Adidas Is About to Drop the Sneaker of the Future

IMAGE Adidas

When it comes to optimizing technology to craft a truly modern sneaker, you'd be hard pressed to find a brand that does it better than Adidas. This week marks the official drop of the Futurecraft 4D, which was crafted using 3D-printing specialist Carbon's newest path to perfected performance: Digital Light Synthesis. The high-tech running shoe will launch January 18 in New York City in places that carry Adidas Consortium, like Kith, Packer, and SNS.

This is essentially a more advanced way of 3D printing using light and oxygen. (Specifically, "digital light projection, oxygen-permeable optics, and programmable liquid resins.") The more traditional process of 3D printing a midsole for a running sneaker is time-consuming, expensive, and incredibly hard to scale. Carbon's technique speeds up that process. And with it comes one of the most technologically advanced shoes on the market. Adidas brought its athlete data to bear on the Futurecraft 4D, taking into account every movement a runner makes. The shoes address propulsion, cushioning, stability, and comfort—all in a way that's specific to its wearer. 


“This innovation changes how we design and free ourselves from limitations of the past," says Ben Herath, VP of Design for Adidas Running. "The possibilities of what we can now create with this technology to push the boundaries of performance is truly endless.”

While of course the main draw to the shoe is its technological athletic achievement, it's pretty damn cool looking, too. The heel uses a lattice pattern (rooted in function, to absorb impact), but it makes the shoe look especially futuristic. And the dark knitted upper juxtaposed with the light green 3D print is exactly the sort of thing that'll make a sneaker stand out—on a run, or on the street.


This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Christine Flammia
Christine Flammia writes about style, grooming, and more; she is the former associate style editor of Esquire and is currently pursuing a PhD in communications at Columbia.
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