This week Adidas revealed a new project that hopes to improve how your running shoes fit.
Futurecraft 3D is the sportswear giant's first step into the world of 3D-printed apparel. It's only a prototype, but the new running shoe features a flexible, form-fitted midsole that will be crafted for your foot and then printed in-store after a quick jog on a treadmill to address the exact individual measurements, movements, issues, and needs of the runner.
The brand has partnered with Materialise, a Belgian company with 25 years of additive manufacturing experience. The result is not only the tailored midsole, but a sharply designed upper and lightweight weave construction. But the Futurecraft 3D aims to do more than just look futuristic. The shoe is instead "a statement of intent."
"We have used a one-of-its-kind combination of process and material in an entirely new way," said Adidas's Eric Liedtke. "Our 3D-printed midsole not only allows us to make a great running shoe, but also to use performance data to drive truly bespoke experiences."
Adidas plans to integrate the capabilities of 3D printing into their gear beyond the new prototype, and hopes to announce more "groundbreaking design innovation" within the next six months. There are loads of considerations before something like this comes to market, and like most concept cars, it may just be an idea of what the brand can do rather than what it will actually accomplish. It could ultimately be a gimmick, or overly expensive, but the idea of perfect fits and immediate production is something we could get behind.