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3D Printed Shoes: Are they common yet?

3D printers have become more common, and while you could print 3D printed shoes with some models available online, they are not the most comfortable options out there.

Fortunately, 3D printed shoes are now easier to get as more and more companies started to dip their toes into this niche. The most popular offering is the Adidas Ultra 4D Sneakers which have 3D printed sole, but Creality recently announced their own 3D printed slippers.

They also sent me a pair of their 3D printed slippers to try, and I have used them for a few months already. I thought it would be interesting to share a bit about my experience with them, and do a bit of research about what’s currently available.

Creality 3D Printed Shoes

I have used the Creality 3D printed shoes for a few months around the house, as they are a pair of slippers that I find to be a bit more fragile due to how they are printed. I do not have a lot of detail about the materials used, but I would guess they are 3D printed using a special polymer in a resin 3D printer.

Thy are designed around a lattice structure to increase comfort and make them soft for increased comfort. To be honest, these were the first 3D printed shoes I have used, and I must say they are very comfortable and I love them.

While they were not specifically made for my feet, they offer good support and e better fit than most slippers I have used. I am not sure if Creality makes them or if they rebrand them, but they’re great.

Looking closer, you can easily see the 3D printed layers and the internal lattice structure that gives these 3D printed shoes a very interesting form.

Creality 3D printed shoes lattice structure | 3D Printed Shoes: Are they common yet?

There are some overhanging sections that are quite similar to what you would find on an FDM 3D printer, where I would first guess support material was used. But considering the entire internal design of the 3D printed shoe, it would not be feasible to do so, meaning that the lattice structure is made in a way that is self supported.

Creality Shoes | 3D Printed Shoes: Are they common yet?

The outside and the inside of the shoe doesn’t show any kind of layer lines, which makes me think that a post-processing was used to smooth them out and make them more comfortable and easier to clean.

The reason why I mostly used them inside is because of the bottom section which has the same holes meaning that dust and moisture can easily get inside them. I tried them briefly outside, and you can see how easily they got dirty on the bottom. I also think that if you use them on rough terrain they will wear down faster, so I preferred to keep them for inside use on smoother surfaces.

Creality 3D printed shoes bottom section | 3D Printed Shoes: Are they common yet?

As mentioned before, I love these shoes and they quickly became my favorite type of shoe to use around the house. First, due to the very comfortable design, and because they are 3D printed shoes! Who doesn’t want to use 3D printed shoes, if you are a 3D printing enthusiast and you love the technology?

A thing I noticed is the stiffness over time. Right in the beginning, they were very soft, but after a few months, they have become slightly more rigid. Not significant enough to say it’s a downside at this time, but there was a slight change.

Maybe the resin has cured further over time? I am not sure, but I still like them a lot and I am looking forward to see what other 3D printing shoes come to market soon. For now, these Creality 3D printed shoes don’t seem to be available to purchase, but if they become available, I will update the article with some links.

Creality has also recently shared a few other designs of shoes they made, which have a slightly more interesting design with a different lattice structure and a dragon look. The slippers seem interesting, and something I might use, but I can’t see myself using the other full-shoe design as I am not sure if they are great for outdoor use. And the design is too futuristic for me.

What other 3D Printed Shoes are available?

Of course, after having such an interesting experience with these 3D printed slippers, I looked online to look for other 3D printed shoes, and I found a few interesting designs out there.

For example, the Adidas Ultra 4D Sneakers are very popular 3D printed shoes that have a somewhat similar 3D printed sole, but with the benefit of being a regular shoe which makes them more useful for outdoor use.

The bottom section is also better. I am not 100% sure if it is also printed, or the 3D printed sole is just bonded to a rubber flat piece to make them more durable, but I am quite interested in getting a pair.

Talking about cost, the Adidas Ultra 4D Sneakers are available on Amazon for around ~150 USD which is in line with a good pair of sneakers, with the added benefit of having a very comfortable fit, if we are to consider the reviews shared on the product page. Most of the users report them to be very comfortable and having a great fit.

Why use 3D Printed Shoes?

At this time, I believe that 3D printing shoes are still in their infancy due to the cost of producing them, but I believe this will change in the next few years. Completely 3D printing shoes might not be the best as they might not be as comfortable, but combining different materials like regular fabric and 3D printed soles for comfort could be the winning option that gets more popular.

The main reasons to get 3D printing shoes are customization, design possibilities, and great comfort due to using new materials and shapes. In the near future, I expect to see accessible options where you can scan your feet then get a customized pair of shoes made exactly for you.

Do you have experience with 3D Printed Shoes?

I am very curious to hear from others. Have you ever tried 3D printed shoes? Are there any other attractive offerings that can be used regularly, while also not being very expensive?
Please leave a comment below, and let me know!

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