“While I’m not much for recreational jogging these days, I’ll always remember my first real running shoes – a pair of dark gray Sauconys, which I got to pick out from the store when I made the track team in seventh grade; a short-lived activity, as I was neither fast enough for sprinting nor strong enough for shot put. Shoes have changed dramatically since then in their looks and features. Manufacturing processes have only recently begun to change with new weaving techniques, more use of polymers, and 3D printing. With the way things are going these days, it may not be long before everyone’s favorite pair of athletic shoes is of the 3D printed variety, no matter which manufacturer they come from.
Back in 2015, Boston-based athletic leader New Balance announced that it was teaming up with 3D Systems to create the first 3D printed running shoe. The company released its Zante Generate shoe a year later, and while it wasn’t the first 3D printed shoe ever created, it was the first to be made commercially available.