sneakerology


This course should be mandatory for anyone who is working in the sneaker industry or is aspiring to do so. In two weeks you will learn how sneakers are produced; not just in theory, but by actually witnessing it at many different factories in China. Understanding how sneakers are manufactured - and why it is done that way - is essential knowledge for anyone working in sneaker design or development, but is also very helpful for those involved in sales or marketing and for footwear buyers, of course.


By the end of the two weeks you will be able to analyse how any existing sneaker was constructed, which materials were used for upper, lining and outsole and roughly estimate how much it should cost in wholesale or retail, based upon those aspects. You will also be able to suggest how each sneaker could be made more sustainably or cheaper.


course schedule*:


Week 1 - Construction:

Saturday/Sunday: making a pair of lasted sneakers in leather and fabric for yourself, learning basic pattern making and getting a basic understanding of all the elements of a sneaker

Monday: focus on lasts, visiting last factory

Tuesday: machine lasted, stringlasted or strobel construction with cemented outsole, including knowledge of glues

Wednesday: machine lasted, stringlasted or strobel construction with vulcanized outsole

Thursday: strobel construction with direct injected outsole or entirely molded shoes

Friday: outsole mold shop and outsole factory, including class on outsole materials

Saturday: practice what you have learned, recognizing constructions and outsole materials from existing shoes, evaluating the visits

(Sunday off, with the option to go sneaker shopping in Guangzhou)


Week 2 - Materials:

Monday: Learning about leather, visiting tannery

Tuesday: learning about textiles/synthetics for the upper, including lining, visiting textile mill and Guangzhou material market

Wednesday: learning about knitting for the upper, visiting knitting factories

Thursday: learning about upper construction (stitching, various parts, reinforcements) and decoration (heat seal, high frequency welding), visiting factories

Friday: costing, how do you calculate price, combining everything that you have learned in the two weeks

Saturday: practice what you have learned, recognizing materials on existing shoes and estimating costs (factory price, wholesale, retail), evaluating the visits

Sunday: option to go to material market again to buy stuff, especially for those who continue to the Sneakership course.


*:The order of the schedule can be subject to change - which is unavoidable when working with companies - but all mentioned aspects will be covered in the program.


course details:


Level: this is a beginner course, so there are no prerequisites

Location: Dongguan/Houjie area in Guangdong province (China) at various factories

Duration: Two-week intensive, including (part of) the weekends.

Format: Theory in the morning, company visits in the afternoon, evaluation at the end of the day

Maximum number of participants: 10

Teacher: David Hsieh


Dates in 2018:

Saturday, June 30 - Saturday July 14 or

Saturday, July 28 - Saturday, August 11


Price: 14 class days at a beginner level price, so this amounts to €2100 (excluding VAT, if applicable). This amount is to be paid in advance.


Included in the course price: transportation from the class location to factories and back, swatches and samples that are used in class

Not included in the course price: flight tickets, hotel accomodation, visa, breakfast, lunch and diner, mandatory books (see below) and any materials you want to buy for yourself

Costs for travel and visa will vary depending on country of origin and preferences for accommodation can also differ per person. After you have been registered for the couse you will receive a document with recommendations for visa application and hotels at various price levels.

Unfortunately we will not be able to accept participants from countries that do not have regular visa regulations with China.


How to apply: please send an email with your CV (LinkedIn profile) and short motivation to join this course to [email protected]


Mandatory course books:

You are required to bring "How Shoes are Made and "Shoe Material Design Guide" by Sneakerfactory to the course , in the printed version! You can buy them here: http://sneakerfactory.net/sneakers/downloads/shoe-designers-double-pack/


Recommended combinations with other courses:

The Sneakerology course is an ideal combination with Sneakership, a two-week course that helps you start your own (online) sneakerbrand. Sneakership is given right after Sneakerology to accomodate this combination. If you follow both courses you get a 5% discount, so then you only pay €3895 for a whole month of intensive training that allows you to actually start and manufacture your own sneaker brand!


Possible extras:

For participants that already have a professional product range and actually want to source manufacturing in China, we can offer sourcing services. Prices are upon request and extra time will need to be planned after the course to visit potential manufacturing partners. Email us for more info.