Nike is harnessing 3D printing technology to make their running shoes better than ever. The company has introduced a new textile called Flyprint – a 3D printed fabric that the company will use to create the uppers for their coveted running shoes. This is the first textile of its kind and one of its key advantages is its breathability that enables any water that enters the shoe to evaporate quicker.
The shoes were created using feedback provided by athlete Eliud Kipchoge who mentioned that his shoes became heavier when they absorbed water thus reducing his productivity. In response, Flyprint promises to be lighter and more breathable than previous sneaker uppers. Moreover 3D printing allows Nike to create shoes based on athlete data, this means that not only can shoes be rapidly customised for specific sports but also they can be tailored to the needs of specific athletes.
You’ll have seen the 3d printed Flyprint textile for the first time in Nike’s Zoom Vaporfly Elite Flyprint shoe which Kipchoge wore to the London Marathon (which he won!) over the weekend. A few lucky Nike App users probably scored a pair of Flyprint sneakers for themselves too, but even of you missed out, don’t worry. Nike will surely plan a worldwide launch of these, the only question is when.