The Designers Guide to Shoe Material Suppliers

Shoe Material Suppliers

A supply of high-quality shoe materials and subcomponents is key to great looking and long lasting shoes. Your shoe material suppliers will be your best partners as you design and develop your shoe lines.  A good relationship with your shoe material suppliers has many benefits. They can help recommend materials for your shoes and can also help you make or find new or unique materials.  A supply factory with steady material orders from you will move your production to the head of the line or may be more accommodating if there is ever a problem.

Finding Shoe Material Suppliers:

A great place to start is your shoe factory’s existing material supply partners.  Ask your shoe factory development department to order swatch books and sample cards for your study.  They will have many types of leather, textile, PU leather, and plastic swatch books. Don’t forget to ask for the price sheets!  If they can’t get you material books, snap a photo of the book so you can make contact yourself.  If you don’t see anything you like, don’t be afraid to strike out on your own to find new suppliers!  There are great material shows full of vendors looking for new customers.  The Material Show and are great tools for findings materials close to your shoe factory.

Shoe Material Suppliers Will Come to You:

Once you get started material suppliers will be coming to you.  If you work for a major brand you may need to turn suppliers away!  Longtime relationships with material supply reps is also a great way to get some “inside” information.  “Oh, yea we are making tons of this material for ……….and ………”  Your material rep is also a great source of industry gossip.  “Did you hear that so and so has moved to the new shoe company in Portland?”  Keep your eyes and ears open!

Local Market Shoe Material Suppliers:

Depending on the location of your shoe factory you may be close to local shoe material markets.  These market areas are a great place to seek inspiration, and everything is for sale!  But watch out for the material quality, make sure you test any local market materials before production.

Visiting Your Shoe Material Suppliers:

When traveling overseas make time visit your existing material suppliers to see how they really make their products.  Supplier visits are always a worthwhile use of your time. You will gain insights as to the vendor’s capabilities and processes. You may see something that peeks your imagination!  A new machine, or process, an old machine, a competitors material in production, there is much to see if you are there on the ground with your eyes and ears open.

Here is a short list of the many shoe material suppliers available to you.

Designers Guide to leatherReal Leather for Shoes


Wolverine Leathers

Auburn Leather

PrimeAsia Leather Company

shutterstock_236482477 Synthetic leather for shoesSynthetic leather for shoes


Nan Ya Plastics Corporation   

San Fang Chemical Industry Co., LTD    

shutterstock_204302266 Textiles for Shoe designs Textiles for Shoes

Bu Kwang Textile Co., LTD

Faytex Corporation

Ducksan Co., LTD

Yuan Ling Knitting Ind. Co., LTD


Shutter stock - Lining Fabric for ShoesLining Fabric for Shoes



Yuan Ling Knitting Ind. Co., LTD

shutterstock_131262197 Thread for ShoemakingThread for Shoemaking

American & Efird, Inc

Coats Thread

shutterstock_304861562 Lasting board for shoes Lasting Board

Bontex, INC

Texon International


Jones & Vining Shoe Lasts

HardwareMetal Hardware

Dae Sung Co. LTD.

shutterstock_174062552Shoe Laces/Webbing / Trims Etc./Reinforcements

Paiho Group

Unmay Label MFG Corp.

shoe design flat footbedFootbed foam

Rogers Corporation

Ortholite Foam

Ultralon Foam


Jones & Vining, Incorporated



Jones & Vining, Incorporated

Vibram Outsoles

PU Outsoles

Meramec Group

Water Proof Film For Shoes

SympaTex Technologies, Inc.