Earlier this year when I first read about the concept of 3-D printing shoes I became very excited–‘We have options!’ I thought. By ‘we’ I was, of course, referring to us ladies who wear size 12 women’s shoes and larger. By ‘options’, I meant having the ability to design and create a shoe specific to our sizing needs.
In the Wired Magazine article “3D Shoes: A Step in the Right Direction“ writer Daniel Burrus states:
What makes 3D printed shoes so enticing for consumers is that the shoes are tailored for each person’s unique feet…Additionally, because the current shoe sizing system is limited to half-integer measurements (6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, etc.), it’s only taking into account how long someone’s feet are. Finding shoes for wide or thick feet is difficult. 3D Printing solves all this.
Did you read the last line? 3D printing solves the issue of sizing for uniquely sized feet. Angels are singing and the heavens have opened! As a niche market of consumers in the footwear industry, this concept stands to open the door for infinite possibilities in the design selection and availability of large sized shoes.
So, you’re probably wondering how are shoes “printed”? According to the article, which goes in depth about the process of printing shoes made from a flexible synthetic rubber: Continue reading