Under Armour Presents Latest Athletic Shoe with 3D Printed Midsole: Meet the $300 ArchiTech Futurist Sneaker, Available Soon
Back in 2014, athletic clothing specialist and manufacturer Under Armour teamed up with Reebok to present 3D printing in wearables at the TCT show, and soon after, Under Armour’s Senior Innovation Manager hinted that big things were on the horizon. The hint turned into reality two years later when the Baltimore-based company introduced its innovative Under Armour ArchiTech athletic shoe, designed using Autodesk Within‘s generative design software package and featuring a latticed, 3D printed midsole. American gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps even wore a custom pair of ArchiTech training shoes to the Rio Olympics, which were personalized inside with the footprint of his young son. Ever since Under Armour opened the doors of its UA Lighthouse manufacturing and design innovation center last summer, we’ve been eagerly anticipating its next innovation…and the company did not disappoint.
Under Armour has now announced availability of its new 3D printed athletic shoe, the ArchiTech Futurist Sneaker. According to the website, the Under Armour ArchiTech Futurist Sneakers offer “fit-centric innovations that deliver the signature Under Armour feet and underfoot technology that redefines support.”
Last year’s 3D printed ArchiTech shoes had a limited run of 96 pairs, and Under Armour decided to continue the sneaker line with the new Futurist, which has a pleasing, minimalist design. 3D printing was used again to help cushion and support the shoe by creating a lightweight lattice network, but what’s new this time around is that the network is matched to a compression lace system. The system adds an external sleeve to the shoe, with a 1/4 zipper up the front; rounding out the shoe design is a UA SpeedForm fit solution upper, making the shoe even more secure and supportive.
In order to create the feel, precision fit, and comfort that customers have come to expect from its athletic shoes, Under Armour actually constructs its SpeedForm uppers, which feature a perfectly molded, seamless heel cup, in a clothing factory. The uppers also have smooth, ultrasonic seams and and an external TPU heel counter, for enhanced stability and support. The limited edition Futurist shoe’s cutting-edge “heel stability solution” is perfect for strength training, but also offers versatility, if you prefer kickboxing class instead.
The 3D printed soles for last year’s original Under Armour ArchiTech sneakers were created at the company’s Innovation Lab at its Baltimore headquarters, so it’s safe to assume that the soles for the new Futurist sneaker were created there as well. Using the Autodesk Within software, users simply enter an object’s design parameters, including its maximum weight, required durability, and how much stress it needs to resist. Once Within compares these needs, it starts to produce the innovative 3D lattice designs that give Under Armour’s 3D printed ArchiTech and Futurist sneakers its high levels of support.
If you think your workout could be enhanced by Under Armour’s 3D printed ArchiTech Futurist sneakers, you’d better dig deep into your wallet, because a pair of these athletic shoes will set you back $300, the same price as Under Armour’s original ArchiTech sneakers. As soon as you have your $300 ready, get in line, because the sneakers will only be available in limited quantities, since it takes a while to print the tooling. Starting March 30 at 6 pm, you can find the ArchiTech Futurist sneakers on the Under Armour website and a few select Under Armour brand houses around the world. Discuss in the Under Armour forum at 3DPB.com.[Images: Under Armour]
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