Adidas have released a picture (shown below) of a prototype running shoe named the Futurecraft 3D. This shoe features a 3D-printed midsole that can tailored to the contours of an individual foot. Adidas envision a scenario when customers can walk into one of their outlet stores, and a 3D modeling machine/treadmill - named the Futurecraft 3D - will produce a 3D model of their foot. The 3D model will then be used to produce a midsole that is perfectly designed to cushion the contours of the customers foot and relieve pressure points. Adidas believe this will revolutionise athletics and running shoes.
The history of Adidas is bound up with athletics and running shoes: their founder, Adolf Dassler, began by designing running spikes in the 1920's and provided Jessie Owens with the running spikes he used to win the 100metres gold medal at the 1936 Olympics. More recently, Adidas created the Torsion System in the late 1980's: this midsole support technology helped runners to set new marathon world records. The Futurecraft 3D technology aims to take midsole technology to a new plateau, and potentially to enable runners to set new world records.
Adidas released a video for the Futurecraft 3D: the images above are taken from that video and show a brief process of how the Futurecraft shoe is produced. The Futurecraft machine develops the midsole and produces a white resin block, the midsole is then removed from the resin block, the midsole is then attached to the upper/outersole, the shoe is then tested, and is finally worn by a runner. Whether the video is displaying an accurate portrail of the how the shoe will be produced, or is just a marketing gimmick, only time will tell: Adidas have stated the shoe shown above is only a conceptual prototype, which indicates it is the later.