The Futurecraft 3D is a bespoke sneaker for runners.
Adidas has seen the future of running shoes — and it involves 3D-printing.
A new Adidas concept shoe called Futurecraft 3D incorporates a 3D-printed midsole that's completely customizable to the needs of an individual foot.
According to Adidas, the goal is for customers to be able to walk into an Adidas store, run briefly on a treadmill, and walk out with a custom 3D-printed running shoe.
The shoe would be a completely flexible, exact copy of the runner's footprint — matching the foot's exact grooves, instep, and contours.
Adidas says this will set athletes up for their best running experience ever.
The innovation is part of the athletic brand's experimental incubator and open source collaboration project, also called Futurecraft. For this particular shoe, Adidas partnered with 3D-printing specialist Materialise.
A technician breaks the 3D-printed soles out of a large block.
The project represents another in a long line of initiatives by the German sportswear giant. From signing a 13-year contract with NBA star James Haden to collaborating with Kanye West, Adidas has been pulling out all the stops to compete with Nike.
GQ reported that the company is doubling down on research, development, and design by poaching Nike designers to work in its new design lab in Portland, Oregon — the same city as Nike's world headquarters.
While sales are up and Adidas' push seems to be working, competitors like Under Armor and even Sketchers — which recently surpassed Adidas to become America's second-largest athletic-footwear company — have made it difficult for the company to put a dent in Nike's 62% market share.