About Footwear50

Footwear50 in partnership with Imbox Protection A/S is a successful initiative by the British Footwear Association (BFA), celebrating and honouring 50 individuals across seven categories within the footwear industry in 2023. The initiative is widely respected and has been embraced by the whole industry.

Chosen through an industry-wide nomination process and pared down by the BFA Board of Directors, these individuals represent the most influential and inspiring figures in the sector.

The initiative is inclusive, welcoming both BFA Members and non-members.

Footwear50 in partnership with Imbox Protection culminates in a networking reception in London, where we officially unveil the celebrated list. This event brings together industry professionals to honour their peers’ exceptional contributions, making Footwear50 a celebrated milestone in the footwear industry calendar.

Footwear50 2023 Brochure

Event Highlights

What are the Footwear50 Categories?

We spotlight 50 people across seven categories, which are outlined below. This ensures we can include as many different types of business roles and professionals as possible.


stakeholders at multiple and independent retailers, including buyers, managing directors, business owners and sales managers


this category recognises those making a real difference in the footwear industry. They’re setting new standards for how we think about sustainability in our sector


brand owners, creative directors, head designers and other influential figures at leading British brands


influential figures at UK manufacturing facilities and workshops, including production managers, owners and business directors

Suppliers & Wholesalers

recognising footwear sourcing companies and wholesalers running well-established and growing businesses across the UK

Design Independents

hailing from independent brands and tenacious start-ups, this category will spotlight emerging and established design talents

Footwear Supporters

individuals at companies supplying essential services to the UK footwear sector, including finance, trade show support, recruitment and more

Headline Sponsor

IMBOX Protection is an in-store shoe protection service.

The simple plug-and-play solution provides your customers with premium quality footwear protection right in your stores. The IMBOX is easy to use. Simply place the footwear in the machine, select the program, and in less than 60 seconds, the shoes are ready to wear. The machine works by spraying the shoes inside a chamber. IMBOX Protection is the world’s only in-store shoe protection service. IMBOX Protection was created to better the world of footwear protection and the planet. The easiest and most sustainable footwear protection on the market.

“It is a real privilege for IMBOX Protection A/S to be championing this year’s prestigious Footwear50 Event. To be in the company of so many of the UK’s most influential and dynamic footwear industry experts is a real honour. The environmental, ethical and sustainability synergies that align our organisations and people have never been more apparent than they are today. Together we have the power to revolutionise the footwear industry, making it better for the people and the planet. Together we are stronger, together we can achieve anything. Every move matters.”

Rene Charles Marker

Category Sponsor


Streathers is a growing, boutique London law firm. We help footwear businesses navigate the key legal issues you face across all stages in your life cycle: from setting up a new footwear business and initial fundraising right through to business sales and exits, plus everything in between (commercial contracts, joint ventures, commercial property, employment issues, etc).

We love building long term relationships with our clients and becoming your trusted strategic adviser. As part of the personal service we offer, we will take the time to learn about your business, your strategy and objectives and any challenges you may be facing.


Covation Bio| PDO is a Loudon, Tennessee based producer of 100% plant-based 1,3-propanediol and was formerly known as DuPont Tate & Lyle Biobased solutions. The dent corn sugar derived 1,3-propanediol drives the performance of Susterra® propanediol and Zemea® propanediol—each working to reduce petroleum reliance across a variety of industries and applications. Susterra® is used in industrial applications such as Thermoplastic Polyurethanes for footwear, or PUD’s in artificial leather but also in the coatings and adhesives industry and in cooling industry replacing fossil fuel based glycols. Zemea® is used in cosmetics and skin care as ingredient. This innovative biotechnology enables today’s manufacturers to create products that offer better performance, combined with a better environmental profile. All carbon in Susterra® propanediol and Zemea® propanediol is 100% plant-based and resulting from regenerative, renewably farmed dent corn in the Midwest of the USA.


schuh is one of the leading fashion footwear retailers with over 120 stores in the UK, Ireland and online, selling over 80 of the hottest brands and their own label collection. 

The stores offer a unique shopping experience, known for their distinctive in-store atmosphere and excellent customer service. The website delivers a seamless multi-channel experience with best-in-class shipping, free delivery to store and an always-on 1-year return period.

Across its adult and kids ranges schuh offers an extensive range of products with access to the best brands and the latest styles.

schuh is about shoes and sneaks, but also the people wearing them – teams, customers and the wider community. Fostering Diverse Talent, Mental Wellness and Sustainability are purpose pillars that schuh live by. 


Over the years ours have become the rubber soles of choice for the most discerning of footwear manufacturers. The company remains in Market Harborough, at the original heart of the UK’s footwear industry between Leicester and Northampton, under the leadership of the original founder’s family. Consistency and dependability of the products we make is the foundation of the success of the Dainite brand and the focus of the company is continually towards making products of the highest quality. Dainite is the trade name established from the local phrase describing the company as the “Day and Night” mills.

Suppliers & Wholesalers

BlueCherry® by CGS is an award-winning, end to end supply chain management solution – supporting the needs of high-growth organizations operating in consumer lifestyle products, retail, and apparel.  The platform provides complete visibility and resilient supply chain management tools from planning and product development to manufacturing and sales. A robust and flexible feature set enables customers to utilize individual components or take advantage of a single, unified platform.

Design Independents

Heavenly Feet are a stylish, exciting and dynamic ladies Vegan friendly footwear brand with a strong focus on comfort, style and value.  We are a leading comfort footwear brand with ageless style and a strong heritage.  Heavenly Feet customers not only want to look good, they want to feel good too and that is to be comfortable.  As a brand we are continuously innovating, developing products to reflect changes in components, construction, design and fashion.  All our products are Vegan friendly.

Footwear Supporters

We make a positive difference to employers and their staff by providing outstanding HR support. Our approach is based on being proactive and providing straightforward HR advice; after all life is complicated enough so HR doesn’t need to be. Whether you’re a start-up or an established businesses, we enjoy working with clients who value their employees and the contribution they make to the success of their organisation.

Would you like to sponsor one of the BFA events?

Speak to us about commercial opportunities, email Polly at polly.ly@britishfootwearassociation.co.uk.