New Balance Will Release 3-D Printed Shoes Next Spring

The limited-edition running shoes feature a 3-D printed midsole for optimal support and cushioning.

3-D printed shoes

New Balance’s 3-D printed shoes. Photo via New Balance

More industries than ever, from healthcare to jewelry, are using 3-D printing. Now, Boston-based New Balance will use the technology to make performance running shoes.

The first of its kind, the limited-edition shoe will include a 3-D printed midsole, which the company says in a statement will “achieve an optimal balance of flexibility, strength, weight, and durability.” The sneakers were designed with underfoot pressure data in mind, aiming to create a shoe that provides the perfect balance of cushioning, support, and flexibility for serious runners. To do so, New Balance used a process called selective laser stintering, which turns powders into solid materials using a laser.

This is New Balance’s first foray into mass-market 3-D printing—the shoes will make their consumer debut in Boston in April 2016, and then in select New Balance stores around the world—but the company first started using the technology in 2013. That year, it made customized, 3-D printed racing spikes for track runner Jack Bolas; the company has also printed custom spikes for professional soccer and baseball players.

New Balance has not yet disclosed pricing information for the sneakers.


The shoes’ midsole. Photo via New Balance