Under Armour Debuts “Futurist” Shoes with 3D-Printed Midsoles
Michael Molitch-Hou posted on March 24, 2017 |
At AMUG, Alan Guyan Director of Design & Manufacturing Innovation at Under Armour unveiled the brand...

At last year’s AMUG, athletic wear manufacturer Under Armour won the Advanced Concepts Technical Competition with the UA Architech, a line of shoes that featured a 3D-printed midsole. This year, Director of Design & Manufacturing Innovation at Under Armour Alan Guyan gave the crowd a sneak peek at the company’s next design in the series, the Futurist.

The UA Futurist is Under Armour’s most recent shoe design featuring 3D-printed midsoles. (Image courtesy of Under Armour.)
The UA Futurist is Under Armour’s most recent shoe design featuring 3D-printed midsoles. (Image courtesy of Under Armour.)
The Futurist features a center-mounted quarter zipper, a compression system with a rear opening instead of laces and, of course, 3D-printed midsoles. These TPU insoles are 3D-printed using selective laser sintering at the company’s lab in Baltimore using a material developed by Lehmann&Voss&Co. Created to provide support for both weightlifting and CrossFit training, the lattice structure was designed to bounce energy back as weight is pressed down on the shoe.

Guyan explained at AMUG that the concept behind the Futurist is that it combines the past, present and future of the company. “The idea is that our company is a little under pressure,” Guyan said. “You’ll see this wrap on top of the shoe and on the inside of the shoe you’ll see a seamless heel cut out. That’s kind of our present. We actually mold the bottom of the shoe. And, of course, our future is 3D printing.”

The 3D-printed TPU heel is meant to provide support and spring. (Image courtesy of Under Armour.)
The 3D-printed TPU heel is meant to provide support and spring. (Image courtesy of Under Armour.)
“The feedback has been really tremendous. The big thing that I’ve heard consistently from the athletes is, ‘I can train longer; my joints don’t hurt.’ It really solves a problem because we were really trying to go from a CrossFit shoe to a weightlifting shoe and really merge those two together. Through that process, the athletes have been saying that ‘It’s amazing because I don’t have to worry about changing shoes, but also my body feels differently.’”

At $300, the shoe series is Under Armour’s most expensive to date, but it also represents the company’s largest batch of shoes with 3D-printed parts to date. With each shoe series, Under Armour has quadrupled production, starting with 96 pairs for the original Architech, followed by 410 for the next 3D-printed shoe series. The company will manufacture the Futurist in a batch of a little over 2,000 pairs, with sales beginning March 30 and with other sales occurring throughout the year, according to Guyan.

To sign up to be notified when the Futurist shoes go on sale, visit the product page.

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