For a garment decorator, boots and shoes are generally viewed more as a cross-selling item than as a piece to be decorated



You are, reports Jon Hodson, business development manager at BTC Activewear and footwear industry expert, very limited as to what you can achieve decoration-wise on work footwear, but it is still possible to add some branding magic with a bit of lateral thinking.

A simple suggestion from Jon is to add coloured laces to match the stitching on the upper and welt. “Some footwear now comes with an option of coloured laces in the box,” he adds.

His next tip is that tabs with logos or names on them can be sewn on to the upper or the tongue area, which allows the tab to be displayed when laced up. It is also possible to sew on to the fabric pulling loop at the back of the collar. “These decorations must be kept to a minimum size on safety footwear so nothing can catch when in the working environment,” cautions Jon.

“In addition to safety footwear, on ladies’ styles a lace extension to the collar can be sewn on, and swing tags can be added to the laces,” he says.

His final tip is to overprint the boxes the shoes or boots arrive in with either the manufacturer’s or the customer’s logo: “This is the first thing the end user or wearer will actually see.”

When printing the box, be aware that while footwear like all other garments from distributors can be exchanged for a different size within an agreed timeframe (usually a month) as long as they are still in a resaleable condition, it is unlikely to be possible if the box has been written on or the footwear decorated.