Trainers: they're getting lighter, slimmer, smarter and, generally, more complicated. Brands pretend that it's to help you run more effectively... but we all know you're not running anywhere.
Anyway, the next big innovation in the Sneakersphere is 3D printing, a process that has so far been restricted to small-scale releases due to the complex and time-consuming nature of production. But adidas is hoping to change all that with its latest ridiculously high-tech runner.
Partnering with Silicon Valley start-up Carbon, the Futurecraft 4D is set to become the first mass-produced 3D-printed trainer, thanks to tech that sees shoes built out of, quote adidas, "light" and "oxygen."
Apparently this is achieved through Carbon's Digital Light Synthesis, a process that uses "digital light projection", "oxygen-permeable optics", and "programmable liquid resins" (us neither) to generate the trainers.
Basically it works by using light to shape a liquid resin which is then heated to become solid.
To begin with, only 5,000 pairs of the runners - yet to be priced - will be released before the end of the year, but adidas aims to produce 100,000 pairs in total by the end of 2018. "This is a milestone not only for us as a company but also for the industry," Adidas' Gerd Manz told Reuters. "We've cracked some of the boundaries."
What a world we live in.