3D Printed Shoes: Your Ultimate Guide in 2024

Since 3D printing technology was officially commercially launched in the 1980s, it has been widely used in various fields such as product design, medical devices, automotive parts, etc. However, you may not expect that 40 years later, 3D-printed shoes have completely revolutionized the footwear industry and have become a global trend.

Are you looking for creative things to make on your 3D printer or finding the right pair of shoes for yourself? In this article, we will explore the world of 3D-printed shoes, covering their benefits, popular designs, and how to download 3D-printed shoes STL files for self-printing. Let’s dive in!


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Everthing You Want to Know About 3D Printed Shoes


What Are 3D Printed Shoes?

3D-printed shoes are footwear products manufactured using 3D printing technology.  The production process usually starts with designers using 3D modeling software to create 3D models of the shoes, which are then converted to printable STL files and sent to a 3D printer.

After that, the 3D printer will follow the preset parameters and materials (e.g. TPU, nylon, resin, etc.) to build the shoe layer by layer. Compared to traditional shoemaking, this innovative manufacturing method makes 3D-printed shoes highly customizable, lightweight, environmentally friendly, and easy to produce.

The concept of 3D-printed shoes can be traced back to the early 21st century, with designer Marloes ten Bhömer presenting the first notable wearable 3D-printed shoes in 2007. Since then, many designers, engineers, and companies have been looking into the possibilities of 3D print shoes and launched a series of innovative designs and applications. However, this kind of shoe did not become popular in the market because 3D printing technology was still immature at the time and struggled to meet large-scale production demands.

It was not until 2014 that Adidas launched its first commercially 3D printed shoe, Adidas Futurecraft 3D, that it truly sparked a craze in this field. Subsequently, many major sneaker brands started 3D printing shoes and applied 3D printing technology to all kinds of things like uppers, soles, insoles, and so on.

3D Printed Shoes by Marloes ten Bhömer


Why Have 3D Printed Shoes Become a Trend?

A report from Research and Markets says the global 3D-printed footwear market will be worth $1.97 billion by 2027. As 3D printing technology advances, the demand for 3D-printed custom shoes is expected to increase significantly in the future.

The reason why 3D-printed shoes become a trend is partly driven by the brand effect. Some big-name brands, such as Adidas and Nike, have utilized their marketing power and brand recognition by releasing 3D print shoe series, making this new type of footwear product quickly gain attention and popularity. We’re now seeing more and more major brands entering this market, including:

  • Nike
  • Adidas
  • PUMA
  • Skechers
  • New Balance
  • Timberland
  • Peak Sport Shop
  • Under Armour
  • Feetz
  • ECCO

Meanwhile, celebrities such as Justin Bieber, 2Chainz, and Kanye West have been spotted wearing 3D-printed running shoes, which has helped fuel the trend in a big way.

The advantages of 3D printing technology itself are also key factors promoting the popularity of 3D-printed shoes. Those shoes can be customized to perfectly fit an individual’s foot shape and needs, providing an unparalleled comfort-wearing experience.

Moreover, 3D printing technology breaks through the limitations of traditional manufacturing, providing greater freedom in footwear design. Designers can give full play to their imagination to create more complex, avant-garde, eco-friendly designs. This has greatly attracted the attention of many fashionistas and trendsetters and also met the growing demand for environmentally friendly products today.


4 Pair of Available 3D Printed Shoes Introduced

Fueled by customization and innovation, the market demand for wearable 3D-printed shoes can be expected to keep getting bigger in the future. Next, let’s take a look at some of the best 3D-printed shoes, covering major brands like Adidas, Nike, Zellerfeld, and more.


1. Adidas 4D Spikeless Golf Shoes

Adidas 4D Spikeless Golf Shoes

Adidas is one of the first sports brands in the world to apply 3D printing technology to footwear manufacturing, taking the lead in the 3D-printed shoe market. In 2023, Adidas officially introduced the groundbreaking MC87 4D, an Adidas 4D spikeless golf shoe.

Inspired by the 1987 Tiverton model, the shoe combines a classic upper from Adidas’ 1980s archives with futuristic 4D midsole cushioning for a new wearing experience for golfers. Featuring a premium water-resistant leather upper with wingtip styling, brogue stitching, and crocodile texture, this Adidas 3D-printed shoe offers golfers a classic look with added comfort. Plus, its removable kiltie allows you to freely match your look according to your preference to express your unique personality.

Additionally, the core feature of the MC87 4D is the 4D midsole, marking the first time Adidas has utilized it in a golf shoe. This innovative 3D printing process creates a complex and precise lattice structure that provides the wearer with excellent stability, cushioning, and forward propulsion. To enhance the wearing comfort further, MC87 4D is equipped with a rubber spikeless outsole with lugs, providing golfers excellent traction and grip for an unrestricted swing.

Adidas has also collaborated with technology companies and research institutions, based on years of athlete data, to fine-tune the single-component design of the Adidas 4D midsole. This enables the shoes to provide precise cushioning and support that perfectly fit the wearer’s foot for optimal comfort and athletic performance. If you are interested in Adidas 3D-printed shoes, you can visit its official website where they are available for purchase starting at $250.


2. Nike ISPA Universal

Nike ISPA Universal

Nike continues to push the boundaries in 3D-printed shoes, and the Nike ISPA Universal is a great example of this innovation. Debuting in early 2023, these Nike 3D-printed shoes embody the design philosophy of Nike ISPA – improvise, scavenge, protect, and adapt. The aim is to provide wearers with a comfortable, durable, and adaptable wearing experience for various scenarios.

Inspired by Air Max 270, Zoom Type, and Solarsoft HTM, Nike ISPA Universal uses computer-driven data to create an abstract modular design that resembles the look of ancient fossils. Meanwhile, its modular design features multiple removable and replaceable parts, which allows wearers to customize and upgrade the shoes according to their preferences and needs, thereby extending the shoes’ lifespan.

Nike ISPA also focuses on reducing environmental impact. The uppers and soles are made of recyclable Bio-EVA foam, effectively reducing production waste. Additionally, each shoe comes with two sets of cork insoles that can absorb moisture and increase comfort. When the first set of insoles wears out, only the insoles need to be replaced, without replacing the entire shoe. This greatly meets the demand for eco-friendly and sustainable products today.

Additionally, Nike ISPA Universal is also fashionable, offering 7 color options including Nature, Black, Mink Brown, Earth Brown, All Midnight Navy, Smoke Grey, and Buttery Yellow. These 3D-printed shoes, combining innovative design and sustainable concepts, currently starts at $80.


3. 3D Printed Herringbone Slippers

3D Printed Herringbone Slippers

In addition to some major sports brands selling 3D-printed shoes, online sellers on forums and e-commerce platforms also offer homemade products, including these eye-catching 3D-printed herringbone slippers. Although the manufacturing process is not as fine as that of well-known brands, they come at a more affordable price point.

The shoes combine advanced 3D printing technology with traditional flip-flop designs to create an innovative and highly custom product. Crafted from high-resilience polymer resins, these flip-flops provide exceptional comfort with features like lightweight construction, strong support, and stable grip. Compared to traditional styles, these 3D-printed slippers boast higher abrasion resistance and durability, ensuring better comfort.

If you also want to keep up with the trend of 3D-printed shoes, these slippers offer a stylish and comfortable choice at a reasonable price. Suitable for a wide range of shoe sizes from 35 to 45 for all ages.


4. Zellerfeld Magma

Zellerfeld Magma

You may not be familiar with Zellerfeld, but if you are interested in 3D-printed shoes, this brand is definitely worth your attention. Founded in 2020, Zellerfeld focuses on using 3D printing technology to create sustainable and customizable shoes. Their 3D-printed shoes have been widely praised in the fashion and tech worlds for their innovative design, sustainability commitment, and comfort, even being named one of the best inventions of 2023 by Time magazine.

Zellerfeld Magma fully embraces the brand’s philosophy of “Printed, not made”. The uppers are made using advanced 3D printing technology, allowing for customization based on smartphone scans of the buyer’s feet for a perfect fit. Users can choose the upper color, sole hardness, and other parameters to create an exclusive sneaker. Moreover, these wearable 3D-printed shoes feature a fused 3D lattice construction, which is seamless and glue-free to ensure optimal comfort. Its lightweight and breathable material keeps wearers comfortable and cool even in hot weather.

Like many big brands, Zellerfeld also prioritizes sustainability. Zellerfeld Magma is made of 100% recycled TPU, which avoids waste issues that can occur with mixed materials. Moreover, the entire production process does not require the involvement of a factory. This enables Zellerfeld to recycle worn-out shoes and create new designs from the recovered materials, setting it apart from other 3D print shoe brands. Zellerfeld Magma is currently priced at $250 and can be purchased on the official Zellerfeld website.


FAQs About 3D Printed Shoes

What Materials Are Used in 3D Printed Shoes?

Polymers such as TPU, PET, EVA, and PA are the most commonly used materials in 3D-printed shoes. They are often used to make soles, insoles, and uppers due to their abrasion resistance, lightweight, and flexibility. Moreover, the cost of these materials is relatively low compared to other materials, making them an ideal choice for most designers.

However, some polymers like ABS, PC, and PLC may not be flexible enough to produce soft and curved parts. In such cases, elastic materials such as TPE and silicone come out as a solution. These materials are soft and have good elasticity, very suitable for parts that require high flexibility and comfort, such as shoe soles and insoles. However, they may be less resistant to wear and tear.

Additionally, there are some commonly used 3D-print shoe materials worth considering:

  • Carbon fibers have high strength, wear resistance, and lightness, often applied in high-performance shoe support structures like sole plates and heel supports. However, they are more expensive and require complex processing.
  • Resins enable high precision and smooth surfaces, ideal for intricately detailed parts and high-precision custom shoe molds.
  • Metals can provide additional structural support and corrosion resistance and are suitable for key support components in high-performance athletic footwear.


Are There Any 3D Printed Shoe STL Files?

Yes. Some online websites like 3DShoes and Etsy provide many 3D-printed shoe STL files for purchase. Meanwhile, you can also find some free STL files for 3D printing on websites like Printable. Simply search keywords like 3D-printed running shoes, 3D-printed climbing shoes, or 3D-printed high heel shoes, then you can find various sources online without any hassle.



The rise of 3D-printed shoes has completely changed the traditional footwear industry. It’s ushered in a new era of customization, design innovation, and sustainable development.

As 3D technology spreads and printing costs fall, wearable 3D-printed shoes will gradually become a regular part of our daily lives in the future. If you’re interested in the 3D-printed shoe industry and want to learn more, this ultimate guide on 3D-printed shoes is a great choice for you to take the first step.

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