Adidas' latest 3D-printed soles flex to push you forward

Steve Dent
·Associate Editor
·1 min read

Adidas has unveiled the 4DFWD, the latest model from its high-tech running division, created in partnership with the 3D printing company Carbon. The shoes feature a 3D-printed midsole with a distinct "4D" bowtie-lattice pattern design to convert a runner's vertical forces into forward motion. At the same time, it reduces braking forces while increasing cushioning by 23 percent to allow for more comfortable, longer runs. 

The company honed the 3D-printed pattern down from five million possible structures to maximize energy transfer. That allows the shoes to generate "three times as much forward motion under vertical loading in mechanical testing conditions," it wrote. Adidas said it studied 17 years of athlete data, while doing lab and real-world tests with runners across the US to perfect the design.

Along with the high-tech mid-soles, the 4DFWD's use a Primeknit upper made in part from lightweight recycled polyester that also allows for a better fit. The midsoles are made from 39 percent bio-based 3D materials. It follows previous models like the 4D Futurecraft, made possible by Adidas and Carbon's tech that lets them manufacture 3D-printed shoes on a large scale. 

The shoes will launch May 15th on the Adidas app in Core Black/Solar Red for £170 GBP ($236), according to Hypebeast. The "Tokyo Collection" will follow on July 1, with worldwide availability on August 12th.