Advances in 3D printing are changing the way we produce clothing. Printers now offer apparently unlimited potential when it comes to durable and comfortable athletic clothing. Several items of athletic gear have been developed using 3D printers already, from yoga leggings to hoodies. Fitness enthusiasts no longer need to dream of ultra-breathable, customised fabrics. Now, 3D printed running shoes are beginning to arrive on the market.
Some of the biggest retailers that specialise in running shoes have been pushing to get their own 3D printed trainers onto the market. Adidas has beaten Nike to the punch in producing the first pair on a mass scale.
Nike and 3D Printing
Nike have always be interested in 3D printing technology. They previously utilised the tech to create Nike Vapor Laser Talon football cleats in 2013. The cleat helped footballers maintain optimal traction on the pitch and helped them to maintain their stances for longer. The Vapor Laser Talon football cleat was Nike’s first exploration of combining the tech with their sportswear and accessories production.
News of Adidas’s foray into the world of 3D printed running shoes was first reported back in 2015, when the company announced that it would be releasing its own 3D printed trainer. Following on from this announcement, the business released its first ever 3D printed running shoe made from recycled rubbish, reclaimed from the ocean. The aBOOST Uncaged Parley was sold as a specialist limited edition item that quickly disappeared from the shelves.
Enter the AlphaEDGE 4D LTD
Following on from its first 3D printed shoe, Adidas set up a 3D printing factory for mass-production. They have now announced the first shoe is available to consumers. Adidas produced the shoes using Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) technology to develop the Futurecraft 4D shoes. The shoes were launched in New York earlier this month.
In a recent announcement, Adidas explored how the shoe was created and the specialist features it can offer consumers:
“Together with CARBON—and the firm’s Digital Light Synthesis technology—adidas uniquely crafts the midsole of each 4D shoe, harnessing light and oxygen to pioneering results. Using this breakthrough technique, adidas is able to create midsoles that are specifically tuned to provide superior, controlled energy return. This innovative process signals the future of manufacturing, through which, at some point, adidas footwear will be able to be produced, bespoke to the individual needs of each athlete’s foot.”
When will the AlphaEDGE 4D LTD be hitting the market?
The AlphaEDGE 4D LTD is set for release Saturday, February 17, in Los Angeles. Before its official release date, the AlphaEDGE 4D LTD will be available for $300 and can be reserved using the official Adidas App. The shoe will be available in several different colours.