How to Design Shoes
How to Design Shoes: Drawing Technique
If you want to learn how to design shoes you must first learn the names of the basic shoe parts! Secondly, You must learn how to draw shoes. Drawing by hand or by computer is how you will detail and communicate your shoe design.
This is the most important part in learning how to design shoes. For your shoe to come to life you must be able to describe every detail. If you can’t show what makes your shoe design unique and special it will always be just an idea in your mind and not a shoe. A drawing will also help you discover the details of your shoe design.
A highly detailed shoe drawing will show design features and flaws, allowing your shoe design evolve. Your shoe drawings must also communicate the design details to your co-workers, managers, buyers, customers and shoe factory technicians. From start to finish in the shoe design process, many people will need to understand your ideas if they are going to help you make your shoe idea into a real shoe!
Once you have the design compete it’s time to create the product specification. All the details that turn a shoe drawing into a shoe are required. Materials Specs, color numbers, foam density, rubber hardness need to be defined.
How to Design Shoes: Footwear Materials
For your new shoe design to really come to life you will need to specify the shoe materials. A huge part in learning how to design shoes is understanding how and why to select particular materials for your shoe. Your material choice will decide how expensive or inexpensive your shoes will be in the store. Your material choices will also effect flexibility, durability, comfort and import duties. You will need to understand the design qualities and limitations of leather, textiles, synthetics, foam and rubber as they relate to shoe design. The material you select for your shoe design will have an impact on the fabrication techniques, stitching procedures, reinforcements, and even the type of glue used to assemble the outsole to the upper.
You can learn more here The Designer’s Guide to Shoe Leather, here How to Design shoes – Synthetic Leather , here Textiles for Shoe Design, here Importing Shoes : HTS Shoe Import Duty and Shoe Tariffs and here How much does it cost to make a sneaker?
How to Design Shoes: Shoe Lasts
The shoe last is the most important part of your shoe design. The shoe last is the form used to create the 3D shape of your shoe design. The shoe last can be made of wood, plastic or metal. In the design phase, the last is used to transform your 2D line art in a flat pattern that can be assembled, then stretched into a 3D shape. The shape and adjustments to last dimensions are where the art and science of shoe making collide. The perfect last will make your shoe look, fit and flex great! The wrong last will make a great shoe design into a wreck. In production, the last is used to stretch the sewn upper into shape, then hold it in place while the outsole is bonded. The last must be a strong material to withstand the lasting pressure and hydraulic pressure used to secure the outsoles. The shoe last must also be smooth and clean so the shoe lining is not damaged during the assembly process.