The Shoe Development Process
Once the design concept has been selected and refined, it is time to turn the drawings into a new sneaker. This is when the footwear developer joins the designer to move the project forward. The developer is an experienced technician that will transform the drawings into instructions for the factory. The development phase starts with a drawing and ends months later with a sample in the salesmen’s hands.
Together, the shoe designer and shoe developer will create a detailed “tech pack” or a set of specification drawings or “specs” for the new shoe design. These drawings and documents detail every part of the sneaker from the upper to the outsole bottom. The specifications include the name of each shoe part, the material, material vendor, thickness, and color. The spec includes the shoe last information, logo art, design details, emboss effects etc. The spec may also include sample shoes, material swatches, photos, or any other notes to help build the samples.
The shoe development spec may be e-mailed, sent by courier service, or hand carried by the developer to the factory. At this point in the shoe development process, the developer is now responsible for getting the sample sneakers built.
This is what a complete spec drawing looks like:
Medial View (inside of the shoe)
Heel View (view from the back)
Tongue View (showing any logo art)
Vamp View (looking down on the toe)
Detail views of any small plastic parts
Material Map of the upper
Color map of the first sample colorway to be made.
Outsole Side Profile
Outsole Bottom View
Outsole Top net View
Detailed view of injection parts
Cross section view of the sole
Texture map showing the surface details
Color map showing future plans for color breaks.
Learn more in Chapter 3 of “How Shoes are Made”
Learn more about making shoes:Do 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
Print Edition Now Available!
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, 250 Pages with over 400 color photos and drawings.
Print Edition, 220 pages with over 400 color photos and drawings.
A must have for anyone serious about launching a new footwear company!
E-Book edition 170 pages. Profit margin and Size run calculators. Download Now!
Download Edition + Paper Pattern + Blue Prints and Spec sheets
Start-up Pack is all you need to get your own shoe business started.
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)
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.