Earlier this morning, adidas rolled out a teaser for its first ever 3D-printed sneaker, and now, thanks to a Fast Company interview with adidas exec Eric Liedtke, we’re learning more about what is quite literally the future of footwear.
The first thing you need to know is that adidas Futurecraft 3D is still in prototype form and a few kinks will need to be worked out before it’s ready to hit stores. “It’d be easy to make a 3D-printed product for a lifestyle shoe, but it’s hard to make a 3D-printed product for performance,” Liedtke said.
According to Liedtke and creative director Paul Gaudio, who worked together to develop Futurecraft 3D, the new technology will provide unforeseen levels of customization, allowing the sneakers to best suit the individual wearer like never before. The idea is that someday soon, customers will be able to run on a treadmill at an adidas store and use the recorded data to print a custom midsole that caters to their specific needs.
In order to push towards the future, adidas has been looking to external inspirations outside of the sneaker industry such as Google and Pixar. These are just some of the brands that adidas hopes to eventually collaborate with in what it calls “creator farms” in Brooklyn and Berlin.
“Our ambition is to always be the best sports brand in the world. But to do that, we need to turn to partners and externals who can help us fulfill our vision,” Liedtke said, admitting that “It’s not so easy to do everything by yourself.”
But before you get too excited, you should also know that the debut of a Futurecraft 3D sneaker is still a ways off. “We have a lot of work to do, let’s be honest. The idea right now is to show what’s possible and have people join us,” Liedtke said. Not only that, but he expects the initial run to be extremely limited. “Ideally we would have limited product — and I mean limited — in the summer of 2016.”
Welcome to the future, sneakerheads.
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With Futurecraft 3D, You Can Customize and 3D-Print a Sneaker at an adidas Store from Complex.