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Career as Footwear Designer

Footwear Designing career is about designing a range of footwear that depicts fashion, style, comfort, sports, and more. This is one of the underestimated careers, especially in India, but now things are changing. People are getting good exposure to this career opportunity, and they see it as a proper career prospect. If you love fashion and have a passion for creativity, shaping your ideas into fashionable footwear pieces, then you are good to take this course and make a career out of it. It is already taken up at a good pace, and the anticipation is high that the footwear designing will take great momentum in this millennial era. People don’t take their fashion and presentation lightly. They make sure that they look perfect from toe to tip. And with advances in the fashion industry and market trends, footwear designing is going to see great positive change. To start your career in this field, one has to pursue fashion designing from approved colleges and institutes.

Job Profile

Career as Footwear Designer

The job nature is full of challenges. One has to improve every day and keep proving their talent time and again to be active in the industry. On the contrary, the work timing is not overtly hectic, not so much overtime. No shifts pressure is there. But creative challenges are always there. One has to be on their toes to be in sync with market demand and industry trends. Most of the employees need to work in the fashion houses or the company’s outlet, factories, production houses and likewise. There is no such travelling too much. But for a research study or attending symposium, seminars, events one has to travel and keep improving their knowledge. Footwear designers need to work in a team to get the job done, but at the same time needs to stand out individually to make their mark. 

Mostly the job role of a Footwear Designer starts with trainee or assistant profile. Here, one has to assist senior designers. This helps a lot in shaping up the career of an individual, as this is a golden chance of learning while earning. You learn on the job. As, when you start doing things in practice, then the actual challenges, learning comes out. After a fair level of experience years like 2 to 3 years, a person gets promoted to mid-level positions, like being in charge of certain sections like purchasing, styling, sketching, and so on. One can also go on for starting their shoe line by taking up entrepreneurship and head the company. 

The entry-level salary may range from Rs 15,000 up to Rs 25,000 per month depending on the company you are recruited with. After the experience, this salary starts increasing as per the levels you reach. Designer positioned on mid-level gets a handsome salary on average of Rs 50,000 per month. And when you reach up to senior level or being the head of any footwear line, then there is no bar for deserving candidates. The salary you can take away can be in Lakhs.

Employees can always go for short term specialization courses that give you a better insight into the career prospect. You get yourself more equipped with knowledge that helps you in obtaining finesse to your designs. There are certificate programs that are conducted by various institutes. There are companies like Pantaloons, Nike, Liberty, Paragon, Red Tape, Hitz and many more to count. One can also look for the teaching job profile for the footwear designing course. The most likely candidates can get jobs easily in the footwear designing sector in metro cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, and Delhi.


Future Growth Prospects and how to get there faster

The career gets a good start if a candidate comes from a good institute and further if it ends up choosing the right company, then the future is necessarily bright. One needs to be focussed and always willing to learn, putting in the best efforts to get innovative. In general, with 5 to 10 years of consistent good work can take you to the heights of your career. With certificate courses, seminars, and symposium certificates, one can get a boost in their career. 

Pros and Cons of being a Footwear Designer


  • The job never gets monotonous

  • A glittering fashion industry gives you an exciting career

  • You can express your creativity

  • Always growing

  • After a point get a good paycheck

  • Can start your footwear line and be an entrepreneur

  • There is no age bar to get retired from the job


  • There is still a need for more colleges to come with footwear designing course

  • Creativity pressure is always knocking

  • India still needs to go a long way to create specialists footwear designers

  • Footwear designing getting over-shadowed by fashion designing in India

How do I get there?

Candidates who want to pursue a footwear designing career need to take a fashion designing course. Students after 10+2 can go for the fashion designing course. Students from arts, science, and commerce streams all are eligible to apply for the course. There are institutes where the entrance exam followed by interviews takes place to obtain a seat in the course study. There are various programs to study fashion designing, from 2 years to 4 years course and also diploma courses are offered in various institutes. For post-graduate fashion designing programs, candidates need to be under-graduate from a recognized university

How much does it cost?

For the UG program, the average fee for the entire course is Rs 6 Lakh. For diploma courses, the fee ranges from Rs 30,000 to Rs 1 Lakh depending on the college selected by the candidates. Moreover, certificate courses cost you a very affordable fee amount from Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000. Again the colleges that students select are a major factor for the fee structure of the course.

For post-graduate programs, the fee is on average Rs 2.5 Lakh per year. Students can also look out for the short term courses selectively designed for footwear designing study. These are affordable, and you get benefited a lot from taking these courses.

What are the Top Colleges where one should be studying to become a Footwear Designer?

With the emergence of the fashion industry and especially the ramp modelling, the shoe industry is seeing upward growth in all sense. People are coming forward to get trained in footwear designing and getting their creativity to attain real shape. So, colleges with these courses are seeing the great interest of students, and many more institutes are introducing Footwear Designing courses on their campus. 

Rank of College 

Name of College, City

Programme Fees 


Footwear Design and Development Institute, Noida

B. Des. – Rs 2 Lakh/year 

M. Des.- Rs 2.5 Lakh/year


National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi

B. Des. – Rs 3 Lakh/year 

M. Des.- Rs 2 Lakh/year

B.FTech- Rs 3 Lakh/year

MFM- Rs 2 Lakh/year


National Institute of Design, Delhi

B. Des. – Rs 2 Lakh/year


Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune

B. Des. – Rs 1.5 Lakh/year


Pearl Academy, Noida

B. Des. – Rs 3 Lakh/year


National Institute of Fashion Technology, Navi Mumbai

B. Des. – Rs 3 Lakh/year 

M. Des.- Rs 2 Lakh/year

B.FTech- Rs 3 Lakh/year

MFM- Rs 2 Lakh/year

Books and other Study Material

  1. Shoes A-Z: Designers, Brands, Manufacturers, and Retailers by Jonathan Wolford.

  2. How to Start a Shoe Design Business by Becci Rolli

  3. Footwear Design (Portfolio Skills: Fashion & Textiles) by Aki Choklat.

  4. New Shoes: Contemporary Footwear Design by Rebecca Proctor.

  5. Handbook of Footwear Design and Manufacture edited by A. Luximon

What if this career does not work out for me? What are the other options for a person with these credentials?

If one does not feel to belong to the fashion arena, it can shift to a teaching job in fashion technology institutes. Also can take jobs in product management, purchase department, and can take up a sales job. With knowledge of footwear making, one gets an edge when entering into sales and marketing. People are also taking an interest in MBA courses after the footwear course. They land up with the management section of fashion houses, factories, outlets and likewise.

Content on this page is by Career Expert
Mrs. Kum Kum Tandon
MA (Psychology), M.Ed, Diploma in Educational Psychology, Vocational Guidance & Counseling (NCERT, Delhi) | View Complete Profile

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