Senior Footwear Designer at Columbia Sportswear Company

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At Columbia, we're as passionate about the outdoors as you are. And while our gear is available worldwide, we're proud to be based in the Pacific Northwest, where natural wonders are our playground.

Every product we make and every task we undertake is inspired by the famous words of our founder Gert Boyle: "It's perfect. Now make it better." As pioneers of relentless improvement, we are constantly evolving.

We believe the outdoors is ours to protect and strive to keep our planet healthy. We believe in empowering people to experience the outdoors to the fullest.

And we believe in you.


The footwear design position requires individuals to create industry leading products and collections as part of a multi-disciplined team. These products must satisfy the demands of our consumers and customers, be globally relevant, and drive sales and growth for the company.

  • Research worldwide marketplace and interpret consumer and market needs as they relate to product category(s) to gain thorough understanding of customer/product requirements. Includes researching materials, components, color, and design concepts and collecting feedback from customers, consumers, and sales representatives. Travel for consumer/product research as approved by Columbia senior management.
  • Identify opportunities that map to consumer insights and/or emerging market demands, with the intent of capitalizing on key technologies / concepts. Formulate action plans, line plans, and product briefs accordingly.
  • Generate multiple, unique 2D & 3D product concepts per new model that address critical functional, aesthetic, and business goals on a seasonal basis. Provide design/concept boards to communicate design/collection creative direction. Design projects include new in-line and special-make product and update carry over styles.
  • Develop projects from sketches through digital line art. Communicate design concepts to teammates, including multiple views and detail sketches and/or technical drawings as necessary.
  • Direct the efforts of outside resources and factory teams to effectively realize design vision within timeline and budgetary constraints.
  • Refine design concepts in conjunction with Design leadership, Merchandiser(s) and Product Development, in order to optimize functional performance, fit, comfort, and manufacturability.
  • Work within target prices as much as possible; coordinate efforts with Production/Sourcing to assure most effective results.
  • Finalized product solutions should demonstrate a very high degree of market awareness, functional excellence, aesthetic refinement, and overall creativity.
  • Work co-operatively with outside resources on signature products. Work co-operatively with internal and/or external resources on emerging technologies.
  • Effectively represent Design Team goals on development trips to factories.
  • Educate design team on current trends and techniques of shoemaking including, but not limited to, shoe shows, factories and new materials. Maintain technical skills by participating in the latest upgrades of computer software and attending related classes. Evaluate and implement emerging design and product creation software, including 3D modelling software.
  • Develop timeline scheduling for design and product development with the intent of maximizing department efficiency and meeting deadlines. Help streamline design procedures to meet timelines and department needs.

  • Entrepreneur: Identify opportunities, create and validate solutions, ensure commercial viability.
  • Catalyst. Function as an agent of positive change; adapt, influence, educate, incite, motivate, challenge.

  • Thorough knowledge of computer design software as well as the talent and ability to perform free hand drawings.
  • Thorough knowledge of footwear design, materials and production techniques.
  • Possess well-developed ability to read, write and speak English.
  • Ability to write technical material for clear product presentation and marketing.
  • Frequent writing of highly technical material requires a thorough understanding of the work, and the ability to clearly express complex concepts in written form.
  • Training skills are required when working with prototype production operations.
  • Must have excellent eyesight free from any color impairment
  • Bachelor's degree in Industrial Design or related field.
  • A minimum of 8 years experience in Product Design and Development with an emphasis on outdoor footwear categories preferred.

To learn more about our hiring process during COVID-19, click here .


Columbia Sportswear Company and our portfolio of brands, including Columbia, SOREL, Mountain Hardwear and prAna, know a thing or two about adventures. After all, we've been on one since 1938, working to perfect the art of enjoying the outdoors. Behind everything we make is an employee who's found that the greatest adventure starts with joining a company that strives to do the right thing.

This job description is not meant to be an all-inclusive list of duties and responsibilities, but constitutes a general definition of the position's scope and function in the company.

At Columbia Sportswear Company (CSC), we are committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and teammates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy (including childbirth, lactation and related medical conditions), national origin, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military and veteran status, and any other characteristic protected by applicable law. CSC believes that diversity and inclusion among our teammates is critical to our success as a global company, and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and business need.
More Information on Columbia Sportswear Company
Columbia Sportswear Company operates in the Fashion industry. The company is located in Portland, OR, Richmond, CA and Carlsbad, CA. Columbia Sportswear Company was founded in 1938. It has 5022 total employees. It offers perks and benefits such as Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Disability Insurance, Dental Benefits, Vision Benefits, Health Insurance Benefits and Life Insurance. To see all 63 open jobs at Columbia Sportswear Company, click here.
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