3-D Printing technology is the hottest topic in the tech world. But what benefits can it possibly offer the athletes among us?
How about customized running shoes printed specifically for your foot.
Footwear titans Nike and New Balance are putting this revolutionary idea into practice.
Nike football came out with the Vapor Laser Talon that weighs a mere 5.6 oz. and is fitted with a 3-D printed plate. The cleat is specifically designed to increase a player’s 40-yard dash time on a football field.
New Balance took the technology even further when four-time-All-American Jack Bolas ran a 4-minute mile in a pair of running shoes tailored specifically for his feet.
The sportswear giant had Bolas wear sensor-fitted shoes and used high-speed cameras to study how his feet interacted with the track. The research allowed New Balance to figure out the correct number of spikes and shape of the shoe that worked best for him. The shoes were then printed using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology that uses biomechanical data and high-powered lasers to fuse particles together to form the 3-D shoes.
We would file these two examples under “test phase,” but as the technology advances it may be possible to print custom shoes that are specifically tailored to take a runners weight, running style and foot shape into consideration.
The days of the Brannock Device being the sole measure of the right shoe for you are numbered.