Consumer Products

adidas unveils Carbon 3D printed shoe in collaboration with Stella McCartney

Silicon-valley based Carbon and German footwear giant adidas are continuing their collaboration and extending their line of shoes utilizing Futurecraft 4D technology, this time partnering with British fashion designer Stella McCartney to take on the AlphaEdge 4D silhouette. As with other shoes released in the Futurecraft 4D series, the Stella McCartney x adidas AlphaEdge 4D model features a midsole 3D printed with Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) 3D printing.

The Futurecraft 4D midsoles have also been nominated by our readers for Consumer Product of the year in the 2019 3D Printing Industry Awards. You can view the other nominations and categories, as well as cast your votes, here.

The Stella McCartney x adidas AlphaEdge 4D is projected to be a limited edition release, slated for launch in April with an expected retail price of $350-$450 USD.

A top down view of the Stella McCartney x adidas AlphaEdge 4D shoe. Photo via adidas.
A top down view of the Stella McCartney x adidas AlphaEdge 4D shoe. Photo via adidas.

Expanding the Futurecraft 4D line

By using 3D printing, adidas aim to provide various performance and comfort-based benefits to its customers. Futurecraft 4D is made using the running data of athletes to map out the optimal parts of the midsole to provide cushioning and support. The digital design is then 3D printed using Carbon’s Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) enabled DLS technology in a UV-curable resin and polyurethane mixture, arranged in complex lattice structures. This helps to provide superior, controlled energy return from the midsoles when running.

The original AlphaEdge 4D LTD shoe was released last year in May 2018. The pair was geared towards running, coming in black, grey, aero and ash green colourways. A white variant was then released in November the same year.

Now with this latest iteration of the AlphaEdge 4D made in collaboration with Stella McCartney, Carbon and adidas are expanding their partnership and releasing a steady stream of shoes utilizing the 3D printed Futurecraft 4D technology since its initial unveiling in 2017. This includes another adidas collaboration, with Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto, as part of the Y-3 fashion label. Futurecraft 4D technology has been imported onto the Y-3 runners for various colourway releases, however the latest edition came in a bright red in January 2019. adidas have also applied the Futurecraft 4D midsole to its ZX 4000 line of shoes. The ZX 4000 4D was made available in February 2019.


An angled view of the Stella McCartney x adidas AlphaEdge 4D shoe. Photo via adidas.
An angled view of the Stella McCartney x adidas AlphaEdge 4D shoe. Photo via adidas.

A Stella design

The new Stella McCartney x adidas AlphaEdge 4D model was designed by Stella McCartney herself, who has worked with adidas on previous occasions to design different shoes and pieces of clothing for the footwear company. It is designed specifically for women, centering around a sock-like design, with an all-black mesh upper.

The Futurecraft 4D midsole, usually coming in an ‘Aero Green’ hue, has been replaced with an off-white shade to compliment the all-black upper. The outsole also comes in black and is part of a collaboration between adidas and German automotive manufacturing company Continental, in order to provide improved traction. Also, as part of the sock design, the sneaker features a sock-like cuff that is embroidered with “Stella McCartney” branding all-around the throat.

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Featured image shows the Stella McCartney x adidas AlphaEdge 4D shoe. Photo via adidas.