Adidas' 3-D Printed Sneakers Make Advances In Shoe Comfort
December 12th, 2016 Adidas released the first shoe printed by a 3-dimensional printer. The benefits of this iconic release are far reaching - and will prove to be a boon for shoe manufacturers and consumers that use foot orthotics.
Adidas 3D Runner
Okay, so the shoes are expensive, but don’t let that deter you. Adidas’ $333 sneakers are constructed with a web structure that’s thicker in areas that need more force and absorption and thinner in areas that won’t experience as much force. They have more elasticity than your typical shoe and will allow runners the ability to get more protection where they need it, while cutting weight and stratum from the part of the shoe that can weigh one down.
Since the shoe is 3D printed, it avoids the process of gluing or stitching. According to the press release, “benefits include greater elasticity, compliancy and support.” And if that wasn’t fancy enough, Adidas premiered the shoes for launch in New York City’s flagship store, London, and Tokyo. Frankly, we think that's pretty cool.
However, it is what the shoe’s launch represents that has far reaching consequences for the shoe, apparel, and medical industry as a whole that interests us even more!
3D Printed Shoes for the Masses
Adidas releasing a 3D printed shoes to consumers has consequences that are far reaching. It sets a precedent.
Mikal Peveto, senior director of Adidas put it this way: “This is just the beginning. Creating customized shoes based on an individual’s footprint - including their sunning style, foot shape, performance needs and personal preferences - is a north star for the industry.”
The same way that foot orthotics assist individuals in customizing footwear to their foot type, so too can 3D printed shoes expand on this technology and bring a greater level of comfort and customization.
Podiatrist Lee Firestone is particularly interested in the promise this technology holds. Patients who are training for a race as well as patients who are diabetic can look forward to a shoe that provides relief from pain or chafing. Diabetic patients often experience nerve damage in their feet. These shoes, and shoes like it (which will begin to be mass produced now that Adidas has taken the first step) will provide consumers with custom shoes that don’t rub on the unique pressure points their feet have.
Firestone went on to say “Think about how many people—especially women—are looking for a stylish shoe that accommodates their bunion deformity—and they’re stuck. Those women can chose between the cute shoes that hurt their feet or clunky orthopedics. But with 3-D printing, they could someday have the same stylish silhouette customized with a wider toe box that wouldn’t contribute to bunions.” (Source).
Best Shoe OrthoticsFoot orthotics and shoe orthotics are the closest thing we have at this point to a customized shoe. If you have hammer toes, bunions, weak arches, or enlarged metatarsals these cushions can provide you with the comfort you need as you go about your day.
In the future, the process of easing foot pain will be better. What a world!
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- Lyubov Izotova