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Adidas unveil 3D-printed shoe concept

Soon our running shoes could be printed based on the exact specifications of our feet, according to Adidas after revealing their latest innovation

Imagine simply downloading a file of your favourite running shoe and then letting a printer do the rest for you.

That could be about to become one step closer to reality in the not-too-distant future, as German sportswear giant Adidas recently unveiled a 3D-printed shoe sole that they plan to create according to the customer's scan of their feet. In theory this will ensure perfect fit and comfort without any compromise when it comes to the quality of the materials.

Their Futurecraft Series will use 3D printing technology to make 'bespoke' designs for each individual. The idea will be that runners will be able to walk into a shop, take a gait analysis on a treadmill and walk away with an entirely custom-made pair of shoes based on their results. 

Adidas aren’t the first running brand to flirt with 3D, as New Balance designed a pair of racing flats using 3D technology in 2013 for a pro track runner; however Adidas are the first to openly state that they plan to roll out the tech to the mass market.

What do you think of the concept? Let us know in the comments!


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If Adidas roll this out with a real view to making it work it could change the way we buy running shoes permanently (and be great for Adidas financially).

To make it appealing though I think there are a few things that have to work properly:

1. it has to be genuinely custom, any foot, any shoe... i.e. it should destroy the market for moulded insoles, if it doesn't its pointless;
2. it needs to be available on a range of shoes, i.e. at least top end racing flats and more supportive pavement pounders, and then add in trail and other varieties sooner rather than later, and it needs to incorporate Adidas' latest tech, e.g. Adiboost;
3. it can't be ridiculously expensive. A pair of these shoes shouldn't be more expensive than the equivalent non-custom shoes plus custom insoles, ideally it should be less.

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