Reebok debuts the Liquid Floatride Run, its latest 3D-printed shoe

It’s been nearly two years since Reebok first introduced Liquid Factory, a new manufacturing process that leverages “state-of-the-art software and robotics to literally draw shoes in three dimensions.” Obviating the need for traditional molds, Liquid Factory instead uses a proprietary liquid material to draw shoes in 3D layers, creating quite the unique shoe. And now, Reebok is introducing the latest footwear to arise from this technology. Meet the Liquid Floatride Run, a running shoe that combines Liquid Factory technology with the brand’s signature Floatride Run sneaker.

In what is the first merging of this new technique with an existing and bel0ved Reebok shoe, this new and improved Liquid Floatride Run promises to be 20 percent lighter than the original version, and also comes with two new features — liquid lace and liquid grip.

While your conventional shoe requires traditional laces that must be tied (and invariably become untied), Reebok has solved this problem by 3D-printing laces directly onto the shoe. The result is a stretch-to-fit slip-on shoe. The Liquid Factory process stretches across the top of the shoe at key pressure points to ensure that your foot remains in place, while offering the convenience of a slip-on shoe.

Liquid grip, on the other hand, promises to improve traction. Reebok used the liquid printing technique to draw stripes across the bottom of the shoe, but only placed the stripes where needed. After all, the rubber outsole often makes up the bulk of the weight of a sneaker, so by substituting this component with liquid, Reebok not only increased grip, but also reduced weight.

A few things didn’t change, of course, most notably the proprietary Floatride cushioning midsole. This midsole, after all, was named the Best Debut from Runner’s World in 2017, and is likely what makes the Floatride such a popular shoe among athletes.

“Last year we launched the Liquid Factory concept with the Liquid Speed shoe. It was definitely a striking silhouette, as we aimed to showcase the way that the 3D-drawing process could change the way shoes are made,” said Bill McInnis, Head of Reebok Future. “What we’re excited to highlight with Liquid Floatride is how we can apply the Liquid Factory process to any of our existing products, to make great shoes even better.”

The company seems to have ambitious plans for its Liquid Factory process moving forward. McInnis added, “The next generation of Liquid Factory products will be even more innovative, as we can create the entire shoe using the Liquid Factory process – outsole, cushioning and upper fit systems – the whole shoe. We are looking forward to bringing many more products to market that incorporate the ground-breaking Liquid Factory process.”

The limited-edition Liquid Floatride Run will be available on March 21 at the Reebok website.

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