GFA offers recognition in all footwear divisions, from Fashion to Sports, and at every stage of development, from design to the manufacturing process.  GFA evaluates entries in 3 different levels: Brands, independent designers and students, in order to provide a fair opportunity to each level.

The Global Footwear Awards acknowledges ground-breaking footwear designs with the highest global recognition across different business entities, including professionals and emerging young designers.


The Global Footwear Awards recognizes the efforts of talented footwear designers around the world and aims to celebrate their exceptional creations at a global scale while honoring sustainable practices that will inspire the industry as a whole.


The Global Footwear Awards honors the best in the industry, addressing creativity, innovation, sustainability, and social impact. GFA’s ambition is to provide the highest recognition to footwear designers in all levels, from emerging designers to design professionals, and to corporations. The award offers global visibility to designers, providing greater opportunities in the footwear business and beyond. The GFA also provides an international platform, generating a network of leading professionals in support of moving the industry forward.


The Global Footwear Awards acknowledges the best footwear designers from all over the world with international recognition. The GFA Jury Panel consists of leading professionals, across the globe, coming from different disciplines within the footwear industry, including major publications, retailers, institutions, and influencers.

GFA offers recognition in all categories from Fashion to Sports, and at every stage of development, from design to manufacturing and technology. Moreover, GFA evaluates entries in 3 different levels: brands, independent designers, and students, in order to provide a fair opportunity to each level.




Across four categories and over twenty-eight subcategories, the Brand Design of the Year Award and the Independent Designer of the Year Award seeks talented professional footwear designers whose work elevates the shoe industry, either with an innovative design or a new sustainable approach. To find out more about what we are looking for, and for helpful submission tips, the details can be found on our categories page.

Students and young designers are encouraged to apply to our Emerging Designer of the Year Award, which uses the same category and subcategory titles as the professional award. This prize is awarded to the student who has demonstrated devotion and excels in footwear design.

The GFA Design of the Year winner will receive the GFA Awards trophy, a badge of achievement, considerable publicity and promotion, coverage, critical acclaim, and much more. To find out how much more, have a look at our benefits page

Entering a project is completed online in a simple 4-step process. Designs can be from anywhere in the world. The design must be completed within recent years (5 years). It can be a product in-store, a project in development, or conceptual.


Launched in 2023, the Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes Footwear Designers, and other professionals in the shoes Design Industry, whose contribution over their entire careers is inspirational. Dedicated to professionals with a minimum of 40 years of experience in the industry with outstanding performance, the Award is one of the highest honors awarded in the design field. The GFA Awards team will be receiving nominations from the jury members and directly.

There is no fee to nominate a designer, all applications need to be completed by October 31st, 2023. 

To nominate for the GFA Lifetime Achievement Award, please email with the following materials:

  • Footwear Designer’s full name and contact details
  • Current Company Information
  • Headshot – Portrait
  • Nominee Bio (400 to 500 words)
  • Description of his/her career (700 – 900 words)
  • A list of 10 of the most significant footwear designs the nominee has been working on.
  • Series of  5-7 images of work/projects
  • A list of other involvements in the industry such as academic, associative, mentorship…and more


The Jury panel evaluates entries based on creativity, design, and innovation. The Jury members cast their votes individually and anonymously as opposed to in a group forum to ensure unbiased and impartial judging. Jury votes are tallied and the highest overall scoring entries in each category are selected as Winners.

The design must be completed in recent years (5 years). It can be a product in-store, a project in development, or conceptual. We reward excellence in footwear design, so the presentation of the design is an important part of evaluating the work. It needs to generate consumer desire and provide a better experience for consumers. Great designs are those that demonstrate innovation and embrace new technologies, set new trends, and push the boundaries of human ingenuity. We are also interested in designs with high regard for sustainable practices, social impact, and humanitarian issues, for which we have set up special awards.

Please ensure you provide sufficient and persuasive detailing and make your presentation as convincing as possible, as this will enable the jury to make the best possible evaluation of your design.


More information needed? Check our FAQ or download the GFA Awards Entry Guide 2023.


Click here to submit your project.