For the first time, Adidas has made a 3D-printed shoe available to the general public. The German company teased its Futurecraft footwear when it gave pairs to its Olympic athletes this fall. But now, Olympic hopefuls and dreamers can get in a pair…maybe.
A “limited number” of pairs were available via the Adidas Confirmed smartphone app this week, and can be picked up starting Thursday at the company’s new flagship store in New York City. They go for $333 a pair. (Adidas is not disclosing the number of pairs it has sold.)
Much like the New Balance Zante Generate that we saw last spring, the midsole is 3D-printed using a flexible, spiderweb-like polymer that collapses under weight (that’s also how cushioning happens on a microscopic level in traditional foams, by the way).
For now, the cushioning is consistent for all runners, but the company hinted at the technology’s possibility to tailor underfoot feel to individuals. “This is just the beginning,” says Mikal Peveto, senior director of Adidas’ Future team, in the company’s press release. “Creating customized shoes based on an individual’s footprint—including their running style, foot shape, performance needs and personal preferences—is a north star for the industry and Adidas is leading with cutting edge innovations.”
The current 3D Runner features a stylish black Primeknit upper, which means you’re more likely to see this on the feet of collectors and as casual wear, for now.
THE FIRST BEER MILE SHOE
The excitement over fast beer miles has slowed a bit in recent months, but with the Beer Mile World Championships being held in Austin, Texas, this week, Brooks is pouring some excitement. The company announced the first signature shoe for a beer miler, the “Beer Mile” Hyperion.
Built on the same platform as the Hyperion racing flat we’ve already seen this summer, the shoe gets a custom design for Canadian Lewis Kent. The heel has a red maple leaf, and both sock liners look like foamy pints. Small details continue right down to the aglets—those little plastic ends of shoe laces—which read “Run Hoppy” and “Live Lager.”
Kent, who became a Brooks-sponsored athlete after setting the world beer-mile record in 2015, faces off with the current recordholder, Corey Bellemore, and others on Saturday in Austin.
LONG LIVE MINIMALISM
Remember minimalist shoes? The barely-there footwear was supposed to turn us all into graceful gazelles and save us from injury. Shoe makers rushed to produce models to capitalize on the fad, but the promise never panned out and runners quickly abandoned those shoes for the thicker, softer models en vogue today. Some modern shoes still maintain characteristics of the minimal movement—light weight, lower heel-to-toe drop, little to no heel counter—but finding a true minimal shoe on a store wall is difficult now.
But we’re excited to see that the shoe that started it all is back. New Balance has re-released the Minimus Trail 10v1. Launched in 2011, the MT10 has a thin sole with Vibram rubber for durability on rocky trails. The flexible mesh upper is airy yet locks to your foot thanks to thick straps that wrap around your ankle and over the ball of your foot. In testing five years ago, we found that forefoot strap to be a little too snug for some runners—especially those with high insteps—and praised the updated model that eliminated the strap.
In any case, lightweight, efficient runners who are looking for a nimble dance partner on trails will be pleased to see the MT10 is available again.