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adidas
adidas / July 2021

WHAT IS 4DFWD?

Combining years of athlete data with the unique technology of 3D printing, adidas 4DFWD is created to provide runners with an all-new running experience. Designed to move you forward. 

What is 4DFWD? 

At adidas we’re always looking to combine athlete insights with innovative technologies. For more than 17 years we have collected athlete data, monitoring treadmill runs and watching the impact of feet hitting the ground running. In partnership with Carbon, we have been developing 4D lattice midsole technology for over four years. Born from this process is the new generation of our 3D-printed midsole called 4DFWD. With a new and improved lattice midsole, 4DFWD is designed to move you forward.

This industry first midsole innovation positions adidas 4DFWD as our most advanced digitally printed running midsole yet and showcases the potential of 4D technology in turning physics and bio-mechanic studies into performance solutions. We cannot wait for runners to feel and experience this new product that will deliver new and exciting sensations.

– Uncini Manganelli, adidas SVP and General Manager adidas Running & Credibility Sports

How is 4DFWD made? 

The 4D lattice midsole combines years of athlete data and Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis™ technology to produce a precision tuned 3D printed midsole. A chemical process using light and oxygen creates a 3D object, transitioning liquid into solid. adidas 4D footwear is amongst the first in the world to use this cutting-edge technology which offers the ability to fine tune midsoles to specific patterns of movement, so that athletes can enjoy precision performance with every step.

The adidas 4DFWD features:

  • 4DFWD LATTICE CONSTRUCT: A unique midsole technology made of 39% bio-based 3D material, offering 23% more cushioning and generating over three times as much forward motion when compared to previous generations of 4D midsole under vertical loading in mechanical testing conditions
  • PRIMEKNIT+ UPPER: Using historical mapping data, the PRIMEKNIT+ upper has been tailored to work perfectly in tune with the adidas 4DFWD midsole, supporting the runner every move forward with a sock-like fit, while letting the foot breathe freely
  • OUTSOLE: The rubber outsole is designed to work in harmony with the adidas 4DFWD midsole, providing superior traction

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How is 4DFWD designed to help you move forward? 

The new and unique lattice midsole of 4DFWD is designed to shear forward with every step. Sam Handy, Senior Vice President of adidas Running explains: “4D technology provides us with the opportunity to design in a way that conventional foam midsoles do not allow. 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.”

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 on average by 15% as the midsole redirects these vertical impact forces into horizontal forward motion.

adidas 4DFWD was tested through a range of bio-mechanical testing procedures at the University of Calgary, which analysed specific areas such as forward motion, braking force and running economy. The concept was also tested extensively with adidas runners across the world via a local development team in Germany and a carefully selected cohort of high-level running creators across the USA. Furthermore, cutting edge cognitive perception testing was carried out at Arizona State University.

The bowtie-shaped cell design of 4DFWD was identified from over five million possible lattice structures and has been specifically coded to compress forward upon vertical impact.

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What do others say about 4DFWD?


Wayde van Niekerk, South African 400m World Record Holder

The fact that I have an organization like adidas believing in me, investing in me and putting in the hard work to make sure that I progress and improve as an individual, is really inspiring. It makes me want to go out every day and work hard to improve. Getting the right training shoe is really important for my regime to make sure I’m preparing in the right way to help me achieve my goals. adidas 4DFWD looks and feels great and provides the perfect mix of comfort and performance in my training runs.

Dafne Schippers, Dutch 200m sprinter

As an athlete, your focus is to challenge yourself and your previous achievements – always wanting to do better, push harder, and aim higher. adidas 4DFWD is an incredible shoe – not only do you have that feeling of comfort and lightweight, but during the run you can really experience the gliding sensation and forward motion.

Miri Dattke, German long-distance runner

Running has always been a huge part of my life and what makes me happy. I love the feeling of adidas 4DFWD – they’re really light, comfortable and will definitely be my go-to shoe for training runs. I believe that 3D printed midsoles are the future of running – creating shoes that are made for the athlete. The possibilities are really exciting and it’s amazing to be a part of that journey with adidas.

CURIOUS ABOUT 4D?

adidas / July 2021