It has been over nine months since we were first teased with Adidas’ Futurecraft 4D, a shoe carved by light. And now, at the dawn of a new year, we are rewarded by the dawn of a new era in sneaker technology thanks to Digital Light Synthesis (DLS). Today, the Futurecraft 4D is finally making its public debut with a limited release in New York. The kicks will set you back $300, and will be available through Adidas Consortium retailers including KITH, Packer, and SNS.
Created out of a partnership with Carbon and its Digital Light Synthesis technology, the Futurecraft 4D boasts a single component midsole featuring 20,000 struts to bring stability, cushioning, comfort, and some serious breathability to your foot. The breathability component comes as a result of Carbon’s proprietary CLIP technology, which leverages oxygen-permeable optics, digital light projection, and programmable liquid resins to manufacture an object.
In order to actually make the Futurecraft 4D, Carbon and Adidas projected UV light into a pool of resin, which immediately hardened, creating various shapes and designs. Think of it as the next step beyond 3D printing. DLS allows Adidas to customize every aspect of the shoe. Ultimately, the company believes, using DLS will allow the average customer to simply send in his or her stats and measurements and have the perfect shoe built and delivered on demand.
Of course, the current $300 price tag isn’t one that’s awfully accessible to everyone looking for their favorite pair of shoes. As Gerd Manz, Adidas’ vice president of technology innovation, told Digital Trends last April, “In every technology, at the beginning, you have a certain price tag. For us, this will be a premium level offer. But, we are working very hard to bring it further and further down in cost and increase our volume, as well as the availability of the product.”
That hard work may pay off particularly now that Adidas and Carbon’s partnership has grown even stronger, what with an announcement that Adidas executive board member Eric Liedtke is joining Carbon’s board of directors. With this new move, we might see further partnerships between the two companies before 2018 is over. And hopefully, future collaborations will be just as cool as light-chiseled shoes, but with a price tag that’s a bit more manageable than $300.
Around 5,000 pairs of the Futurecraft 4D said to be available this winter, but Adidas hopes to have around 100,000 pairs in stores for purchase by the end of the year.
Update: Adidas announces the availability of Futurecraft 4D shoes and its addition to the Carbon board.