Adidas has been working for years to revolutionize the performance of its footwear for athletes and to get the most out of its materials. Now, its new FUTURECRAFT.STRUNG shoe has a data-driven design that resulted in a lightweight and minimal shoe for short-distance runners.
In recent years, Adidas has done anything but shy away from creative approaches to making shoes. We’ve seen its 4D midsole shoe, which put the spotlight on 3D printing, along with its Loop shoe, which was made from materials that were 100% recyclable. And now, it’s latest proof of concept model, STRUNG, features a nearly zero waste production process and a smarter, lighter, and more responsive fit.
The upper portion of the STRUNG is woven by a robot, using threads with different colors and flexibility levels to create a precision fit. Stronger red threads are used around the heel, midfoot, and toe-box to provide support to keep the foot from slipping, while the forefront uses a softer and more flexible and yellow thread. The shoe’s reduced-material design has an additive manufacturing process that produces nearly zero-waste production, meaning that it’s built from the ground up with no excess fabric, stitching, glue, or other components added on.
Adidas’ new manufacturing process winds these individual threads across the midsole in such a way that support and strength are created without adding unnecessary weight. In fact, the STRUNG prototype currently weighs just 7.7 ounces (220 grams). The shoe has a minimized heel designed to reduce its weight and a rubber outsole shaped specifically for runners to easily find a better grip during fast runs.
The Strung is still just a running-shoe prototype and is not yet available for purchase. Adidas seems to be considering creating a line of shoes targeted at different types of athletes, that will be specifically constructed to support their feet exactly how their sport demands, and perhaps we will see the first consumer-ready shoes in 2021.