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Adidas launches newest version of the first-ever 3D-printed midsole

This 4DFWD is designed to reduce braking forces and push you forward

This Wednesday Adidas is launching their newest product, the 4DFWD. As the world’s first 3D-printed midsole, the 4DFWD combines 75 years of athlete data with a new technology called Digital Light Synthesis to create a midsole made with light and oxygen. This high-performance shoe is crafted to deliver controlled energy return through its unique lattice structure to propel your feet forward and support your every step.

Photo: Adidas

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Digital Light Synthesis is a process pioneered by the 3D printing technology company Carbon, headquartered in Redwood City, Calif. It uses digital light projection, oxygen-permeable optics, and programmable liquid resins to generate high-performance, durable products. Adidas has been partnering with the company since 2017 developing its 4D lattice midsole, and this new technology has allowed the company to fine-tune the midsole to specific movement patterns.

The shoe’s bowtie-shaped FWD cell lattice structure is designed to compress forward as your foot makes contact with the ground, generating three times more forward motion than previous iterations of the company’s 4D midsole. This reduces braking forces by as much as 15 per cent, and redirects the vertical impact forces from your every step into horizontal forward motion, which delivers better running economy.

Photo: Adidas

The 4DFWD was put through a series of biomechanical testing procedures at the University of Calgary, as well as with Adidas runners across the world, to get athlete feedback. The shoe is also made with 39 per cent bio-based material, and the upper, which is made from recycled polyester, offers a sock-like fit. At 333 g for a U.S. size 9, the 4DFWD is not the lightest shoe on the market, but will be a great option for training runs of all lengths.

“Getting the right training shoe is really important for my regime to make sure I’m preparing in the right way to help me achieve my goals. Adidas 4DFWD looks and feels great and provides the perfect mix of comfort and performance in my training runs,” says Adidas athletes and South African 400m world record holder, Wayde van Niekerk.

The shoe will be available in limited quantities on May 15 globally, and will be available in Canada in June (exact date TBD).

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