As technology evolves new ways to implement 3D printing into manufacturing processes are being discovered. I have previously talked about the Alphaedge 4D shoes by Adidas, which features and entire sole that is 3D printed. Being priced so high, however, it makes you wonder if they are better than regular shoes. The upper of the shoe is made of thermoplastic polyurethane, making it lightweight. The midsole is digitally engineered by gathering pressure plates and foot scan data from athletes. It is then 3D printed to create functionally responsive zones for cushioning, stability, and controlled energy. The material is a blend of ultraviolet curable resin and polyurethane. The shoes are comfortable and have extra cushion in the midsole offering more comfort than most running shoes. The material of the midsole feels durable and the rubber outsole adds to the sturdiness of the shoes.
The Alphaedge 4D is ideal for runners and people who are serious about track and field activities. On paper it definitely offers superiority, but it is not too far above traditional shoes. Adidas feels the shoes should only serve a limited audience, so it has only made a limited number of units of it. They are worth the money if you want to show off something unique.