How To Design Gym Shoes

Want to learn how to design gym shoes? Whether you are designing gym shoes to manufacture and mass produce, or you merely want gym shoes for a special occasion, you need to know the particulars of such an undertaking. There is a huge market for athletic shoes; they are practical, comfortable and, in many cases, less expensive than a pair of “street” shoes. Years ago, gym shoe designers were limited to certain styles and the color was always white. Somewhere in the '70s, color came into the picture, and gym shoes took a turn into the wardrobes of mainstream America. Men, women, girls and boys now wear them; for many they are a staple. The boon for gym shoe designers really came when athletes began to endorse gym shoes, to the tune of causing the industry to grow to millions of dollars each year. Designing gym shoes can be a very lucrative career, one that will not be greatly affected by the economy. School-age children, tweens and teens will always be required to have gym shoes. The following tips will help you on your quest to design gym shoes.

  1. The traditional method. Enroll in a formal shoe design class. Such classes are available all over the United States. Some institutions offer summer courses, and some offer one- or two-year programs. Design is more than drawing; there is a theory behind design. If you have the time and money, it would be worthwhile to take a shoe design class.
  2. Get an internship. Start at the bottom. Work at one of the major athletic shoe manufacturers and learn everything you can about shoe design, manufacturing and gym shoe construction. During your interview, express an interest in the company and becoming a designer. HR may be able to put you on a fast track to becoming a gym shoe designer.
  3. Design shoes. Take your design to a shoemaker or a manufacturer and have a custom pair of shoes made. This can be a very expensive project. Custom-made shoes offer a quality that your typical mass-produced shoe does not. Inquire about gym shoe design from the shoemaker; he may have tips on how to break into the gym shoe design industry.
  4. Start with generic shoes. There are manufacturers that already have a generic type of gym shoe pattern; all you need to do is tweak it by adding your design. There is typically a minimum that you must purchase, and usually the minimum is for each size that you chose.
  5. Sample shoes. Once you have your design specifics, have a sample pair manufactured. If you are trying to design and sell gym shoes, you will need samples in order to take orders. This may sound complicated, but it isn’t. Keep in mind that your design, or something similar, is probably already out there. Consult with prospective retailers to find out what consumers want in a gym shoe. Figure out which type of shoe is flying off the shelves.
  6. Hire a designer. Sit with a shoe designer, give him your specs and have him create your gym shoe. You do not have to have a gym shoe designer to design a shoe, but you will need a gym shoe manufacturer to take the design and produce it.
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