Check Out New Balance’s New 3D Sneaker

The cool, new sneaker features 3D printing technology to customize spike plates for elite athletes.

New Balance's 3D sneaker. Photo provided.

New Balance’s 3D sneaker. Photo provided.

Brighton-based New Balance’s new sneaker uses a 3D printing process to custom produce spike plates. The proprietary process utilizes a runner’s individual biomechanical data and creates a hyper-customized spike plate designed to improve performance. New Balance’s Sports Research Lab collects race simulation data using a force plate, in-shoe sensors, and a motion capture system. Advanced algorithms are then applied to translate the data into custom 3D printed spike designs. The high-tech and expensive-sounding process results in complex designs that New Balance says can’t be achieved through traditional manufacturing methods.

New Balance hopes to bring the customization process to a broader audience of athletes, and hopefully, one day, to the rest of us. It would be pretty cool to order your shoes based on your customized fitting and then pick them up the following week in store.

 “With 3D printing we are able to pursue performance customization at a new level to help our elite NB athletes and eventually all athletes. We believe this is the future of performance footwear and we are excited to bring this to consumers,” New Balance President and CEO Robert DeMartini says in the release. “As the only major athletic brand to manufacture shoes in the U.S., we are proud to invest in American workers. Developing our printing capabilities could ultimately help us further invest in the American worker by adding highly technical positions to our already skilled labor force in Massachusetts and Maine.”

So far, the technology is only for elite athletes, like Team New Balance athlete, Jack Bolas (pictured below), who became the first ever track athlete to compete in the customized 3D printed plates. It looks like 3D could be the future of running sneakers.

On a separate note, we’d like the thank New Balance for once again clearing the Esplanade running paths of snow this winter. Hopefully, tomorrow’s storm will be the last time they have to do that.

Jack Bolas competing in the 3D sneakers.

Jack Bolas competing in the 3D sneakers. Photo provided.

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