adidas futurecraft brings milling techniques to custom leather sneaker production adidas futurecraft brings milling techniques to custom leather sneaker production
nov 06, 2015

adidas futurecraft brings milling techniques to custom leather sneaker production

adidas futurecraft brings milling techniques to custom leather sneaker production 
all images courtesy of adidas





as part of their concept manufacturing division, adidas unveils ‘futurecraft leather’ – a combination of a high-tech fabrication processing and traditional material that results in a completely seamless upper shoe that enables flex, support and comfort in one single piece. ‘futurecraft leather’ comes out of a collaboration between alexander taylor studio with adidas and shoe designer joachim de callatay, and uses a milling technique that is usually applied to metal, polymer and resin components in industrial manufacturing, to transform leather into a resource for advanced performance footwear.


a look at the milling process used to produce ‘futurecraft leather’
video courtesy of adidas




‘futurecraft leather’ equips adidas with the potential to tailor the material more precisely than ever before to individual needs by creating a fit to the exact geometry of one’s foot. milled to varying thickness, the seamless leather upper delivers flexibility and stability exactly where it is needed. ‘futurecraft leather’ is the second chapter in the ‘futurecraft’ series, which demonstrates adidas’ commitment to innovating throughout all areas of production. check out their first chapter, the 3D printed shoe here.


to showcase the process, adidas has produced 45 pairs of special edition futurecraft leather superstars, available at dover street market in new york, london and tokyo.

the mill tool etches directly on the leather piece
the computer process is very accurate
the finished milled leather 
the process only customizes the upper shoe
the upper part folds into the sole  
the ‘originals superstar’ slowly takes shape

the material’s thickness can differ
the finished shoe with the laces



  • Leather? really? in this day and age adidas should know better than to use animal derived products

    sworddesign says:
  • It’s a really nice and clean take on the Superstar, although one piece uppers might not necessarily mean a stronger upper. Seams can act as support structures, adding strength to the construction of the shoe, if placed properly.

    @sworddesign: Natural and organic materials are still superior in quality, durability, abrasion resistance etc. than synthetic materials. The real problem is overconsumption and decreasing quality for the sake of larger profit. Longer lasting quality products equal less waste. A quality leather shoe with proper care will last you 4 to 5 years, time by which you have been gone though 10 pairs of “flyknits”, 10 times more waste.

    IND says:
  • Point taken IND. Just one thought to add: do you know of many people wearing their kit 4 to 5 years? lol just saying

    sworddesign says:

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