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Adidas reveals ‘first’ robot-manufactured shoes

Adidas has unveiled the first product to be created at its industry-changing SpeedFactory facility in Ansbach, Germany – in its Futurecraft MFG (Made for Germany) series, 500 pairs of which will be sold to the general public.

Designed to provide the “ultimate fit”, Adidas claims its Futurecraft MFG shoe is the first step in what Adidas believes will be a “game-changing” moment for the industry – mainly because the system customises the shoe for the shapes and motions of the individual customer’s feet.

The shoe is the first high performance footwear to come out of the Adidas SpeedFactory, which will ultimately allow for the creation of footwear made for the specific fit and functional needs of consumers.

The SpeedFactory is the name given by Adidas to its advanced manufacturing facilities, featuring high levels of robotics, automation and 3D printing. The first one was opened in Germany, and another one is being built in the US.


The SpeedFactory development process – and Adidas Futurecraft MFG shoe – will combine to create a state-of-the-art product made for individual needs, says the company.

The shoe will be part of Adidas Running and will be an initial test from Adidas with the view of rolling out to other categories in the future.

James Carnes, vice president of strategy creation at adidas, says: “The launch of the adidas Futurecraft MFG is a defining moment for the industry.

“With SpeedFactory, we have an industry-changing innovation that can be placed anywhere in the world – taking the lab to the street.

“It gives us the opportunity to combine unique manufacturing speed with the flexibility to rethink conventional processes. The starting point on this journey is the Adidas Futurecraft MFG and our ambition is we will give consumers what they want, when they want it.”

The shoe features the highest design precision possible. Aramis technology has been used to understand the precise detail of how an athlete’s foot moves whilst running. This has led to the three-stripe cage and traditional heel counter being replaced with a series of patches that are placed across different parts of the shoe to provide the best possible support.

The company says the shoe was made using an innovative joining process, and the shoe is not only more sustainable but also benefits from Adidas’ “ground-breaking Boost technology”, giving the Futurecraft MFG all the energy return benefits of recent Adidas running shoes.

The final key feature is a new torsion bar, which is fitted into the outsole, for greater flexibility. The shoe has a PrimeKnit upper with all the elements combining to create the highest level of comfort, support and style.

Ben Herath, Vice President of Design at adidas, says: “From a design perspective, SpeedFactory presents us with the opportunity to explore new ways of creating the perfect shoe.

“The facility allows us to use data and analytics to shape the future of performance product – we can create a shoe using real-life insight, which can then provide real benefits to the athlete. The adidas Futurecraft MFG is the start of an exciting journey.”

The SpeedFactory facility will ultimately allow for adidas to create shoes specifically made for the needs of the consumer. The initial product, coming out of the Ansbach facility, will be made for Germany, with exclusive retail in the German market.

Adidas will roll this approach out across further markets in the near future, with the US being the next to benefit from the SpeedFactory model following the announcement of a similar facility being constructed in Cherokee County, Atlanta.