Asics has teamed up with 3D printing company LuxCreo on the second generation of its ActiBreeze hybrid sandal.
According to the athletic company, the newly revamped performance slide features a 3D-printed elastic footbed, which is “parametrically designed” in an extra-thick lattice structure for advanced breathability and zoned comfort while making it very light. Asics added that the slide utilizes a 3D-printed elastomer from LuxCreo, which boasts energy return, resilience and complies with Afirm RSL.
To bring the style to life, the duo used LuxCreo’s Smart Factory Production Service. According to the printing company, the service accelerates production time and minimizes waste by taking digital 3D printing files and converts it to the exact quantity the client requests.
Chris Ekman, senior manager of global product line footwear at Asics, said in a statement that identifying the perfect collaborator for this venture was a “challenging task.”
“We sought a partner who embraced an innovative approach to 3D printed production and possessed superior hardware and material capabilities,” Ekman said. “We needed a team that could scale up production, had a wealth of experience and was brimming with talent. LuxCreo has proven to be that partner.”
Michael Strohecker, co-founder and chief revenue officer at LuxCreo, added that the two companies are “pushing the boundaries” of what’s possible when it comes to footwear.
This the third footwear product between the two companies. The previous joint collaborations included custom 3D-printed flip-flops launched in 2021 and the fully 3D-printed ActiBreeze 3D sandal in 2022.
Asics’ new ActiBreeze Hybrid Sandal, which retails for $80, is now available at Asics shops, online stores and specialist running outlets globally.
Footwear companies have been utilizing 3D printing for several years, as a means to speed up the product development process or create seemingly impossible art pieces. But recently, the technology has become more mainstream, thanks, in part, to its sustainable properties. Not only does it minimize the amount of scraps and waste in the manufacturing process, but it also reduces overproduction, leading to fewer shoes in landfills. And as one collaboration illustrated recently, shoes can be printed with biodegradable elastomers, further advancing the industry’s goal of circular production.