Organiser Datateam Business Media has been inundated with a phenomenal response from the footwear sector this year, with over 3,000 individual nominations received. Members of the industry will be able to vote for their winners when voting opens on 31 October 2017.

The Footwear Industry Awards aims to celebrate the people and their ongoing dedication at the heart of the sector. The organiser understands that the industry is built on a history of hard work, passion and a love for footwear that has withstood the test of time. The event applauds more than just shoes and is designed to shine a spotlight on what goes on behind the scenes, all the way from an idea to the finished product.

Cheryl Taylor, senior editor of Footwear Today, comments: “The Footwear Industry Awards is a benchmark of quality in the sector, recognising companies for their service, innovation and dedication to customers. This year, we have had an overwhelming show of involvement from the industry and I would like to wish good luck to all of our nominees!”

How it works

There is a slightly different process for determining the winners of the brand categories and the retailer categories. For brand categories, there will be ten entries shortlisted in each category. The finalists will be determined by an industry vote using a secure online voting platform held by a third-party company.  A panel made up of independent footwear industry representatives decides upon the shortlist of five finalists and the ultimate winner in each category, also assigning Highly Commended. Representatives from the Footwear Industry on the Footwear Awards judging panel this year include Laura West, SSF, John Saunders, BFA, David Lockyer, Footwear Friends, indpendent footwear retailers James North, Robin Elt, Graham Parkin and Bernard O’Brien, a representative from Moda (to be advised) and Cheryl Taylor, Editor of Footwear Today Magazine.

For retailer categories, the winners will be decided solely by the vote of the industry as usual. Voting will take place via the Footwear Industry Awards website:

Shop Front of the Year

Organising an exemplary window display often goes unappreciated for independent retailers. An eye-catching, relevant and well thought out window display can help drive footfall, increase consumer interest and stimulate impulse purchases. A window display that has taken time, effort and skill demonstrates the retailer’s passion for their customers and for the footwear industry. The Shop Front of the Year Award is designed to recognise the creative efforts and ideas of independent retailers with an eye for design.

All independent retailers are welcome to enter this Award. Agents and manufacturers can also nominate a retailer with a fabulous window display with the retailer’s permission. What’s more, the overall winner will receive £1,500 of holiday vouchers.

To enter, retailers (or agents) must send one image or more of their shop front display to Sue Wiseman at Entries will close on 12 January 2018.

A fantastic line-up of sponsors

The Footwear Industry Awards is backed by a number of exemplary companies. Skechers has announced its support of the Footwear Industry Awards 2018 as headline sponsor. Cherry Blossom is sponsoring the cocktail reception, Ladies Independent Retailer of the Year is sponsored by Hotter, Moda Footwear has signed up to sponsor Ladies Footwear Brand of the Year and the candelabras are sponsored by Vibram Furoshiki. The event is supported by BFA, IFRA, SSF and Footwear Today magazine.

Vibram UK’s managing director Chris Wilson comments on the importance of the Awards: “Everybody involved in the footwear trade should be pro-active and get involved with the Awards. It is a great opportunity for everyone in the industry to celebrate great innovation, branding and customer service. It always feels good to give a pat on the back, so cast your votes and attend the event to cheer your peers on.”

The Footwear Industry Awards will take place on 18 February 2018 at the National Conference Centre in Birmingham.

For further information on tickets and sponsorship opportunities, contact Sue Wiseman on 01622 699185 or email