What would be the perfect running shoe? One that was a perfect fit for your foot, of course. Adidas is now offering to make this dream a reality with its 3D-printed midsole concept: the Futurecraft 3D.
Although it is still in the prototyping stage, the idea unveiled by Adidas focuses on the midsole. In practice, in the near future, consumers will be able to walk into a store and run on a treadmill for a few minutes to get an imprint of their feet. The sole would be flexible and breathable and would perfectly match the contours of the feet and the pressure points on which the runner's weight is most frequently placed when their feet hit the ground.
Creating this marvel of technology was no easy task; the right material had to be found. The company finally opted for thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) given that the material offers "durable elasticity and resistance to abrasion and tearing".
By building a tailored sole that perfectly moulds the foot, the German brand hopes to change the way we look for running shoes. "Futurecraft 3D is a prototype and a statement of intent. We have used a one-of-its-kind combination of process and material in an entirely new way. 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, meeting the needs of any athlete,” said Eric Liedtke, Executive Board Member of Adidas AG.
Adidas called on the services of the Belgian Materialise company, which specialises in 3D printing, in order to make a prototype of the Futurecraft 3D from its original concept.