If you don’t already know, Adidas is changing everything that you once knew about shoes through its Futurecraft division. While Adidas conquers the world of today with its iconic NMD and Ultraboost lineup, it sees an importance in cementing its technological relevance in the world of tomorrow, and that is where the Futurecraft lineup comes in. Already, its elite R&D divison has created the Futurecraft M.F.G (Made for Germany) as well as the Futurecraft 3D, featuring a unique 3D-printed midsole which can be tailored to the cushioning needs of an individual’s foot. These innovations serve to bring Adidas back to its roots of creating the most wearable shoes on the planet, this time using the processes of tomorrow.
As if owning the third dimension isn't enough, Adidas has thrown down the gauntlet to its competitors with the Futurecraft 4D. The world’s first high performance footwear featuring a midsole crafted with light and oxygen, the 4D is the culmination of the Futurecraft project.
Partnering with Carbon, a Silicon Valley-based tech company that seeks to revolutionise product creation, Adidas has adapted their pioneering Digital Light Synthesis technology into the Futurecraft 4D. This technology uses digital light projection, oxygen-permeable optics and liquid resins to allow Adidas to precisely engineer a midsole that meets the exacting movement, cushioning and comfort needs of each athlete- creating the ultimate running midsole. This improvement, along with the work of the Futurecraft division in the past, suggests that we will soon see Adidas offering completely personalised shoes for the individual, factoring his height, weight and running gait. This seems natural, for after all, a man who weighs 60 kilograms would require a different type of support as compared to another who weighs 90 kilograms, even if they were of the same shoe size and height.
Eric Liedtke, adidas Executive Board Member, said: “With Digital Light Synthesis, we venture beyond limitations of the past, unlocking a new era in design and manufacturing. By charting a new course for our industry, we can unleash our creativity — transforming not just what we make, but how we make it.”
Indeed, the Futurecraft 4D represents the intersection of Adidas’s mastery of the past, present and future. Leveraging on its 17-year record of running data and brought to reality through the technology of the future, the 4D completely eliminates the need for any type of prototyping or moulding, allowing Adidas to operate on the next level in terms of scalability and quality, departing from 3D printing and bringing additive manufacturing in the sports industry into a new dimension.
Hold your horses, though. While this all sounds good, the Futurecraft 4D will only be released in a small batch of 5,000 pairs at present. However, there are initial plans to boost production to over 100,000 pairs by the end of 2018. Hear more direct from Adidas.