Foot Locker, New Balance and PENSOLE open registration for Next ‘Fuelling the Future of Footwear’ Master Class

2020 class to feature 30 students participating in a New Balance design competition.

Foot Locker, New Balance and PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy today announce the registration for their January 2020 “Fuelling the Future of Footwear” master class and design competition. The master class is a hands-on, intensive design competition created to discover and develop the future of the footwear industry. This will be Foot Locker’s seventh master class with PENSOLE.

For its January 2020 master class, PENSOLE has partnered with both Foot Locker and New Balance to provide unique opportunities for aspiring footwear and apparel designers. The class will challenge the selected students to design footwear and apparel silhouettes for New Balance across both lifestyle and performance categories. As PENSOLE’s only off-campus course, the program will be held at the New Balance Research & Development Center in Lawrence, Mass. from Jan. 27 – Feb. 14, 2020. A total of 30 students will be selected to attend a three-week “learn by doing” footwear design program, where they will be split into five teams of six.

“Partnering with PENSOLE has been a powerful initiative at Foot Locker as we are always looking for innovative ways to connect with our consumers. There is no better way to do so than to make them part of our product-creation process,” says Patrick Walsh, Vice President of Marketing for Foot Locker North America. “We are excited to continue building upon our mission of empowering youth and sneaker culture through ‘Fueling the Future of Footwear,’ alongside two great partners — New Balance and PENSOLE.”

The curriculum will cover the product creation process across footwear and apparel design, materials and marketing. One or more individual from each discipline – footwear design (2), colours/materials (1), apparel (1) and marketing (1) – will be selected by a panel of judges including industry experts and leadership from Foot Locker and New Balance. For the first time ever, participants will have the opportunity to receive paid internships with Foot Locker and New Balance, working directly with the brands in each of their disciplines. Winners will also receive up to $500 in merchandise from New Balance.

“This is the only class that we teach outside of PENSOLE’s campus in Portland,” says PENSOLE Founder, D’Wayne Edwards. “We are excited to teach our fourth class at the New Balance Research and Development Center, to continue our mission of identifying and elevating emerging design talent.”

Beginning today, prospective students can register in four different categories: footwear, colour/material, apparel and marketing. All applications must be submitted through Registration is open to U.S. based students only, and the deadline to submit is Dec. 3, 2019. The 30 students chosen for “Fuelling the Future of Footwear” will be announced in early January 2020 and will receive free tuition and housing – approximately USD 5000 per student – for the class.

“We have worked with PENSOLE for the last three years and are excited to add Foot Locker to the program,” says Jared Goldman, Senior Director of Design at New Balance.  “Our relationship with PENSOLE has opened New Balance up to a diverse group of talented designers that we would never have met prior to our first class. This is an amazing opportunity for designers that want a career in the footwear industry to get a start.”

Foot Locker, New Balance and PENSOLE Open Registration for Next “Fueling the Future of Footwear” Master Class

For further information, opportunities and more on Foot Locker’s “Fueling the Future of Footwear” programme with PENSOLE, visit

Foot Locker, Inc. is a specialty athletic retailer that operates approximately 3,175 stores in 27 countries as well as websites and mobile apps, under the brand names Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Footaction, Champs Sports, Eastbay, Runners Point, and Sidestep.  With its various marketing channels and experiences across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, the Company’s purpose is to inspire and empower youth culture around the world, by fueling a shared passion for self-expression and creating unrivalled experiences at the heart of the sport and sneaker communities.

New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. Manufactured in the U.S. for over 75 years and representing a limited portion of our U.S. sales, New Balance Made U.S. is a premium collection that contains a domestic value of 70 % or greater. New Balance owns five factories in New England and one in Flimby, U.K. New Balance employs more than 6000 associates around the globe, and in 2017 reported worldwide sales of USD 4 billion. To learn more about New Balance, please visit and for the latest press information please visit


D’Wayne Edwards, a celebrated member of the global footwear community for the last 30 years, founded PENSOLE in 2010 to give talented young design students—regardless of socioeconomic background—an opportunity to learn from the industry’s best, without financial barriers, and to provide the industry with a farm system for the next generation of footwear designers.

PENSOLE’s “learn by doing” curriculum teaches students the entire footwear design process: inspiration, concept development, design process, problem-solving, materials, business, networking, marketing, and branding. PENSOLE features the most sought-after faculty in footwear, comprising both young professional designers and established footwear design leaders from the top brands, with more than 100 years combined experience to help its students with professional development. Suzette Henry created MLab at PENSOLE in 2014 as a dedicated resource, providing color technology and material innovation in customized educational programs. And in 2017, Angela Medlin joined PENSOLE as founder and director of the educational product creation resource The Functional Apparel and Accessories Studio (FAAS) at PENSOLE, where students are instructed in “true to industry” processes and sustainable practices.