How a New Shoe is Made: Shoe Development Process

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.

shoe specification drawingsSpecification Drawing

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:

Footwear design book Free PFD Shoe Design Book Download जूते कैसे बनते हैंDo 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!  This is the perfect Shoe design a handbook for footwear designers.  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, pattern making and much more!  A must-read for young shoe designers, sneakerheads, or any footwear fanatic! Secure payments Visa, MasterCard & PayPal. Over 3500 copies sold! Read in over 60 countries!
Ready for Download Now! Edición española See Preview Video On YouTube

Download Now! 

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.

Print Editions and Instant Downloads Available Now!

Shoemaking Books / Go to Shoemaking Tools

E-Book edition 220 pages. PC and Mac compatible PDF file. Download Now!

E-Book edition 195 pages. PC and Mac compatible PDF file. Download Now!

E-Book edition 170 pages. PC and Mac compatible PDF file. Download Now!

Print Edition, 250 Pages with over 400 color photos and drawings.

Print edition 330 color photos,  28 Chapters, 195 Pages order today!

Print Edition, 220 pages with over 400 color photos and drawings.

Shoe Designers

Two PFD E-books, paper pattern and Blue Print. Download Now!

Two softcover books, paper pattern and Blue Print. Free downloads included!

The triple download of all three Sneaker Factory publications.

Start-up your Own Shoe Company

E-Book edition 170 pages. Profit margin and Size run calculators. Download Now!

A must have for anyone serious about launching a new footwear company!

A must have for anyone serious about launching a new footwear company!