We have seen many technological advances in footwear over the last few years. Nike introduces self-lacing shoes that made Back to The Future’s idea a reality. Adidas introduced Futurecraft 4D that were the most comfortable shoe sole we had seen made with 3D printing. To add to it, Reebok introduced their Liquid Factory, which also used 3D printing to make intricate and visually stunning designs. The tricky part about these 3D printed shoes is getting ahold of a pair. Technology is making footwear trendier and more advanced, but it’s also making it harder to get ahold of. The future of sneakers, for now, is looking to be overpriced and underproduced, which could cause difficulty for consumers to get ahold of. When Reebok released their Liquid Factory shoes they only made 300 pairs, and have not since announced any kind of re-release. As for Nike, they have released their shoes again, but in a limited quantity.
Footwear companies know that consumers really like the concepts of the shoes they release, they just don’t produce nearly as many as they should. Adidas even had a similar problem, but their limited number of sneakers was due to the 3D printing technology that was used. The printer only allowed them to produce six midsoles at a time, which took eight to ten hours just to produce. This means they were barely able to make a dozen a day. Another challenge with these advancements in footwear, especially 3D printed ones, is selling them at a reasonable price. Nike’s pair was intended to be priced at $720, which is difficult for anybody to meet. So far the only “bargain” was Rebook’s Liquid Factory shoes, which were available for $190. There are milestones to get over, but not enough to make 3DShoes.com lose interest. There is still plenty of hope for the future of the footwear industry. Hewlett-Packard recently released a 3D printer that can help print shoe parts up to 10 times faster.
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