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.

Due to the current environment, our spring and some summer events will be connecting in a more innovative way and going digital!

Dates and registration information will be posted on this page and announced by email. Our priority is the health and safety of our workers, as well as helping ease the burden of new heavy strains on brands’ and retails’ workloads. We want our members to be 100% focused on their business at this time.

MEMBERS: Register for our weekly calls (Tuesdays at 2:00 pm EST) on coronavirus impacts!

Product Safety Working Group Virtual Meeting (FDRA Members Only)

Thursday, April 16, 2020, 1:00 – 3:00 pm EDT

Join us from your computer for this important meeting to look at key product and chemical safety issues impacting our industry. During this virtual meeting via Zoom, we will cover CA Prop 65 lawsuits for Chrome VI in leather shoes, Updates on the EU and REACH, The product safety impact of using recycled material and vegan material in footwear, Changes to the FDRA Product Safety Guide, The patchwork of state chemicals safety laws, and much more.


Footwear Executive Summit

Washington, DC  |  TBA

Join FDRA and 200 footwear executives at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC, just steps away from the White House. At this annual summit, we will network and hear footwear leaders discuss how they are guiding their companies in changing times with a focus on changes and insights to footwear consumers and retail, and how current politics and policy are impacting our industry’s bottom lines.

Diversity & Inclusion Workshop

Boston  |  TBA

Join FDRA and Amber Cabral at the Diversity and Inclusion Workshop to discuss topics such as unconscious bias, diversity, cultural identity, and gender diversity. Amber has worked with brands such as Walmart and VF Corporation to help ignite behavior shifts to create inclusive cultures.

FLOW Digital (3D) Transformation Online Seminars

Online Seminar Series  |  Launching May – August, 2020

The first step-by-step, in-depth series of online seminars focused on helping footwear companies understand and execute successful Digital (3D) Transformations. For beginners to advanced professionals—we will cover everything you need to know and prepare you for what’s coming next. Do not miss this MUST ATTEND SERIES!


New York, NY  |   TBA

Join us for one of the largest footwear community events in 2020. Attracting 200–300 of the industry’s top CEOs and executives, this party gathers all the leading decision makers at brands in NYC for a cocktail party-style networking event.

Footwear Sourcing Summit

New York, NY  |   TBA

Join the industry’s top sourcing and compliance directors in NYC for the only sourcing summit focused 100% on footwear. With new strategies, innovations and sustainability case studies, this summit focuses on footwear sourcing and factory compliance trends and supply chain innovations to help you get your footwear to retail faster and more cost effectively. Last year’s summit had 130 attendees who walked away with actionable data and analysis.

Shoe Sustainability & Materials Innovation Summit

Portland, OR  |  July 28, 2020

This summit is focused on helping professionals better understand current and emerging materials and material developments at a technical level as well as how to apply and execute materials and improve development.

Footwear Trade and Distribution Conference (FTDC)

Newport Beach, CA  |   October 25–27, 2020

The largest footwear conference of its kind in the US. This innovative conference draws nearly 200 of the industry’s top footwear executives, traffic and distribution specialists, customs experts, and service providers. The event is focused on learning from and connecting with industry leaders, experts and service providers.

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


FDRA Sustainability Roundtable

Boston  |  Thursday, February 6, 2020

This FDRA members-only roundtable meeting invites product development, materials, and sourcing teams to join us for critical discussions around industry standards for sustainability, best practices, and all things we can collaborate on industry-wide to save money and increase impact. This event takes place at the NE Materials Show in Boston.

FDRA’s Digital Trade Meeting

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

This half-day FDRA members-only Digital Trade Meeting will cover topics including 2020 Footwear Trade Priority Review, Major Customs Issues, and Tools for the Customs Professional to Consider, and more!

*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 2019 events archive.