Professional Development & Events

FDRA is the footwear industry’s leading educator, hosting a variety of events from webinars to major summits that focus on industry challenges, best practices, and common solutions.

When you’re involved in FDRA and participate in events, you stay connected and empowered to navigate the constantly changing global footwear landscape. Check out our latest Footwear Executive Summit Recap now.

3D Product Development Workshop

New York  |  Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A 1-day deep dive into development changes and opportunities aimed at helping both large and small brands understand how to set up and better execute digital development to cut costs and obtain faster speed-to-market.

Shoe Courses For Designers and Pattern Makers

New York City  |  Boston  |  Los Angeles

The Arsutoria School believes that a career in the field of shoes must be funded on a deep knowledge of the product. Arsutoria offers courses in the field of shoe design, shoe pattern making and shoe manufacturing.

2018 Past Events

Footwear Design Summit

Long Beach, California  |  Wednesday, October 24, 2018

FDRA and the Footwearists are excited to announce the launch of the Footwear Design Summit—the first and only summit focused on helping development leads and shoe designers explore and understand new software, technology, trends, and tools changing how we design shoes in a speed-to-market world.

Long Beach Brews & Shoes Footwear Industry Networking & Charity Event

Long Beach  |  Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A networking event for footwear professionals across the industry in the SoCal footwear community. Come, grab a brew and catch up—we will raffle items with all collected proceeds benefiting the Two Ten Footwear Foundation.

Footwear Trade Distribution and Customs (FTDC) Conference 2018

Long Beach, California  |  Sunday–Tuesday, October 21–23, 2018

The largest and longest running footwear conference in the USA. This event includes 3 days of in-depth discussion on supply chains from ports and service providers, trade and import compliance, and customs classification issues and sample classifications. If you import shoes, you cannot afford to miss this event.

Footwear Materials & Innovation Summit

Raleigh, North Carolina  |  Thursday–Friday, September 27–28, 2018

This is a two-day event for materials specialists, designers, developers, and sourcing teams. We cover material trends, sourcing insights, challenges and best practices in managing and commercializing materials. Feature speakers include industry leaders and professors leading cutting edge research into the next wave of materials development. Networking events and material research and production labs tours included!

Footwear Consumer Summit

Portland, Oregon  |  Sunday, August 26, 2018

Join us as FDRA & Pensole Academy kick off Sneaker Week with the 2018 Consumer Summit at the Jupiter Next Hotel on August 26th! This summit aims to uplift the voices and concerns of both industry leaders and the collective voice of the consumers through a transparent discussion.

Brews & Shoes Footwear Industry Networking & Charity Events

Portland  |  New York City  |  Boston  |  Long Beach

Networking events where footwear professionals across the industry in the area can grab a brew and catch up. We raffle items with all collected proceeds going to charity. Previous Brews and Shoes events welcomed over 100 attendees!

Shoe-Thru: An Educational Tour of the Portland Footwear Scene

Portland, Oregon  |  Thursday, August 16, 2018

This is a one-day event where attendees hit the road to discover and uncover the many unique and innovative locations in the Portland shoe scene.  We will load up a tour bus to see U.S. factories in action and tour several headquarters to get insights into our dynamic industry. Along the way, attendees will receive key briefings and updates on supply chain, sourcing, customs and trade issues, and get best practices on how to adapt.

Footwear Sourcing Innovation Summit

New York, New York  |  Monday and Tuesday, July 23–24, 2018

This summit will help sourcing and supply chain execs, directors and professionals understand shifts to footwear production from experts and industry leaders. This year will focus on factory automation and innovations changing the footwear development and production process.

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Asia Footwear Production Summit

Shenzhen, China  |  Wednesday–Thursday, June 20–21, 2018

This special event for factory executives and footwear company professionals in Asia will cover the shifting sourcing landscape, innovations and automation taking place in factories, and compliance and quality control best practices driving factory improvements.

NYC & Boston Footwear Construction Workshops

New York City  |  Boston  |  Tuesday, May 15, 2018 and Thursday, May 17, 2018

This workshop features presentations and examples from manufacturing and materials experts. It will help attendees conceptualize the footwear manufacturing process, provide key updates and insights into pressing issues we see across the industry. This is a critical workshop for designers and product development teams who have not had such a manufacturing overview.

Footwear Executive Summit: The Footwear Retail Revolution

Washington, DC  |  Thursday, May 3, 2018

A one-day summit (9am-4pm) for executives, directors, and managers. This year will feature keynotes and industry panels on how changing consumer demand is causing retail shifts, as well as politics and trade keynotes. Last year’s event had nearly 200 attendees.

Footwear Compliance Forum

Boston, Massachusetts  |  Wednesday, February 28 2018

In the morning session, we will have updates from experts on product safety issues including global, federal and state chemical laws and have robust discussions among industry product safety professionals. The afternoon session will focus on factory compliance issues including hours, wages, and working conditions in addition to other important topics.

Customs and Trade Working Group Meeting

New York, New York  |  Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A one-day FDRA members only meeting featuring updates on current tax reform and tariff reduction initiatives in Congress. Discussions on current customs challenges, briefings from US Customs and trade experts, and discussion among colleagues on best practices and common solutions.


*Refund policy for FDRA events:

FDRA will issue no refunds for cancelled registrations for its summits less than 30 days prior to the event date (this includes FDRA’s executive summit in DC, Asia summit, sourcing summit, materials and innovation summit, and FTDC). There are no refunds issued for cancelled registrations less than 48 hours from workshops. FDRA members can transfer their registration to another attendee for the same event.  Any questions on this policy should be directed to Andy Polk.