Manager, Footwear Engineering, R&D

US, Washington, Seattle
Footwear – Footwear Product Development /
Full Time
/ Hybrid
Who We Are:

At Brooks, we believe a run can change a day, a life, the world. Everyone who works here is a key part of our obsession to make the best running gear on the planet. We want our business — which also happens to be our passion — to be a place where everyone feels welcome and comfortable being themselves. Our company culture defines us, bonds us together, and drives our success. We live this culture daily through our brand values: Runner First, Word is Bond, Champion Heart, There is no “I” in Run, and Keep Moving. This means we always solve for the runner, do what we say we will, give it our all, are generous with our humanity, and find a way to keep moving every day, because joy is kinetic. 

Are you ready to help create something extraordinary?

Your Job:

The Brooks Footwear Product Development group is a team of world-class developers and engineers, collectively focused on improving the performance running experience by delivering the best Fit, Feel, Ride, and Quality in the industry. They are relentlessly focused on running, blending runner insight and knowledge of running science with the art and craftsmanship of building performance footwear to constantly challenge assumptions of how products are made to enable every runner to run their path to a better self.
As the Manager, Footwear Engineering, R&D you will lead a team of engineers who utilize advanced product and technical knowledge to deliver products that exceed consumer expectations. You will have advanced knowledge of the total footwear construction process including outsole/midsole drawing, pattern engineering, material construction and properties, performance best practices, and technical best practices. Other critical responsibilities include understanding manufacturing capabilities, anticipating issues, problem-solving, and timely resolution. You will be responsible for establishing best practices and designing resources rooted in engineering principles that deliver the product vision while ensuring product performance and product value. Your role is to manage and develop a highly functioning team of engineers to ensure seamless execution of department deliverables.

Your Responsibilities:

    • Footwear Engineering: 
    • Lead a team of product engineers in the creation of footwear toolbox projects from project brief, scoping feasibility, creating a project plan, and identifying tools and resources to execute consumer insights and internal team product requests. This includes managing and supporting a team through the brief stage into design, development, and commercialization.
    • Develop strategies to achieve organizational goals and adapt the strategy to changing conditions.
    • Lead and oversee your team’s execution of large-scale, complex projects with significant business impact or projects incorporating new technology/ manufacturing techniques and defining the framework for how to execute cross-collaborative objectives (franchise product, new technology, etc.) and documenting new best practices.
    • Oversee all product engineering projects ensuring on–time delivery of wear test samples, sales samples, and production confirmation.
    • Lead a team of Footwear Product Engineers by setting objectives, required deliverables and overseeing the successful execution of product strategy. Ensure all projects meet business goals and requirements.
    • Maintain a deep understanding of critical calendar deadlines and how they impact business decisions and objectives. Plan and oversee execution of projects according to the seasonal critical dates that lead to foundational support for product teams.
    • Lead your team in acting as the technical authority for tooling blueprints (midsole and outsole) and upper patterns/shell patterns. Grow their ability to critique, adjust and evaluate technical blueprints (outsole/ midsole), upper patterns, and materials from a performance, manufacturing, and functional perspective.
    • Develop your team to gain an in-depth knowledge of the manufacturing process and an understanding of how to manipulate the process in order to advance and achieve manufacturing techniques to enhance the overall performance of product.
    • Ensure continuous updates to the knowledge base and stay informed about vendor capabilities and performance, factory relationships, quality issues, and lead times.
    • Lead Asia development trips, 3 - 4 per year, to work with manufacturers and suppliers on existing and current development projects.
    • Participate in account visits as needed domestic and international.

    • Cross-Functional Collaboration and Alignment: 
    • Work collaboratively with Managers across Product Creation to establish guidelines to assign priority to projects and to monitor and adjust processes to meet the brand initiatives and demands.
    • Ensure project plans support the needs of cross-functional partners across the footwear department.
    • Develop and expand collaborations with other Product Operations teams to design and implement updated training documentation for Brooks Academy.
    • Partner with and guide design and development personnel to ensure that designs are manufacturable and meet quality objectives of the organization.
    • Partner with Biomechanics lab to assess optimization goals as well as document risks and update performance best practices.
    • Connect the dots across all project requests and create project plans to ensure optimization of resources. See the ‘big picture’ as it relates to cross-functional work streams.
    • Initiate and lead meetings with product teams during various phases of development cycle to review, evaluate, update, and ultimately drive the decision-making process that leads to on–time production confirmation.
    • Organize and communicate new processes and workflows to the cross-functional teams.

    • People Management: 
    • Lead direct reports effectively in line with company values and culture by mirroring Connect principles. Provide a collaborative, open, and rewarding team environment. 
    • Provide direction, coaching, and training for direct reports. Monitor team member performance, promote career development, and be proactive on team dynamics within the group.
    • Own decisions related to day-to-day employee career, training, performance, etc. and provide recommendations to Footwear leadership on employee decisions such as compensation, promotions, hiring/termination.

    • Accountability:
    • Cultivate team accountability through management of resource planning and assignment of clear “by=whens.” 
    • Own the process and outcome for execution of deliverables to ensure on-time and on budget. 
    • Ensure that documentation is developed and maintained for Footwear Engineering processes and programs. 


    • Bachelor’s degree in engineering, Design, Biomechanics, or other applicable technical degrees or equivalent combination of education and experience.
    • 7+ years of experience in a footwear development role, athletic/running experience preferred.
    • Proven ability to create and maintain product creation calendar. 5+ years of proven success with project management skills. Ability to ‘connect the dots’ while creating project plans to ensure cross-collaboration across the business.
    • 3+ years proven track record managing a high-functioning team.  Desire to support people in their career growth.
    • Knowledge in construction processes including outsole/midsole drawing, pattern engineering, material construction and properties, and costing is also expected.
    • Demonstrated ability to create and conceive new ideas pertaining to the consumer, product line and business. Outstanding communication skills, verbal and written.
    • Keen attention to detail in planning, organization, and execution of tasks (self and through others), while still being able to see the big picture, how it relates to the business and how all the pieces fit together and affect one another.
    • Demonstrated ability to lead a process plan as well as ensure cross-functional alignment and collaboration, including ability to develop highly positive relationships with individuals and teams that are made up of diverse disciplines and cultural backgrounds, resulting in effective working relationships across the company and with customers.
    • Expert ability to work professionally and effectively within the team, across departments, and with customers – connecting them together in their aligned execution of the product.
    • Proven ability to influence, persuade and negotiate to achieve alignment on project plans.
    • High-level knowledge of footwear pattern engineering and manufacturing processes to ensure products meet specific quality standards.
    • Strong verbal and written communication skills, with an advanced ability to communicate new ideas, concepts, and functional expertise within project teams and to external stakeholders.
    • Curious and open-minded; always open to a challenge, inventive, creative. With the ability to challenge the status quo – always looking at improving our products and processes while also displaying a willingness to dive into the details.
    • Strong computer skills including experience with Illustrator, MS Office software, PLM software. Knowledge of FLEX (PLM) is a bonus.
    • Ability to travel domestically and internationally as needed.
    • Embraces and lives the Brooks values!
The pay range for this position, based out of the Brooks Seattle HQ, is $128,702 - $205,943 per year. Base pay offered will vary depending on job-related knowledge, skills, and experience.  

Brooks is proud to offer a robust benefits package to our employees and their families!  

Benefits- including medical, dental, vision, life and AD&D insurance, disability insurance, HSA and employer contribution, FSA, family & fertility assistance, 401K Savings Plan and match, employee assistance program, and transportation assistance.  

Paid Time Off- Brooks offers generous time off including three to five weeks of paid time off, eleven paid holidays, paid sick and parental leave. 

Bonus- in addition to base pay, Brooks employees may also be offered an annual bonus based on company performance.   

Perks- including product discounts, a home office stipend, employee recognition, fitness discounts, volunteer and donation benefits. 

At Brooks, we celebrate diversity & equity. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment, and encourage people of all backgrounds, perspectives, experiences, and skills to apply. Brooks is proud to be an equal employment opportunity employer. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, two-spirit identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, sensory, physical, or mental disability, marital status, pregnancy (including childbirth and related conditions), honorable discharge or military status, protected citizen status, actual or perceived victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, HIV or Hepatitis C infection, political ideology, use of a trained guide dog by a person with a disability, or on any other basis protected by federal, state or local law, or any other non-merit based factors.