The adidas AlphaEdge 4D looks like a shoe from the future for today’s athlete. The standout feature is the 3D printed midsole, which is designed using a process called Digital Light Synthesis (DLS). This is a proprietary technology pioneered by California-based company Carbon, which uses digital light projection, oxygen and programmable liquid resins to print high-performance, durable polymeric products. The three-dimensional structure of the midsole has been designed to provide multi-directional support to an athlete’s feet.

This is how it works: The midsole’s lattice structure is designed to offer stability and support to the foot from different angles. So, if you are putting the AlphaEdge 4D to test during a high-intensity run or training session, you can expect the midsole to absorb pressure from any angle and provide some responsive cushioning.

The technology behind getting this right is impressive. Data was compiled from athletes who were made to run on pressure plates that record data when the foot lands and takes off from the plate. The shoemaker used this data to analyse the amount and type of pressure or stress an athlete’s foot puts on the shoe’s midsole, insole and outsole.

This new shoe picks up from where the FutureCraft 4D left off. Sneaker enthusiasts will remember the FutureCraft 4D, which was made using the same DLS technology and released late last year. The collars on the AlphaEdge 4D are higher than the FutureCraft and might seem uncomfortable at first because of the shoe’s slip-on design, but they hug your shins quite smoothly. Putting the shoe on though will be a task because of the same reason. It will be advisable to wear a thin pair of socks if you plan on running or training in the AlphaEdge 4D.

Launched worldwide on 17 November for 27,999, the AlphaEdge 4D is a niche shoe that offers a sleek white upper and a rubber outsole—based on Continental’s tire technology—that promises to last any sort of weather and terrain.

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