Finally! 3D printed sneakers you can actually buy and wear! But they’re made in limited quantities by Under Armor and will cost three Benjamins a pair.
Under Armour has made a surprise move over bigger rivals Nike, Adidas and New Balance to actually release a shoe that’s available to consumers (and not billion-dollar athletes). But there’s a catch.
The Architect shoe was created to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Under Armour, and they’re only making 96 pairs because each shoe has to be produced by a small but state of the art Innovation Lab in Baltimore.
Therefore, due to the amount of work involved in creating these performance shoes, each pair will set you back $300.
How Does the Under Armour Performance Shoe Work?
The Architect shoe has an impressive 3D printed lattice midsole combined with a “ClutchFit auxetic” upper. By printing the midsole, the shoe provides light and springy cushioning, along with the upper which provides stability and moves with the athlete.
The midsole was 3D printed from a combination of polymers and elastomers, and the reason 3D printing was used for this shoe (instead of traditional manufacturing processes) comes down to the cost.
With 3D printing, prototypes could be rapidly produced — meaning the product could be tested a lot more frequently giving the team a better understanding of what works best.
It seems that these 96 pairs aren’t the only 3D printed shoes we can expect from Under Armour. The company plan to unveil additional shoes as they learn more about 3D printing processes.
Look out for some more interesting, but probably rather pricey, new designs over the next few months while the company receives personalized feedback to perfect their 3D printed shoe designs.
Plus, check out Gizmodo’s test of the Under Armour sneaker to see how the Architect stacks up against a traditional trainer in the video below.
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