So, the world of non-fungible tokens and digital sneakers is pretty cool. But, we have to admit that, even though they’re fun, you can’t wear NFTs. Well, you can in the Metaverse. However, you gotta leave the house at some point. Therefore, we don’t think NFTs are the future for the entire sneaker industry; but, a part of it. On the other hand, 3D-printed shoes and artificial intelligence definitely are!
The greatest depiction of the future used to be flying cars, wardrobe-changing apparatus, holograms, and even robots. Just think of a cross between Lloyd in Space, Phil of the Future, and Back to the Future. Come on, we were all jealous of Marty McFly. But now, our idea of the future seems a bit more different, more digital, and more realistic. We may not have a remote that changes our outfits at a click away… But, we do have 3D-printed shoes and AI technology!
Basically, sneaker designers have been utilizing these technologies to create a variety of sneakers to change the game. Let’s talk about the three most recent projects with 3D-printed shoes!
3D-PRINTED SHOES & AI
The scene for 3D-printed shoes and AI is not the most recent breaking sneaker technology. Adidas first introduced its first shoe prototype with a 3D-printed midsole in 2014. And then, in 2017, Adidas launched its first shoes with a 3D-printed midsole – the Futurecraft 4D. And, of course, in a scene where there is Adidas, there will be Nike – hence the Adidas vs Nike debate.
Therefore, it’s natural that Nike also dabbled in the science of 3D-printed shoes. In 2017, Nike launched the first 3D-printed textile upper with the VaporFly Elite FlyPrint. So, basically, technology has been around for quite some time. But, we want to go over the most recent use of 3D and AI technology. Let’s check them out!
#1 Finn Rush-Taylor x Zellerfeld
In December 2022, Finn Rush-Taylor Studio dropped a collection of 3D-printed shoes in collaboration with Zellerfeld. The sneakers retailed for $250 for a custom-fitted sneaker fully constructed of recyclable materials. It also does not include any type of stitching or gluing.
Also, it features a slip-on construction that resembles the (former) Yeezy Foam RNR. These kicks called the Nami, come in a tonal purple color scheme which is definitely something Ye wouldn’t have done. The Namis are as fashionable as they are environmentally friendly!
Available exclusively on the Zellerfeld app!
#2 adidas adiFOM SLTN
Next, we have the Adidas AdiFOM SLTN – the sneaker that started all the Yeezy x Adidas drama. The AdiFOMs were the original Foam Runner dupes that may have snowballed into the final collaboration breakup. However, this sneaker takes inspo from yet another Yeezy model – the Yeezy Boost 700. But, since Adidas owns the Yeezy designs and plans to sell unbranded Yeezys, we can’t make that comparison anymore.
The latest installment of the AdiFOM in SLTN comes with features of 3D-printed shoes. It has 3D-molded heels from 50% recycled material, foam uppers, and a textile lining on the laces. These kicks also dropped in December 2022 for around $105.
Available on the official Adidas website.
#3 Artificial Intelligence Nike
Finally, the last section does not include 3D-printed shoes per se. But, it includes AI-designed shoes, particularly Air Force 1s, AM95s, AM97s, Vapormaxs, and more. In December 2022, the AI clothing Instagram account @AI_ClothingDaily posted pairs of AI-designed Nike sneakers. Each pair of Nike came with intricate lace-centric and floral makeovers. Some even include dainty flowerings, lace-like uppers, crochet work, and silks.
The computer-generated sneakers may not be actually real. But, it does open doors to future sneaker designs! And, if you bring 3D-printed shoes into the mix, the possibilities are endless!