Reebok has unveiled a limited-edition 3D-printed running shoe that replaces shoelaces with a new “liquid lace system” in which printed materials are wrapped around the outsole like a vine.
The Floatride running shoe was designed at Reebok’s Liquid Factory, a two-year-old futuristic initiative at Reebok that leverages a proprietary liquid material, state-of-the-art software and robotics to draw shoes in three-dimensional layers. The two “liquid” components of the 3D-printed Reebok Liquid Floatride shoes are the stretch-to-fit web that hugs the outsole and a layer on the bottom-side of the shoe that provides lightweight traction.
Bill McInnis, Head of Reebok Future, told Digital Trends that the company plans to use this liquid manufacturing process to produce additional components of the shoe until entire sneakers can be built using this 3D-drawing and 3D-printing technique. The idea is that it would not only make Rebok shoes lighter, but enable customization and faster innovation by eschewing the traditional molding process.