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Adidas Introduces adidas 4DFWD – Data-Driven 3D Printed Performance Shoe

4 Mins read
adidas 4DFWD running shoe
Above: The adidas 4DFWD is developed in collaboration with its long standing partnership with Carbon/Image Source: Adidas

adidas Running has unveiled adidas 4DFWD – the next step in data driven, 3D printed 4D lattice midsole innovation, designed to move you forward. Combining years of athlete data with the unique technology of 3D printing, adidas 4DFWD is created to provide runners with an all-new running experience.

For over four years, adidas has developed 4D lattice midsole technology in partnership with Carbon. Combining athlete data and Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis™ technology to produce precision tuned 3D printed midsoles, adidas 4D footwear is amongst the first in the world to use this cutting-edge technology which offers the ability to fine tune midsoles to specific patterns of movement, so that athletes can enjoy precision performance with every step.

adidas 4DFWD 4D Lattice Midsole

4D lattice midsole
Above: The adidas 4DFWD has a lattice midsole – one of five million possibilities/Image Source: Adidas

Born from this process is the new adidas 4DFWD lattice midsole. Identified from one of five million possible lattice structures and made of 39% bio-based material, the bowtie-shaped FWD CELL has been specifically coded to compress forward upon vertical impact. When compared to previous generations of 4D midsole, adidas 4DFWD generates three times as much forward motion under vertical loading in mechanical testing conditions. As a result, peak braking force experienced by the athlete during running is reduced on average by 15% as the 4D lattice midsole redirects these vertical impact forces into horizontal forward motion – delivering running economy comparable to that of Ultraboost midsoles in lab conditions.

adidas 4DFWD was tested through a range of bio-mechanical testing procedures at the University of Calgary, which analysed specific areas such as forward motion, braking force and running economy. The concept was also tested extensively with adidas runners across the world via a local development team in Germany and a carefully selected cohort of high-level running creators across the USA. Furthermore, cutting edge cognitive perception testing was carried out at Arizona State University.

“4D technology provides us with the opportunity to design in a way that conventional foam midsoles do not allow. We took inspiration from the first generation 4D lattice midsole and set ourselves the challenge to take it to the next level, coding millions of potential lattice structures to see if we could specifically design to counter negative mechanical forces experienced during running. Working closely with Carbon, our product teams, and testers we identified one perfect 4D lattice midsole that is designed to compress forwards under loading and counter mechanical forces whilst delivering a unique gliding sensation for our runners.”

Sam Handy, Vice President Design, adidas Running
PRIMEKNIT upper
Above: The Adidas 4DFWD sports an all new PRIMEKNIT upper/Image Source: Adidas

Complementing the adidas 4DFWD 4D lattice midsole is a new PRIMEKNIT upper made in part from recycled polyester, providing runners with a super-lightweight premium upper that encases the foot in a seamless sock-like fit. Historical mapping data has been used to code the PRIMEKNIT upper to perfectly align with the unique properties of the 4DFWD midsole, helping to give runners all the support and comfort they need whilst on their run.

adidas 4DFWD Features

  • LATTICE CONSTRUCT: Made of 39% bio-based 3D material, offering 23% more cushioning and generating over three times as much forward motion when compared to previous generations of 4D lattice midsole under vertical loading in mechanical testing conditions
  • MIDSOLE INNOVATION: A unique bowtie-shaped FWD CELL redirects energy from each step’s impact to create horizontal forward motion
  • PRIMEKNIT+ UPPER: Using historical mapping data, the PRIMEKNIT+ upper has been tailored to work perfectly in tune with the adidas 4DFWD midsole, supporting the runner every move forward with a sock-like fit, while letting the foot breathe freely
  • OUTSOLE: The rubber outsole is designed to work in harmony with the adidas 4DFWD midsole, providing superior traction
  • WEIGHT: 333gr. for size UK 8.5
  • HEIGHT: 
    • Stack height: 11.3 mm
    • Rearfoot stack height: 32.5 mm

“At adidas, we’re always looking to combine athlete insights with new and innovative technologies to create the best performance running products. With this approach, we aim to serve and to delight different runners with diverse experiences depending on their needs; be it to run faster, achieve personal goals, run for longer, or to feel more comfort, always bringing new and valuable benefits that runners can feel. This industry first 4D lattice midsole innovation positions adidas 4DFWD as our most advanced digitally printed running midsole yet and showcases the potential of 4D technology in turning physics and bio-mechanic studies into performance solutions. We cannot wait for runners to feel and experience this new product that will deliver new and exciting sensations.”

Alberto Uncini Manganelli, adidas SVP and General Manager adidas Running & Credibility Sports

Phil DeSimone, Carbon Chief Product and Business Development Officer said: “Our collaboration with adidas has been one of deep exploration of what is possible. For this new generation of running shoes, 4DFWD, adidas engineers designed a unique 4D lattice midsole that takes full advantage of the Carbon DLS process for large scale production. Carbon’s materials team partnered with adidas to develop a lighter and stiffer material that translates vertical impact into forward motion efficiently. We’ve broken free from the design limitations of traditional manufacturing and reimagined the entire product development lifecycle expanding what can be made and accelerating how smart ideas become real. We believe this shoe will be the highest volume 3D printed product ever produced.”

The adidas 4DFWD will drop in three specific colourways, including a special Tokyo Collection drop, which will be the main podium shoe for athletes in Tokyo this summer. Launching first in a core black and solar red colourway, the $200 adidas 4DFWD will be available in the adidas app. The sign-up for a chance to buy one of the limited shoes is from May 5th to May 16th.


About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is an online magazine on 3D Printing. Visit our Global News page for more updates on Global 3D Printing News. To stay up-to-date about the latest happenings in the 3D printing world, like us on Facebook or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Manufactur3D is an Indian Online 3D Printing Media Platform that reports on the latest news, insights and analysis from the Indian and the Global 3D Printing Industry.
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