Course Description

Develop your footwear career with the BLC & BFA Foundation Course in Footwear Technology

The British Footwear Association (BFA) and BLC Leather Technology Centre (BLC) are pleased to present a Foundation course in Footwear Technology; an industry-led technical training syllabus aimed primarily at newcomers and junior technicians to the footwear industry. 

Attending all four modules of the BLC & BFA Foundation Course in Footwear Technology, gives you the technical skills, professional experience, and industry knowledge you need to pave your way for a technical career in footwear.

Qualification level

Level 2

Course Structure

The BLC & BFA Foundation Course in Footwear Technology is comprised of four one-day modules running over a period of four weeks:

  • Module 1: Lasts & Fitting

  • Module 2: Materials

  • Module 3: Construction

  • Module 4: Safety Related Performance

To gain the BFA Foundation Certificate in Footwear Technology, you need to attend and pass all modules. It is also possible to attend individual modules.


Who Should Attend?

Any individuals who want to embark on a technical career path in footwear, including junior technicians and newcomers to the industry, as well as those already in working in the sector who wish to increase their knowledge and understanding of what is an exciting but complex industry. 

This course is also ideal for professionals in other footwear functions to attend, including sales, marketing, logistics, customer care, buyers, range builders, and designers.


Course Agenda

Module 1: Lasts & Fitting
Date: 5th October 2017

  • Foot anatomy and study of the internal and external structure of the foot, biomechanics, functions and movement of the foot.

  • Principles of last design, relationship between foot and last, principles of last grading, last standards and guidelines, last assessment techniques, last constructions, different last types and materials.

  • Sizing systems, principles of different sizing systems and comparisons (UK, Paris Points, USA).

  • Foot Comfort - requirement for upper and underfoot comfort, pressure points, general principles of foot comfort, bespoke and orthopaedic.

  • Foot measurement and assessment, knowledge of foot measurements, different foot types, different foot measuring devices, e.g., tapes, boards etc.

Module 2: Materials
Date: 12th October 2017

  • Leather - upper, lining and sole leathers, types of skin, factors affecting quality, manufacturing processes, structure of leather, uses and aesthetics, test requirements, tannage, labelling, understanding leather from animal to shoe.

  • Visit to leather tannery.

  • Synthetic uppers and lining, structures of PUCF, PVCCF, Poromerics, synthetic suedes, membranes - structure and applications, use of materials, properties and testing.

  • Soling materials, critical and special performance properties, characteristics of different soling types, identifying features and typical end uses, vulcanising and moulding processes, key tests.

  • Other materials and components- brief identification and understanding of the material types, constructions and end use of insoles, leather boards, cellulose insoles, non-wovens, seat boards and shank boards, shanks toe puffs, stiffeners, fastening systems, zips, touch and close, laces, elastics, buckles, threads foot beds, mid soles etc.

Module 3: Construction
Date: 19th October 2017

  • Explanation of construction types, their manufacturing processes and typical end uses and properties, adhesive types, preparation, bonding and failures.

  • The manufacturing process from goods-in and material storage through cutting, upper preparation, closing, lasting and making, shoe room and finishing. Machinery used and terminology. Basic understanding of the whole shoe making process.

  • Visit to footwear factory.

Module 4: Safety Related Performance
Date: 26th October 2017

  • Basic understanding of the legal requirements of footwear including The General Products Safety Directive, Sale of Goods Act, Toy Directive, REACH and banned and restricted substances.

  • Labelling Directive, US CPSCA, Other relevant national legislation.

  • Risk - what is it and define critical, major and minor issues, importance of risk management, product liability and recalls, safety critical issue v quality issues.

  • Understanding of main safety related properties including physical tests, fastening integrity, foot discomfort and fit, stability, allergies, chemicals, flammability, toxicity, sharp points - their causes and remedies.

Download the course agenda


Course Costs

Discounted rate for BLC and/or BFA Members
Per module: £290.00 +VAT

Standard rate for non-members
Per module: £380.00 +VAT

Special discounts for booking all 4 modules – price available on request.

Register Your Place Today

For more information or to book your place please complete the 
course registration form or contact Natasha Eaton at BFA via email

Download Registration Form
BLC & BFA Foundation Course in Footwear Technology

Course Partner

British Footwear Association (BFA)

Providing support, resources, training, and guidance to our members who range from the biggest established brand names to small start-up labels, the BFA’s mission is to promote and celebrate British footwear, and the British footwear industry globally.


Postcode: NN3 6JD

By Car


  • From the North: exit at junction 16
  • From the South: exit at junction 15


  • Merges into the M1 at the Catthorpe Interchange, exit M1 at junction 16


  • Exit at junction 11, arriving in Northampton via B4525 and A43


By Train

  • Northampton Station is serviced by London Midlands and is on the Northampton loop of the West Coast Main Line.
  • Northampton is accessible by train from London Euston in the south, and Birmingham New Street and Crewe in the north.
  • A taxi rank is located outside the main entrance of the station.

Send An Enquiry

Contact our friendly and helpful sales team for further information. For us to receive your enquiry, you need to complete all 3 sections of the contact form below, and don't forget to tick the box in part 3 to sign-up to our BLC Monthly Technical Update email. We aim to respond to all enquiries within 24 hours Monday to Friday.

  • Step 1 Tell us about your enquiry
  • Step 2 Tell us about your business
  • Step 3 Tell us how we can contact you

Select your enquiry category

Type your enquiry

Tell us about your business

Tell us how we can contact you