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ASICS Custom Shoes In a Microwave? Yep

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ASICS reveals innovative microwave technology that customizes footwear soles in a matter of seconds.

Nike recently created a personalization option for footwear that could be accomplished in 90 minutes in store.

Nike ID While You Wait? Yep in 90 Minutes

ASICS is taking this concept in a even more detailed manner. The team at Tayin Research is developing and hoping to implement the creation of color customizable outsoles in store which allows for the complete customization of the shoe from upper to outsole. It’s a unique idea and the brand states that it will also be environmentally sustainable. The process currently takes 15 seconds in factory. The hope is to create a more personalized experience in store. This is an interesting development as it places the need for 3D printing footwear in an interesting position. If the endgame of 3D printing is precise measurements and customization, if the same can be accomplished via microwave, 3D printing in footwear becomes less novel. This is a very interesting progression. One element that worries me is the traction via microwave. The process hasn’t been clearly explained. Most outsoles perform better with rubber and last longer. I utilized an all EVA midsole/outsole on my ARCH CG Running shoe and the compression of the foam happened by mile 100 for an average weight person (175lbs). It happened much faster for me which turned the shoes into really comfortable kicks, but you could feel rocks through the outsole which made running less of an option in them. As more information becomes available I’m definitely checking back on this.