International Shoe Competence Center

In general:

The International Shoe Competence Center Pirmasens or ISC Germany for short is a non-profit private training and research centre for the leather and footwear industry, its suppliers, and for trade.

ISC Germany officially opened in 2008 and is a subsidiary of the internationally renowned Test and Research Institute Pirmasens (Prüf- und Forschungsinstitut Pirmasens – PFI), the Association of the German Footwear Industry (Bundesverband der Deutschen Schuh- und Lederwarenindustrie – HDS/L) and the City of Pirmasens.

ISC Germany is headquartered in Pirmasens / Germany. ISC Germany’s staff includes researchers, engineers and technicians, trainers and consultants in the field of footwear and biomechanics. ISC deploys trainers and consultants wherever required by the customer, be it to Asia, Africa, Europe, Middle and Far East.

ISC is part of a large network of footwear manufacturers, their suppliers and trade as well as other stakeholders of the German footwear industry, and collaborates closely with its parent company PFI, combining complementary competencies.


ISC Germany’s services comprise professional training, further education, R&D as well as consulting, primarily in the areas of quality, product and process improvement.

ISC Germany is specialised in conceiving customized trainings focussing on the technical aspects of industrial shoe production aiming to increase quality and efficiency, and imparts product competence for purchasing and sales staff. Among ISC’s customers are internationally well-known brands.

ISC offers a high-quality training and further education programme with an emphasis on problem solving for the international footwear industry, and also made-to- measure seminars tailored to the individual requirements of each customer. The main areas are practice-oriented specialist knowledge in footwear engineering, manufacturing expertise, product development, product and process optimisation, innovation, quality assurance, materials science or fit & comfort.

The ISC training factory – a state-of- the-art production line equipped to produce prototypes and pilot runs of all makes – plays a key role in terms of practical instruction. Here, ISC students can put their freshly acquired theoretical knowledge straightforward into practice.

The leather and shoe industry is constantly searching for well trained specialists and skilled workers. Therefore, ISC Germany supports the national training institutions of the sector mainly in the field of practical instruction. Furthermore, ISC offers a range of qualifications in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce respectively with partner schools.


Besides training, R&D is another core field of ISC’s activities. Projects include method development and improvement as well as studies on open questions in the footwear sector. Technical aspects of production are of great importance for the footwear manufacturing industry. Refinement and further development of these processes is ISC’s principal aim. Beyond, ISC carries out contract research and provides engineering support in technical developments.

Since the implementation of ISC’s biomechanical laboratory in 2013, it devotes particular attention to research topics in the field of biomechanics, orthopaedics and comfort.