While Kanye West is worried about people 3D-printing shoes at home, his contractor Adidas believes the technology will play a major role in the future of footwear. (West designs the Yeezy shoe and clothing line for the Three-Stripes brand.) To show this, Adidas today introduced Futurecraft 3D, a running shoe made with a 3D-printed midsole which can be tailored to your foot -- down to the cushioning needs. While this is a conceptual prototype, the company does emphasize it's still a real statement of intent, noting it has developed proprietary 3D printing tech to deliver the product in the future. "Imagine walking into an Adidas store, running briefly on a treadmill and instantly getting a 3D-printed running shoe," Adidas says, "this is the ambition of the Adidas 3D-printed midsole."
According to Adidas, each person could have a Futurecraft 3D shoe that matches their own footprint elements, including exact contour details and precise pressure points -- it would be custom-made for you. "Futurecraft is our sandbox," Adidas' creative director, Paul Gaudio, said about the company's new design project. "It is how we challenge ourselves every day to explore the boundaries of our craft. Driving material and process innovation, bringing the familiar into the future. Marrying the qualities of hand crafting and prototyping with the limitless potential of new manufacturing technologies."
It's too early to tell if Futurecraft 3D is going to be the future of running shoes, but we're interested to see what Adidas does to push its initiative forward.