Jobs In Skateboarding International : Footwear Designer

Jobs In Skateboarding International : Footwear Designer

Jobs In Skateboarding International : Footwear Designer

We met Jeff at the start of the year and tried to get him to do this interview, he refused to do it without shooting a legitimate skate photo of himself, to quote 'So, about 9 months late on this…my bad', the picture is worth it and so is the key advice at the bottom. 

Desk Portrait by Nick Zegel

Frontside Noseslide by Justin Ponce 


What's your name?

Jeff Mikut 

What is your current role and who do you work for?

I work as a footwear designer for New Balance Numeric 

What is it that you actually do? / What takes up a majority of your work time?

I wear many hats in my role but most of what I do is focused on creating new ideas and helping see them through to completion.  

We design every shoe from sole to upper both internal and out. We also manage all the colours you see in the catalogues and all the collaborative or team rider colorways. A lot of my time is spent managing that process while finding the gaps to be creative. 

Did you have any roles in the skate industry before this?

I worked at Vans and Lakai as a footwear designer prior. It was cool to see the inner workings of a large-scale business compared to a smaller, more family-owned operation. Having Rick and Mike as bosses was pretty all-time too. 

What’s the best thing about your job?

Seeing the footwear you worked on in the wild. It never gets old and always makes me smile. 

What’s the worst thing about your job?

Knowing every millimetre of the inside of the soles. It makes me think a little too much about what I’m feeling when skating – can be problematic! Ha 

Any advice for skateboarders out there who want to pursue your line of work?

It’s important to have a strong skill-set in the adobe creative suite and 3D seems to be bubbling up as a mandatory skill too. Just like skating, practice and learn from the styles you like. Pay attention to detail and be willing to design something that doesn’t perfectly line up with your personal aesthetic. Lastly, take opportunities as they arise – even if they are small. Experience is one of the best ways to learn this profession.

Jeff Mikut - Jobs In Skateboarding - Welcome Skate Store