For the construction of the midsole, adidas joined forces with partner Carbon to develop a process that enables the brand to create a midsole based on the biometric data of the runner. This means that every single element of the midsole is designed around the user, ensuring the runner gets the exact midsole to meet his or her needs. Midsoles built in this way offer the perfect combination of functionality and style. From now on you can get get you hands on the new adidas ALPHAEDGE 4D.
What is ADIDAS 4D?
A 4D sole is the result of runner data collected over 17 years. Unfortunately, previously used materials had, until recently, no use in performance sports. Over the years, new materials were created and released and, in 2017, adidas got its first opportunity to produce midsoles for the performance market thanks to Digital Light SynthesisTM. As a result, it’s now finally possible to manufacture running shoes for runners by using ADIDAS 4D technology.
Insights into ADIDAS 4DEveryone understands the term ‘3D’, but what on Earth is ‘4D’? And what has FUTURECRAFT 4D technology to do with running shoes? In short, ADIDAS 4D describes a midsole made of light and oxygen thanks to a technology developed by Carbon - Digital Light SynthesisTM. During the printing process, the company uses data specially geared towards the needs of the athlete intending to wear the shoe.
By taking into account data collected from motion analyses and the preferences of the runner, adidas can now create a midsole perfectly adapted to the needs of the runner, delivering an unprecedented personalised running shoe. The filigree structure that results from this special printing consists of around 20,000 individual pieces that work together to provide reactive cushioning. Like this, the sole absorbs pressure from all parts of the foot and returns it to the runner in the form of energy.
In its original state, the material used to make the midsole of this adidas running shoe is actually a liquid but it turns solid when exposed to UV light. This UV light is shone on every layer of the midsole individually, which is placed on a glass plate. The midsole is built by putting layer upon layer of this material together and baking it all in a special oven to bind it. Printing the midsoles currently takes 35 minutes.
The story behind adidas ALPHAEDGE 4D
In April 2017, adidas presented its first model with FUTURECRAFT 4D technology. This limited edition shoe, called the adidas ac8485, became a collectable item from day 1. Now, with the 2018 release of the new adidas ALPHAEDGE 4D White / Grey (CG5526), more runners will have the opportunity to enjoy the innovative midsole and put it through its paces.
“ADIDAS 4D is our most ambitious midsole to date. What started off as conceptual FUTURECRAFT innovation has given us the chance to revise our manufacturing process from the bottom up and craft a data-driven experience that sets new performance and comfort standards.”, says Klaus Rolshoven, Design Director of the adidas Future team.
Construction of the adidas ALPHAEDGE 4D
The adidas ALPHAEDGE 4D is available since mid-November 2018. The highlight of the CG5526 launch is, of course, the special midsole created with digital light synthesis. This midsole can be split roughly into three different zones: The heel’s fixed structure gives the runner just the right amount of cushioning, the structured arch support enables controlled transitions, and the forefoot area is in charge of delivering a supportive forward motion.
But the midsole should be seen as a whole – after all, the individual pieces all work together to provide a unique running feel. For the upper, adidas has opted for a very comfortable Primeknit material with a raised shaft that offers comfort and stability, especially during quick lateral movements and tight turns. Both the shaft and the heel sport three bold stripes.
Testing the adidas ALPHAEDGE 4D
With the release of the ALPHAEDGE 4D (CG5526), adidas has produced the highlight of 2018. As mentioned earlier, the midsole is a big milestone in the development of running shoe technology. The midsole was made using Carbon’s Digital Light SynthesisTM technology, and its design is based on athlete data collected over the course of the last 17 years.
In the future, we will be able to adjust the midsole to the biometric data and preferences of every runner. In this review of the adidas CG5526, you’ll find out all about the properties of adidas’ new shoe released on 17th November 2018.
adidas ALPHAEDGE 4D White / Grey style features
Let’s start by looking at the White / Grey Primeknit upper: adidas has opted for breathable Primeknit with seams that reinforce the overall structure. The raised shaft of the adidas shoe provides outstanding comfort. I would consider the fit as ‘medium’, so most people will be able to lace up the ALPHAEDGE 4D comfortably. The outsole is made of a white rubber mix by Continental that delivers good grip. The ‘Aero Green’ sole is very flexible and it works together with the White / Grey Primeknit style and the outsole to guide your foot through every stride. The midsole can be split into three different zones that make up a grid specially designed to optimise transitions. The heel provides comfortable cushioning and is surprisingly soft.
The arch support helps guide the foot and supports your transitions. The sole is a little harder under the forefoot area to encourage powerful forward drive. If one of the grids breaks, the grids around it will make up for it and ensure your running performance isn’t affected in any way. Functionality is guaranteed at all times. Another interesting point is that the insole is very thin, so you’re running practically directly on the midsole.
Running on tarmac
As soon as you lace up the White / Grey adidas ALPHAEDGE 4D you benefit from its superb comfort and sturdy fit. Now, it was time for me to cover the first few metres in this innovative running shoe. I noticed the direct running feel straight away but it didn’t take away any of my comfort.
For me, this shoe achieves a perfect balance between comfort and an agile feel. Nonetheless, the midsole is relatively heavy when compared to other running models currently on the market.
The sole was designed for a moderate pace and longer runs. I don’t see the ALPHAEDGE 4D as a speedy shoe, it’s just too much of a running shoe to perform at its best during a sprint. The Continental outsole does its job beautifully and allows you to run mile after mile effortlessly – even on the race track.
My final thoughts on the adidas ALPHAEDGE 4D
With the adidas ALPHAEDGE 4D, you get an innovative running shoe that delivers a unique and very interesting running experience. With excellent comfort and great grip, long runs are now twice as fun. I’m looking forward to wearing the adidas ALPHAEDGE 4D for the end of 2018 in preparation for the 2019 running season. I’m excited to find out what you think of FUTURECRAFT technology and how you progress with your running with the 2018 release of the adidas ALPHAEDGE 4D. How do you like the new style and will you buy them?
adidas ALPHAEDGE 4D: Out now
The release of the adidas ALPHAEDGE 4D was the 17th November 2018. From the global release date, you can buy adidas’ innovative 4D shoe with FUTURECRAFT technology exclusively in our online shop. All Premium-Members will be able to buy the new adidas ALPHAEDGE 4D, which is available for 299.90€.
Credits: Jan Lau Photo: Krosny Photography