3d printed sports shoes: is it worth to pay for high-hat?
3d printed shoes are ready to capture the market. Such sportswear giants as Adidas, Nike, Under Armour, etc. have already been investigating this market niche.
Photo: Business Wire
However, closer research of their marketing campaign may reveal, that it is more for brands’ promotion than for customers’ needs. No way!
Eric Sprunk, Nike’s chief operating officer, claims, that one day, people will have the opportunity to print their own 3d shoes at home, just downloading the application or buying it online. Nevertheless, there are no fucking talks about the ideal suitability of such models. Innit?
To create 3d shoes without factories is a blue dream for the nearest future. Adidas “Speedfactory” with robotics and 3d printing promises to create 4d shoes, adapting to individual parameters. But in general, all that promises to sound like crap, coz there is no choice in styles and specific sizes.
The mass production of shoes supposes, that people will buy standard sizes and basic styles. Retailers must guess, what will be bought and what shit will stay on the shelf. Manufacturers get their orders from brands in advance (1-1.5 years). So, the advertising campaign is aimed to boost the demand for chosen styles. That is to say, retailers are quite interested to create shoes for customers to order as fast as possible.
Nowadays such brands as Adidas and Nike propose customers to buy new shoes online with restricted modifications. You can already choose from a limited number of colors, styles, and sizes, gluing selected soles and uppers. In a month you will get the bespoke shoes for a pretty penny. But there is a tiny piece of bullshit in the system – the returns are impossible.
Is it worth it?
The main problem, mentioned by customers, is that 3D printed sports shoes aren’t noice value in contrast to those from the shelf. Besides, leather and other fabric cannot be printed. Only soles can be produced in bulk with 3d printers. So, the top part of a shoe is made with knitted material, then it is glued to 3d printed sole manually (based on the example of Adidas).
The price is driven up because of the partially high-tech production. Sounds like you get something really exclusive. However, the level of customization is still quite the cattywampus. It doesn’t add enough value only because you may choose the color.
To put it in a nutshell, nowadays 3d printed sports shoes are more about high-hat than about fucking comfort and convenience.