New Balance unveils its own 3D-printed running shoes

New Balance has introduced its first 3D-printed running shoe, making it the latest shoe maker to introduced a pair made with the technology. In this case, New Balance's shoe features a 3D-printed midsole made in collaboration with 3D Systems and, more specifically, the latter company's DuraForm Flex TPU. Says New Balance, it used some breakthroughs in both materials and printing technologies to produce the shoes.

New Balance introduced the new shoes on Thursday, saying it plans to first show them off in Boston next April, followed later on with availability in some of its retail stores around the world. In addition, 3D Systems will have its workers wearing the shoes at this upcoming CES show.

Detailing the technology, New Balance says it utilized selective cross-sections that were laid down one layer at a time using a laser. Unlike shoes made by other materials, the DuraForm Flex TPU is said to offer both elasticity and strength, making them ideal for running. This isn't the company's first effort with 3D printing technology, but the first time it has produced a finalized pair of running shoes.

Said the company's President Robert DeMartini, "With 3D printing we are able to pursue performance customization at a whole new level. The New Balance Innovation Team is showcasing the latest in performance running and these advancements signify an important step forward to becoming one of the world's top athletic brands."

SOURCE: New Balance