There’s been a lot of talk about 3D printed running shoes. New Balance announced back in November that they had created the first high performance running shoe with a 3D-printed midsole (which we reported here). But at the time, it wasn’t actually available to purchase—the company was just teasing that it was capable of creating the technology required—and that we should all stay tuned.
Fast forward to April and they’re now officially available, just ahead of the 2016 Boston Marathon. The neutral shoe is called the Zante Generate and you pick up your very own pair this Friday, April 15 at NewBalance.com for $400.
"Zante" in the name makes sense because the shoe includes the upper of the popular New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v2. But, the upper is where the similarities between the Fresh Foam and Generate end, per Katherine Petrecca, New Balance’s general manager for studio innovation. "The feedback we have received from wear testers tells us that the ride is fast, responsive and offers an incredible amount of flexibility throughout the gait cycle," says Petrecca.
But, what makes this super high tech shoe worth the bucks? The intricate honeycomb midsole (comprised of hundreds of small, open cells) is created using 3D Systems’ "selective laser sintering technology" and DuraForm TPU—an elastomer powder that optimizes the shoe when it comes to flexibility, strength, weight, and durability, according to a press release.