Adidas releases new technology for making shoes, running shoes will look like this in the future

Adidas today launched a new concept running shoe FUTURECRAFT.STRUNG, which represents the current stage of Adidas's final fantasy of future running shoes.

This pair of FUTURECRAFT.STRUNG's integrated seamless upper weighs about 35 grams, and the whole shoe weighs only about 250 grams. The target audience is set to be professional runners with a pace of 5m/s (about 3:33 seconds/km). It will be put into mass production and put on the market in 2022.

The magic weapon to achieve such a lightweight is Adidas' new vamp technology.

So meticulous that each thread is tailor-made

The prefix FUTURECRAFT in the name of this running shoe represents its origin, the FUTURECRAFT laboratory. This is an innovative product incubation platform of Adidas. The technology used throughout this shoe comes from this laboratory.

The suffix STRUNG in the name is the protagonist of this pair of shoes. The original meaning of the English word STRUNG is "tie, hang", and it is quite suitable for these shoes.

It is the first shoe upper fabric innovation technology developed by Adidas. The main purpose is to use big data to make shoe uppers that are more suitable for users' feet.

In the shoe upper design process, data of different types of athletes are applied, and then these data are added to each thread, and the design is turned into a real object using a high-precision STRUNG robot.

As ordinary consumers, we don't care about this robot, we are only interested in the benefits of this STRUNG.

Generally, shoe uppers are limited by traditional stitching techniques that can only be woven horizontally or vertically. It is difficult to achieve functional partitioning on integrated fabric uppers. For example, when strengthening the support of the heel, TPU support sheets are often selected.

Compared with the traditional knitting process, STRUNG has the ability to discharge the weaving thread in any direction. Therefore, the produced shoe upper only needs the material of the weaving thread to realize all the necessary functions (such as the upper surface of the shoe). Necessary support and ductility).

Therefore, with STRUNG technology, different weaving threads and knitting methods can be used to achieve different functional characteristics for different areas on the integrated shoe.

You can compare the woven thread to chopsticks. A woven thread is just like a chopstick. It is very fragile and breaks. If you want to increase the strength, you can stack a few more layers.

Lay a few more layers on the toe and heel to improve strength and support, and a few less layers on the uppers on both sides to provide more comfortable wrapping and breathability. In the past, it was necessary to add components of different materials to achieve this, but now with STRUNG , The functional partition can be realized on the same shoe upper.

Each STRUNG shoe upper is composed of about 2000 weaving threads from ten different types. The STRUNG shoe upper used on other shoes in the future can increase or reduce the amount of weaving thread in proportion.

It currently takes 25 minutes to make a STRUNG shoe upper, and the Adidas team will reduce this time to less than 8 minutes in the coming months.

STRUNG technology is a solution provided by Adidas in order to solve the inability to have both upper strength and lightweight.

It does not change the status quo that most shoe uppers are still made of fabric materials, and all necessary performance characteristics are knitted into the same shoe upper. In the future, it can also allocate partitions according to different sports types such as running and basketball. Intensity to meet specific sports needs.

In my opinion, STRUNG technology is like Project Ara, a modular mobile phone project launched by Google in the past few years. It is an imaginative platform. In the future, everyone may be able to set the partition design of the upper according to their sports needs. , Create a pair of shoes that suit you best.

Even if STRUNG does not support shoe upper customization at this stage, the future can be expected.

Adidas is looking for a successor to BOOST technology

The FUTURECRAFT innovation incubation platform is the window for Adidas to look forward to the future. Looking out from this window, there are Adidas x Parley series, ADIDAS 4D series and Loop series.

The Adidas x Parley series is a collaboration between Adidas and the marine environmental protection agency Parley for the Oceans. It uses plastic waste collected in the ocean, decomposed into recyclable TPU particles and made into fabrics, and evolved different shoe models. Nearly a hundred models of shoes have been launched, contributing to the promotion of marine protection.

Image source: Parley

The most recent collaboration is Parley x adidas UltraBOOST Uncaged. The all-white Primeknit upper and the all-white BOOST midsole. Parley fibers made of recycled materials surround the shoe body, forming a wave pattern, reminding people to protect the ocean.

Image source: Parley

Many people think that Adidas and Parley are co-branded just to launch more limited editions, but for Adidas, this may be an introduction.

The big brother of the sports brand announced two years ago that from 2024, they will only use recyclable plastic to make their products. The cooperation with Parley is just an episode on the road to environmental protection.

The ADIDAS 4D series first met with consumers in 2017. It uses the 3D printing technology of "light-curing molding" , which greatly reduces the production time. The hollow midsole design looks full of technology.

Image source: adidas

However, the material density of ADIDAS 4D is relatively high, and even the hollow form is still not light.

After several years of evolution, ADIDAS 4D midsole technology has matured, and its production capacity can keep up with mass production, and it has been used in a variety of popular shoes, including the FUTURECRAFT.STRUNG introduced today.

Finally, there is the Loop series. If the Adidas x Parley cooperation series is just a taste of recycling technology, then the Loop series is a comprehensive upgrade on this.

The FUTURECRAFT.LOOP launched last year, the entire production process only involves one kind of recycled material, from the upper, the frame of the shoe body and even the BOOST midsole, all made of the same material.

Image source: adidas

When the life of FUTURECRAFT.LOOP is over, it will also be recycled, melted into particles, and then become the material for the next pair of shoes, cyclically. It perfectly interprets the Loop in its name. Environmental protection emphasizes the formation of a closed loop, seamless integration from recycling to reuse.

These technologies do not seem to be "practical" at this stage, but without these attempts, how can a successful midsole technology like the "popcorn" BOOST jointly developed by Adidas and BASF be born.

The BOOST technology has been born for many years, and the popularity has not diminished, but Adidas wants to find a successor to this explosive technology before its popularity drops, so that it will continue to be popular.

The STRUNG released this time is another attempt by Adidas on the road of innovation. I personally feel that the direction is right, starting from the vamp technology to make lightweight. It has not yet been mass-produced, but it is enough to give me many beautiful fantasies.

For example, I have begun to look forward to the combination of STRUNG upper and BOOST midsole.

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