According to the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), Americans buy more shoes than any other country in the world.In 2013, the average American bought 7.5 pairs of shoes.So it's no surprise that the size of the global footwear industry is estimated at $370 billion.
Let’s look at some companies out there using 3D printing for footwear and podiatry applications.
3D Printing Shoes for Runners
Runners, in particular, may spend a lot of money on a pair of custom-made shoes, which they believe can help them cut down on a few minutes of exercise.That’s what Adidas is hoping anyways, as they seem to be targeting runners with their Futurecraft 4D offering.
3D Printed Sandals and Insoles
Founded in 2014, Canadian startup Wiivv has taken in $7.5 million in funding so far to develop their custom sandal and insole offering.
French startup Scientifeet has developed an entire system around creating soles for your shoes using their own proprietary measuring device, PodoClic, and is said to deliver your custom soles within 5 days.
Fast forward to today and we see niche areas – like footwear and podiatry – where 3D printing is making good headway.Then again, when you have someone who buys shoes and never wears them, maybe shoe companies should stick to ways to spray and pray for sheep and offer custom-made 3d-printed shoes for those willing to pay for quality.