3-D printed Adidas shoes will fit users perfectly, according to company representatives who have just launched the Futurecraft 3D project.
The footwear will feature a customizable, 3D-printed midsole, which will be created based on the client’s specifications, in order to provide the best fit for the wearer’s foot.
As the sporting goods leader has revealed, the sole will provide a “flexible, fully breathable carbon copy of the athlete’s own footprint, matching exact contours and pressure points”.
In addition, the midsole, whose design will be “mesh-like or sponge-like”, will be much lighter compared to traditional soles, and it will require less material.
The unit in charge of this project is led by Eric Liedtke, Head of Global Brands, and Paul Gaudio, Global Creative Director. The team will collaborate with outside designers in an effort to implement the new technologies, and has just added Belgian company Materialise to the mix.
The partners will work together on the upcoming sports shoes in “creator farms” which will be opened in Berlin and Brooklyn next year.
The innovative sneakers will mark a departure from traditional customizable footwear, which focuses on changing aesthetic elements to suit the consumer’s taste. For example, some manufacturers allow clients to select from a variety of color schemes.
By contrast, Adidas will be offering bespoke items that improve functionality and comfort, in order to ensure the perfect fit. The sneakers will be built for performance, making their design much more challenging than it would’ve been in the case of a lifestyle shoe.
As company insiders suggest, the 3-D midsole is just the first in a long list of state-of-the-art designs, which will be included in the Futurecraft product line in the next 6 months. It may not be long until customers can buy sneakers printed entirely by using ground-breaking 3-D technology.
The announcement comes shortly after Nike executives have also made references to a similar type of footwear. During a summit held by GeekWire, Chief Operating Officer Eric Sprunk hinted that customers might soon print their own 3-D sports shoes at home.
Basically, clients wouldn’t buy the actual sneakers from the manufacturer. Instead, they would go to the company’s website, customize shoes according to their particular preferences and requirements, and then purchase a file containing instructions for that product.
Afterwards, they could use a 3-D printer at their home or in a store in order to print their chosen footwear. The process would be similar in a way to the one employed for creating uppers on Flyknit Nike sneakers. These running shoes also conform to the foot, by taking into account pressure points, toe position and landing angle.
Since both sportswear giants have entered the 3-D sneaker race now, only time will tell which company will emerge victorious, and who will be trailing behind.
Image Source: Adidas