Past and future collide: Adidas 3D printed MC87 4D golf shoes channel ‘80s vibes

Building on its 3D printed footwear portfolio, sports equipment manufacturing firm Adidas has introduced the MC87 4D, a limited-edition spikeless golf footwear model.

What sets the MC87 4D apart is its incorporation of Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) 3D printing process. It boasts the novel 4D midsole, marking the first time Adidas has featured this technology in a golf shoe. The 4D midsole is crafted through a precise process that uses light and oxygen, resulting in a lattice structure. This structure is not just for aesthetics; it’s designed to provide controlled energy return, says the manufacturer.

“Over the last 18 months we’ve noticed golfers wanting more vintage designs, and we’re in a unique position where our archives provide some amazing product inspiration as we continue our mission to be the most progressive golf brand in the world,” said Masun Denison, Global Footwear Director, Adidas Golf. “We challenged ourselves to combine the timeless aesthetics from the past with the technology of today, and MC87 4D was the perfect result. It’s a very special silhouette, a first for us in golf using the 4D technology, and it will be one that golfers everywhere will be excited about.”

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Adidas MC87 4D golf shoes featuring the ‘80s style. Photo via Adidas.
Adidas MC87 4D golf shoes featuring the ‘80s style. Photo via Adidas.

Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis 3D printing technology

3D printing company Carbon’s 3D printing technology uses Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) technology and DLS. This process uses digital light projection, oxygen-permeable optics, and resins to produce high-quality parts. The Carbon DLS process allows engineers and designers to iterate faster and radically reimagine their products by making possible consolidated parts, unmoldable geometries, and software-tunable lattices.

In 2021, Adidas maintained its enduring collaboration with Carbon, resulting in the creation of the 4DFWD, a 3D printed midsole. Employing the DLS 3D printing technology, Carbon worked closely with Adidas designers on the development of this running midsole. The 4DFWD proved its prowess in mechanical tests by generating up to three times more forward motion compared to its predecessors.

Other applications using Carbon’s DLS technology include Adidas’ 3D printed Futurecraft 4D shoes, sports helmet lining, dental models, casting, and implant guides through its FDA-approved 3D printable DENTCA resins and M2 3D printers.

Adidas MC87 4D golf shoe

The MC87 4D, taking inspiration from Adidas’ archival designs, presents a gender-neutral design and a water-resistant leather upper. Specifically, it draws its design cues from the classic 1987 Tiverton model, incorporating elements such as wing tip styling, brogue stitch detail, and croc texturing into the timeless leather upper.

With its 4D midsole, the MC87 4D offers superior pressure absorption from various angles, efficiently redirecting energy back to the foot while delivering crucial support where it’s needed. This not only enhances overall comfort but also elevates on-course performance, establishing the 4D midsole as a defining feature of the MC87 4D.

Adidas used Carbon's DLS technology to develop the MC87 4D golf shoes. Photo via Adidas.
Adidas used Carbon’s DLS technology to develop the MC87 4D golf shoes. Photo via Adidas.

To further enhance stability during golf swings, the MC87 4D is equipped with a rubber spikeless outsole featuring lugs that significantly improve traction and grip. Adding to its versatility, the footwear includes a removable kiltie, allowing for a customized look and style.

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Featured image shows Adidas MC87 4D golf shoes featuring the ‘80s style. Photo via Adidas.