Footwear culture

Considering a career move from premium apparel to athletic footwear. Has anyone had any experience with the major brands and the kind of culture to expect?

Footwear companies and their cultures are vastly different. Some companies are fantastic, make great product and employees stay for years. Others are the kinds of brands you know and love, but don’t necessarily treat their employees well. And still others are very challenging in every aspect. Probably just like every other industry. But footwear people are very passionate about footwear and, generally speaking, tend to stay in the industry for a long time. That’s part of the reason why getting footwear jobs can be extra difficult. I’d recommend doing your research on glassdoor or other sites to review the companies.

How do you change to a different industry? What field are you in? I have noticed a considerable number of retail side people in the forum. Retail is a completely different beast. The companies and brands are anchored to certain cities. The rules of engagement are completely different than retail

I’m in sales planning. Interesting that you bring up the point about being anchored to a city. That’s actually what’s driving my career move, as I’m looking to relocate to a city that’s a footwear hub but doesn’t have many apparel players.

COMPLETELY agree with this. I spent 20 years in mostly athletic footwear. Each brand has its own personality. I loved some, hated others.

I’m out now only because after my last lay-off a couple of years ago I couldn’t find a new gig, in spite of living in a footwear hub. It’s been very tough for brands the last few years as consumers shift away from the fast fashion, one pair in every color, one pair for every activity model to a more sustainable, high value, multi-task shoe model. Most large discount-heavy brands have not adapted and are sharply contrasting. Covid made an already bad situation impossible.

If you have tech or web skills you’ll probably be able to make the transition but otherwise almost every company is currently on a hiring freeze. I’d have a plan b just in case.