Just when you think they’ve reached peak performance those innovative folk at adidas go and take it on to another level. Case in point: the unveiling of 4DFWD Technology. This is quite literally, with no pun intended, the next step in data driven 3D printed midsole innovation.

So just when we’d grown accustomed to Boost, we got Futurecraft 4D. And now that we’re getting to grips with the performance capabilities of that technology, which combined athlete data and Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis technology to produce precision tuned 3D printed midsoles, it gets a new upgrade. What we’re talking about is 4DFWD, which has been developed over the last four years to provide runners with an all-new running experience. 

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Born from the process of producing fine tuned midsoles to specific patterns of movement, so that athletes can enjoy precision performance with every step, adidas now give us the 4DFWD lattice midsole. Identified from one of five million possible lattice structures and made of 40% bio-based material, the bowtie-shaped FWD CELL has been specifically coded to compress forward upon vertical impact. When compared to previous generations of 4D midsole, adidas 4DFWD generates three times as much forward motion under vertical loading in mechanical testing conditions. As a result, peak braking force experienced by the athlete during running is reduced by 15% as the midsole redirects these vertical impact forces into horizontal forward motion – delivering running economy comparable to that of Ultraboost midsoles in lab conditions.

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4D Technology provides us with the opportunity to design in a way that conventional foam midsoles do not allow,” explained Sam Handy, former Creative Director of adidas Football, and now Running. “We took inspiration from the first generation 4D lattice midsole and set ourselves the challenge to take it to the next level. Coding millions of potential lattice structures to see if we could specifically design to counter negative mechanical forces experienced during running.

“Working closely with Carbon, our product teams, and tester, we identified one perfect lattice midsole that is designed too compress forwards under loading and counter mechanical forces whilst delivering a unique gliding sensation for our runners.”

Complementing the adidas 4DFWD midsole is a new PRIMEKNIT upper made from recycled polyester. Providing runners with a super-lightweight premium upper that encases the foot in a seamless sock-like fit. Historical mapping data has been used to code the PRIMEKNIT upper to perfectly align with the unique properties of the 4DFWD midsole.

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The adidas 4DFWD will drop in three specific colorways, including a special Tokyo Collection drop, which will be the main podium shoe for athletes in Tokyo this summer. Launching first in a black and fluorescent orange colourway, the adidas 4DFWD will be available to Creators Club members on 15 May. The Tokyo Collection colourway will be available from 1 July, before a worldwide drop from 12 August.