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Footwear Design and Development Certificate


Footwear Design

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  • 13 Weeks icon

    4 courses 
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Footwear Design and Development Certificate is a 13-week professional certificate comprised of 4 courses that provide students with a comprehensive overview of the footwear industry while developing the necessary skills that lead to successful product design. Industry partners and instructors with extensive experience in design, materials, and production of footwear will provide key elements from concept through marketing in creating functional and fashionable shoes for contemporary consumers.  

Who should earn this certificate?

  • Clothing designers, merchandisers, shoe designers, and accessory designers who want to expand their understanding of shoe design, marketing and production
  • Students and job seekers who want to update their portfolio to include provocative design boards using cutting-edge tools, materials and color development.

Skill-based approach

Learn about all phases of footwear design and production from introduction to design processes, to biomechanics, best practices, and trends and market analytics all lead to a holistic understanding of how the industry works. Upon completion of the certificate, students with design experience will have adapted their skillset to include a unique area of product design. Students without design experience will acquire an important foundation of the major components of shoe design, production and marketing.

What you will learn

  • Understand the anatomy & physiology fundamentals and biometrics of feet and ankles in the context of shoe design to produce stylish yet comfortable products. 
  • Shoe exploration covering everything from high fashion to everyday shoes, through performance
  • Create multiple footwear collection briefs using research, innovative thinking, critical analysis and personal style development while addressing the needs of a contemporary, diverse market.
  • Design product that reflects an understanding of the basics of human anatomy, contemporary materials, manufacturing processes and marketing strategies.
  • Research and articulate rising trends, customer identification and cultural shifts within the footwear industry.
  • Assessment of best business practices regarding ethical, moral and ecological impact on society through acknowledging maltreatment, waste and pollution issues found in manufacturing.

Professional Advantage

According to Allied Market Research, "the global footwear market size was valued at $365.5 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach $530.3 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 5.5% from 2020 to 2027." *  Mordor Intelligence reported, "the global athletic footwear market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.15% from 2019 to 2024." ** This higher growth rate for Athletic footwear is mostly due to the growing awareness of consumers' health and want to get in better shape along with an increasing fan base for sports like soccer and football.

The footwear industry is comprised of shoes, sneakers, luxury footwear, athletic footwear, sporting shoes and protective work boots. Formally the "Shoe Capital of the World," Massachusetts hosts not only many shoe companies but a wide variety of suppliers pivotal to the production process.




FASH910 - Shoe Design Basics (5-week course)

PreReq: 2 week Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop course titled: Beginner Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop
Beginning with basic design processes, students will focus on developing a solid foundation of shoe design ability. History, vocabulary, biomechanics, sketching, brief creation, materials selection, pattern making techniques and construction systems will lead to the creation of digital collections, which will be critiqued by footwear industry professionals. Presentation and storytelling skills will be introduced.   Students must have a basic understanding of design processes using the elements and principles and a sound understanding of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Online digital skill development classes are available through the Fashion Tool Kit badge certificate program. 

FASH911 -Materials & Color (2-week course)

Balancing footwear design criteria against form, function and performance is one of the most important elements to consider in creating a successful shoe. Appropriate material choices for uppers and soles need to reflect comprehensive research of consumer and end-use purpose to assure fit, shape, style and comfort.  Costing and sourcing factors also play a pivotal role in selecting resources. This course will introduce students to a wide variety of upper and sole materials, their performance attributes, manufacturing best practices of these resources, and strategies for making wise choices. Additionally, the use and application of color will be examined through a global lens to evaluate the influence color is having on the rise of the contemporary shoe market.  

FASH912 - Production Management (3-week course)

Flawlessly moving from design board to factory floor is the main goal of shoe design and development. Understanding manufacturing processes, production pattern making, material usage and regulations, factory placement, sustainability and analysis of product costing is imperative in making creative design decisions. This course will introduce shoe designers to key factors that have a direct impact on production and distribution of footwear products.  

FASH913 -  Trend Analysis & Marketing (3-week course) 

This course is designed to enhance forecasting ability through a combination of "pulse point" research, analysis, and presentation. Examining techniques for interpreting the social and cultural influences on footwear facilitates the ability to recognize and predict trends in the global market. Storytelling within the context of brand representation will be explored through marketing strategies such as; social media, special events, public relations and advertising. Market analysis will include understanding the consumer, the competition, and the retail landscape. 


Requirements & Registration

The certificate requires digital skills to be in place before taking FASH910 - Shoe Design Basics.  Students who need a foundation in digital technical skills will need to take a 2-week Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop course titled: FASH920 - Beginner Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop.

 It takes just 10 minutes to register online.  Admission documents are not required.

July 15 - Aug. 18 FASH910 Shoe Design Basics  $995
June 15 - June 29 FASH911 Materials & Color $995
Sept. 21 - Oct. 12 FASH912 Production Management   $750
Aug. 17 -Sept. 6 FASH913 Trends Analysis & Marketing  $495