Adidas has been known to push boundaries when it comes to designing and manufacturing shoes. The brand kicked off a campaign for sustainable manufacturing with the Parlay initiative, then move onto improving its manufacturing process with the 3D printed Alphaedge 4D sneaker. Adidas has combined many of the technologies into an all-new sneaker, the Adidas Futurecraft STRUNG. The team that created STRUNG was comprised of a small group dedicated to the project. The idea was inspired by architecture and the use of robotics to create new ways to build fiber structures and materials. The challenge with this idea was that it was to be designed and built from scratch. As a result, the team relied a lot on trial and error, but with a clear vision. The team initially started the project by building things by hand. This included prototypes and allowing the project to evolve naturally. The STRUNG material is not knitted and weaving, but the process was designed to place the yarn in any direction.
The process of development is still in the early stages. However, the Adidas Futurecraft STRUNG sneaker is the first milestone of many. The resulting upper is a lightweight design with a cocooned feel and fit. The shoe locks in the heel to prevent any slip. It also included stiffer and stronger red threads places at the midfoot, toebox, and heel. The midsole builds on the radical Adidas 4D lattice design. The team plans to use technology to achieve wonderful things. They want to be the platform that serves multiple sports, starting with running. Adidas has shown us amazing innovation in the world of 3D printed shoes. It may even benefit their idea for STRUNG shoes. Either way, I look forward to seeing the footwear they will bring.