Footwear Designer

Columbia Sportswear Company
Portland, OR, USA
Posted 18 days ago
Full timeRetail Apparel and Fashion



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.


This Outdoor footwear design position is looking for individuals to create industry leading products and collections under the Columbia Footwear Design Director. These products must satisfy the demands of our P.F.G. and Outdoor Lifestyle consumer, brand strategy, and drive sales and growth for Columbia Sportswear.  This position will work closely with global product line management and development to drive the full family product direction.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Effectively represent Design Team goals on development trips to factories.


  • 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.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design or related field.  Associate’s degree with 2-3 years related work experience acceptable in lieu of bachelor’s degree.
  • A minimum of 5 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.

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