The idea of creating running shoes that is tailored for a specific runners needs has been talked about for years. It's often hard to find shoes that fit just right, but Adidas may have solved the problem thanks to 3D printing.
The athletic apparel maker unveiled Futurecraft 3D in Portland, Ore, releasing a new set of photos, comments and a video that introduces their innovative use of modern technology. The 3D-printed running shoe midsole can be tailored for each unique, individual consumer and athletes cushioning needs right from the foot size, width, support needs, pronation and footstrike.
According to Adidas, its concept design is the future of performance footwear. The Futurecraft Series places open source collaboration and craftsmanship at the heart of design to drive innovation across all elements of production
Consumers would walk in to an Adidas store to have their feet scanned to obtain a 3D model of their feet. They will be asked to run briefly on a treadmill to track performance data to determine their cushioning and support needs while also tracking their foot’s contours and pressure points. The data would then be used to create a 3D-printed midsole that is customised specifically for that particular runner, which could then be included in any Adidas sneaker.
At the moment, the Adidas Futurecraft 3D midsole is just a concept, still in the early prototype stage.
Adidas is teaming up with Belgium-based 3D printing group, Materialise, who are pioneers in additive manufacturing technology (also known as 3D printing).
Adidas still has some work to do before the tech is ready to be used in stores. Calling this the next-generation initiative, the popular sports shoe and clothing company hopes to announce even more groundbreaking design innovations in the coming six months and is looking for inspiration outside the industry. It has hopes to join forces with companies like Google and Pixar to collaborate and bring this product to market soon.
The initiative has been underway since about a year, spearheaded by Liedtkey and creative director of Adidas, Paul Gaudio. The Futurecraft 3D midsoles are only expected to be a limited product, with hopes to hit Adidas stores in the summer of 2016. No launch date or price has been confirmed by Adidas.