21 Nov REEBOK 3D Draw Shoes
The first of Reebok’s shoes born from this new manufacturing process, the Reebok Liquid Speed, are available online now. Liquid Speed is an energy return-focused running shoe, bringing the outsole and lacing together in one piece. This allows for a comprehensive feel and sensory feedback for the entire foot.
Instead of focusing on a tagline like “Made in America,” McInnis said that Reebok’s “local for local” strategy will see products made locally, regardless of the country. “We’re a global brand so local-for-local means made in USA for USA, made in Europe for Europe, made in Asia for Asia,” McInnis said.
Using state-of-the-art software and robotics, their footwear will be literally drawn in three dimensions. A proprietary liquid material, made especially for Reebok by BASF, is used to draw the components of the shoe cleanly and precisely, creating totally unique footwear without the use of traditional moulds.
This new generation of footwear manufacturing allows for the creation of high performance athletic shoes in a more efficient manner.
“Footwear manufacturing hasn’t dramatically changed over the last 30 years.” Bill McInnis, head of Future at Reebok said. “Every shoe, from every brand is created using moulds – an expensive time-consuming process. With Liquid Factory, we wanted to fundamentally change the way that shoes are made, creating a new method to manufacture shoes without moulds. This opens up brand new possibilities both for what we can create, and the speed with which we can create it.
“With this new process, we were able to program robots to create the entire shoe outside, by drawing in layers with a high-energy liquid material to create the first ever energy-return outsole, which performs dramatically better than a typical rubber outsole. The all new Liquid Factory process is also used to create a unique fit system that stretches and moulds around the foot, providing a three-dimensional fit.”