Adidas 4DFWD 3DPrinted shoes: a review update

Thursday 27th July, 2023 - Bruce Sterling

Here’s an update on the fate of the Adidas 3DPrinted shoes, as last seen on this blog in February 2023.

As you can see (pics or it didn’t happen), after considerable, off-road, rugged service, the structured “Primeknit” fabric in the toes broke on both feet. Will hot glue retard the spreading damage? A little bit, for not for long.

I simply threw away the useless laces. They were so slick and light that the knots were always unstable, and also, the structured fabric was so tight and confining that there was no performative need for laces, even in harsh, hillside conditions.

Very interestingly, the actual 3DPrinted structure of the shoes, despite its hundreds of moving struts, shows almost no wear whatsoever. The soles are also in remarkably good shape, with just a few incidental scuffs and stains.

So I’m going to keep these shoes, and slash the Primeknit fabric off them, and try to retrofit them with something like rubber-sandal huaraches. I’m in no hurry about this maker-hack project, but I’ll get around to it.

In the meantime, the Adidas 4DFWD line is still available in a proliferating variety of models. They’re not cheap, but they’re interesting. I’ll warn you from experience that that the toes are frail.