calculate your margins to ensure you can deliver your shoes profitably.

Planning your shoe manufacturing business

The shoe market has buying and selling cycles or seasons. To ensure your shoes are available in stores for these delivery windows you will need to work the schedule backward many months.

Footwear Delivery seasons:


Can also be called “back to school.” This is a large delivery window for many different types of shoes. The fall delivery is critical for football cleats, cross country running shoes, basketball shoes and any other shoe needed by students going back to school or college.
Fall product must be available to your stores starting in late June so they will be fully stocked for the shopping rush. Your shoe dealers will be switching off the summer product set-up in mid to late July. Fall orders must be placed to the shoe factory February 1st, in order to exit the factory May 1st and be available for retailers to order in late June.


The Christmas shopping season can account for 25% to 45% of yearly sales of a shoe store. It is important to have fresh product for your footwear dealers.
Holiday orders must be placed to the shoe factory June 1st. You can expect to pay extra for ocean shipping during the holiday run-up as merchandise floods in from around the world.


Spring is also a major delivery window for summer sports shoes and items needed for winter vacation travel.  The shoes arrive in the stores in January as the merchandise is reset after the Christmas selling season.

Summer or April

This delivery is usually the smallest. Retailers will use this April product offering to top up their inventory for the summer selling season. Summer is a chance for shoe companies to offer new colors of top selling models.

In Chapter 4 of How to Start Your Own Shoe Company, we will review all the steps of the footwear development process and explain the required timelines in further detail.

Learn more about making shoes:

Footwear design book Free PFD Shoe Design Book DownloadDo you want to learn how big brands make shoes?  Now you can!  How Shoes are Made will show you how modern shoes come to life! More than just a tour through a sneaker factory and more than your average shoe making book!  From drawing shoe designs to sample development and footwear manufacturing, you will learn how it is all done. Written by veteran shoemaking pros, How Shoes are Made will give you a look inside the REAL world of shoe design, development, and mass production. 220 pages with over 400 color photos and drawings. 26 chapters explaining shoe design, footwear pattern making, sample development, footwear materials selection, upper stitching, outsole and tooling design, shoe lasts, shoe costing, quality inspections, starting you own shoe brand, and much more!  A must read for young shoe designers, sneaker heads, or any footwear fanatic! Over 2500 copies sold! Read in 60 Countries! See Preview Video On YouTube

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Table of Contents:

The Design Process, Shoe Development, Shoe Patterns, Shoe Specifications, Outsole Tooling, Development Process, Pre-Production, Material Preparation, Stitching Operations, Rubber Pressing, EVA Forming, The Assembly Line, The Shoe Last, Footwear Costing, Importing Shoes, Shoe Logo Design, Leather for Shoes, Textiles for Shoes ,Synthetics for Shoes,  Foam for Shoes, Know Your Footbeds, Material Suppliers, Shoe Designers Tools, Jobs in the Shoe Trade ,Quality Control, Starting a Shoe Company, Life at a Shoe Factory, Shoe Making Dictionary

If you want to learn more, check out our new books.

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Print Edition + Paper Pattern + Blue Prints and Spec sheets

A complete technical specification, drawings, blueprint, pattern and spec.

Computer cut shoe pattern for a classic jogger.  Factory Blue Print included.

Entire pattern size run for the Arris classic trainer, Men’s US 7-13 (Euro 39-47)

Shoe last measuring step. Measures last heel lift from 1cm to 11.5 cm.

24 inch tape specifically designed for measuring shoe lasts.

Ready to Print! Men's size 9 last. The .STL file can be scaled in X, Y and Z.

Great for checking leathers and synthetic materials. Features adjustable dial.

Beaked pincers with built in hammer face. For shoe lasting and sole nailing.

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Great for DIY Shoemaking. This casual rubber outsole is durable, comfortable, and easy to work with.