Eliud Kipchoge will be wearing a pair of Nike trainers, which feature a 3D printed upper when he competed in the London Marathon. The company revealed the shoes, which they claim are the first running shoes to feature 3D printed uppers. The uppers are made from a material called Flyprint, which is created using solid deposit modeling. With this method, a plastic filament is unwound from a coil, melted down, and laid down in layers to form the shoe. Adidas revealed 3D printing in 2016, but Nike claims this is the first time and upper has used this technology. The shoe is the result of collaboration with the athlete Eliud Kipchoge, who tried to beat the marathon time with Nike’s Zoom Vaporfly Elite trainers. Kipchoge said that the shoe’s upper absorbed water making his shoes heavy as he tried to move around the course.
After all the feedback, and using 3D printing, Nike made changes to the shoes that improved the functionality. It was, in fact, Eliud’s suggestion that he wore the shoes for the London Marathon that took place today. First data is taken from the athletes, which includes running gait and their foot’s form. The data is then put into the software to create the composition of the material so the printer knows where to add layers and create a tighter weave. With 3D printing, Nike can prototype shoes about sixteen times quicker than any previous method. Here at 3DShoes.com we see the value in 3D printed shoes. Nike often works alongside athletes when it comes to inventing new shoes. They recently created a custom Zoom Superfly Elite shoe for an Olympic sprinter and a Magista boot for football.