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.

Footwear Trade Distribution and Customs (FTDC) Conference

Long Beach, California  |  Sunday–Tuesday, October 27–29, 2019

Join us for 55 years of 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 Design Summit

New York, New York  |  Tuesday, November 12, 2019

This footwear design summit is focused on helping development leads and shoe designers explore and understand new software, tech, trends and tools changing how we design shoes in a speed-to-market world.

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.

Past Events

The Footwear Materials Summit

Portland, Oregon  |  Tuesday, August 13, 2019

This event is for 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!

Portland Brews & Shoes Footwear Industry Networking & Charity Event

Portland, Oregon   |  Tuesday, August 13, 2019

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

The Materials Show

Wilmington, Massachusetts  |  Tuesday & Wednesday, August 6 & 7, 2019
Portland, Oregon  |  Wednesday & Thursday, August 14 & 15, 2019

The Materials Show is coming to the northeast and northwest with a great roster of footwear materials suppliers, FDRA’s Footwear Materials Summit (see below for registration), exciting trend presentations by Peclers Paris, exhibitions featuring talks by WTIN, and the introduction of specially-curated Asian, American, and European exhibitor selections from Premiere Vision Sport.

African American Footwear Forum

Portland, Oregon  |  Saturday, August 10, 2019

The African American Footwear Forum enhances access, education, and awareness for African Americans who are seeking opportunities to influence, lead, and impact the global footwear industry and consumer culture. Join brands, passionate industry professionals, representatives from historically black colleges and universities, athletes, entrepreneurs, and influencers for periodic events exploring and celebrating how diversity drives innovation and creativity drives global competitiveness.

Sourcing & Sustainability Summit

New York, New York  |  Monday–Tuesday, July 22–23, 2019

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.

FDRA 75th Anniversary Party

New York, New York  |  Tuesday, June 4, 2019

FDRA & FFANY have come together to celebrate FDRA’s 75th Anniversary and FFANY’s 40th. Please join us and over 200 footwear execs and professionals celebrating 75 years of the industry’s business and trade association.

THE Footwear Executive Summit: Transformation

Washington, DC   |   Wednesday–Thursday, April 3–4, 2019

The summit 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.

Global Footwear Executive Summit

Hong Kong   |   Tuesday, March 12, 2019

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.

Footwear Innovation Working Group Meeting

Wilmington, Massachusetts   |   Thursday, March 7, 2019

FDRA MEMBERS ONLY: Please join us at this important meeting (At the NE Materials Show) to look at key issues impacting our industry and innovations providing solutions. We will discuss 3D issues: software, implementation, standards, and more, as well as new sustainability initiatives changing how we design and produce shoes.

Boston Brews & Shoes Footwear Industry Networking & Charity Event

Boston, Massachusetts   |   Wednesday, March 6, 2019

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

African American Footwear Forum and Celebration

Washington, DC   |   February 20–21, 2019

Inviting footwear professionals and supporters to a forum to share stories, ideas and to create a dialog around the influence, leadership, and passion provided by African Americans in the global footwear industry. Explore ways to collaboratively establish industry goals in the development of African American talent at all levels.

Footwear Customs & Trade Working Group Meeting

New York, New York   |   Tuesday, January 29, 2019

FDRA MEMBERS ONLY: Please join us at this important meeting to look at key customs and trade issues impacting our industry. We will cover a range of topics including the new Congress, MTBs, athletic classification, as well as have a robust discussion on challenges and collective solutions. Bring your new samples for free classification!

*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.

View FDRA’s 2018 events archive.