What Are 3D-printed Shoes? Will You Buy Them?

3D-printed shoes

Fed up with the discomfort of poorly fitting shoes? Then please keep an eye out. Because customizable 3D-printed shoes may hit the market in the near future, which are tailored to your feet using data.

Assa Ashuach is the innovator behind futuristic 3D-printed shoes. They claims to have the ability to analyze your movements over time and enhance their performance accordingly.

The Evolve AI shoes, currently showcased at the Dubai Museum of Future, are revolutionizing the intersection of science and design. The team behind these innovative shoes aims to transition them from museum exhibit to consumer product within the next three years.

Ashuach has been working at the forefront of 3D printing and design since the early 2000s. He said that:

"We are all a bit different, some of us have small feet, others have big feet. The same goes for legs, which can be thin, long, or large. This is something completely different, these shoes are made for you."

According to a survey conducted by market research organization Straits Research, the global footwear industry boasted a substantial value of approximately €360 billion in 2022.

Related: How Do Shoes Affect Your Running Performance?

However, a significant portion of the footwear available on the market is still mass-produced and offered in standard sizes. This results in a surplus of inexpensive and fashionable shoes that may not be tailored to diverse body types.

What Are the Mechanism of the Shoes?

3D-printed shoes

The Evolve AI shoes integrate a 3D-printed circuit board housing data-collecting sensors. This project, funded by the EU, is a joint effort involving several companies such as Assa Ashuach's studio, Stratasys, Haratech, and Profactor.

"The shoes assess whether you are pressing inwards or outwards, if you are gaining or losing weight, how much you sweat. The shoe supports your foot and moulds itself around it."

- Ashuach

Related: Guidance for Overpronation Running Shoes

Wearers will initially use what Ashuach refers to as the "first generation of shoes", gathering data to transmit to a "second generation" of shoes stored in a virtual cloud. Once sufficient data is amassed, the shoes can be fabricated using 3D printing technology.

"You would have to wait around a year before printing them, or longer if you want them to be even more adapted."

- Ashuach

Ashuach aims to introduce one line priced at approximately €235 and another, more premium range priced at €500.

3D printing is gaining widespread adoption across various industries, spanning from healthcare to automotive. The global market for 3D printing was valued at around €18.8 billion in 2023, with projections indicating a potential growth of 23.5% by 2030, as reported by Grand View Research.

Who Deserve to Buy the Shoes?

3D-printed shoes

To acquire and wear the shoes, users are required to both pay a premium price and surrender their personal data.

The shoes monitor users' movements and gather data about their surroundings, including factors like weather conditions.

"You could end up with a shoe which has adapted its ventilation to you, depending on whether you spend more time in hot or cold environments. The kind of terrain you are on can also be assessed to modify the shoe's weight."

- Ashuach

The designer asserts that they may also offer health benefits.

"We can dramatically improve the lives of diabetics by adapting the shoes to them, as they can suffer from pressure wounds on their feet."

- Ashuach

An unconventional design

3D-printed shoes shape

The design of the Evolve AI shoes certainly stands out from traditional Nike AirForce trainers. And for some people, their appearance may be considered unconventional or even unattractive.

Related: How to Chooese Shoes for Flat Feet?

However, this unconventional appearance is intentional and aligns with the aesthetic that Ashuach aims to achieve.

"I was inspired by the human skin for the design, you can see the shoe has veins for instance."

- Ashuach

The innovative design also contributes to the designers' next major objective: integrating regenerative materials capable of self-improvement and repair.

"The idea is that these veins would actually be able grow around your foot while you are wearing the shoes to support you."

- Ashuach