Hello everyone, this is the opening post for my main project this year.

I am planning to create a sleek and futuristic shoe midsole constructed using a 3D printed midsole, and a custom upper. 3D printed shoes have exploded in industry lately, and have served to create some very unique and futuristic designs. Some shoe aesthetics could almost even be defined as surrealism, due to the unique structures and shapes that normally comprise these shoes. However, any surrealism that I implement will only be used in the midsole, as I want the upper of the shoe to be as streamlined as possible.

Additive Manufacturing Media

I am a Division 1 cross country and track runner here at CU Boulder, and thus I have developed a bit of a passion for understanding performance running shoes and the industry as a whole. Throughout COVID 19 during my freshman and sophomore year, I did substantial research on foam manufacturing and properties, as well as midsole geometry and structures allowed in shoes to make athletes feel better and perform better in action.

Kicks on Fire

In correlation with the explosion of 3D printing in manufacturing shoes, performance running shoes explored the use of stiff carbon fiber plates in shoe midsoles to increase the shoe’s rebound and stiffness properties. These plates, combined with abnormally large midsoles comprised of very responsive foam, have led to a revolution of sorts in the running shoe industry.

Voxel Matters

Now, World Athletics, the global governing body for running, has imposed substantial restrictions on the height of shoe midsoles, as well as the structures allowed to be present in midsole, limiting it to a single carbon fiber plate. This has put a severe damper on innovation in helping athletes to run faster, but has also served to level the playing field for elite runners.

There has not been much regulation concerning the use of 3D printed midsoles in running due to their lack of performance compared to “super-shoes”, and it is yet to be determined if a 3D lattice structure is allowable within a performance midsole.

I want to use this project to try my hand at creating a performance midsole using just 3D printing. There are multiple considerations in choosing the correct material and structure for the midsole. The material must be able to accurately resemble a highly responsive foam, and the lattice structure must be very nearly isotropic to cope with all possible forces applied during running. The final product also must be highly durable, and able to withstand fatigue stress over many miles. For these reasons, as well as design appeal in line with a futuristic style, I will use a gyroid internal lattice structure on the midsole. As for material, I will be looking for a high strength elastomeric compound that can withstand high compressive and shear loading over a long period of time.

I believe that this project will be substantially challenging, and I will need to access multiple support streams to get help on different aspects of this project, such as the infill pattern, shoe geometry, and upper design. I plan to contact multiple companies, including Carbon 3D Manufacturing and Raise3D, to gain industry insights into 3D printing, and how that can apply to my project.

Yanko Design

Thank you so much for reading!


Trend Hunter
Previous Post
Main Project Plans and Inspirations
Next Post
Main Project Plans – Organic Modern Furniture Piece (Full scale!)

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Jace, as a former track runner in high school, this project really caught my interest. The aspect of customizing the midsole to your running style and foot shape is very interesting. I have worked with some parts made by Carbon3D in the past and I think that your idea is definitely feasible.

  • Ari Matrajt Frid
    March 1, 2024 4:48 pm

    Hi Jace, I think this is a very cool project idea, and can’t wait to see the final product. Have you thought about which 3D printer you will use to print these? Also, which software will you use to render your shoes?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.