Leaks and pre-release photos have started appearing on the Futurecraft 4D, the hyped up piece of innovation footwear that adidas has been teasing for the past few months. The new midsole features a more fluid update from the Futurecraft 3D, as well as a changed upper. There is refinement of the initial 3D design - the yarn is stronger and the weave is different, but both still hold true to the original design made cult status by the Ultraboost.
Despite not having a cage, the tighter and stronger knit creates sufficient lateral support as compared with the original Ultraboost Uncaged. The grid structure no longer looks as rigid and flat as the 3D, but now features fluidity, bulbous sections and is muh more contoured to the foot. The thickness of the midsole is maintained along the heel, but narrows along the arch to create stability before widening again at the forefoot for comfort and to align with the biodynamics and gait of the runner (or what will likely be just lifestyle wearers for this one!)
The beauty of the midsole is that while it is a firmer stability shoe, unlike BOOST which shows enormous cushioning and support qualities, the way that the midsole lattice is constructed can control the stifness. The engineer inside us all is drooling.
We are still unsure on pricing, and the number of units is difficult to gauge as the lead time for production is still closely under wraps.
Thus far we have seen:
1) The white 3D version with 100 units
2) Then the 3D black version with 300 units
3) Then the 4D version with another 300 units
In the photo below the differences in the midsole can be seen most clearly. Where there is irregularity and a more curvilinear finish on the 4D (right), the 3D (left) has a strict, rigid lattice in a more yellowed midsole. The shape of the the upper also appears to be more in line with the traditional Ultraboost upper on the 3D compared to a slightly updated version on the 4D for enhanced lateral support.
The question is then about the future of this shoe and how it will fit into the adidas range. Speaking to one of our contacts in the adidas performance development team, this shoe is not seen to be an evolution of BOOST, but rather a companion to complete the family. Where BOOST is renowned for its cushioning and support functionality, the Futurecraft midsole is much tighter, more rigid and firm - the sort of midsole you'd expect for racing and stability. How they stack up from a lifestyle perspective is yet to be seen, but according to adidas - the time for BOOST is still well and truly alive, with new developments to be seen through 2018.
We will see what happens with the upcoming release, rumoured to be on January 18. Keep your eyes peeled on our newsletter for more information on the shoe, pricing and where you can buy it.