Reebok and Botter unveil vibrant 3D-printed trainers informed by seashells
Models in the latest menswear show from Dutch brand Botter at Paris Fashion Week wore 3D-printed trainers with ridged soles, created in collaboration with sportswear company Reebok.
The colourful Reebok x Botter Sneaker was produced by technology brand HP in Barcelona using a Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer.
The trainer, which comes in either solid block colours or two-toned gradients, is a crossover between Botter’s Banker shoe and Reebok’s football boot silhouette.
Its chunky, ridged sole takes cues from the shell of the murex sea snail, which is known for its elaborate whorled shape.
“The design started with a structure that mimicked seashell growth,” Botter said.
“We ended on the murex seashell as the final design inspiration. We loved that this was an object that the Greek goddess Venus used to comb her hair.”
The Reebok x Botter Sneaker was developed and manufactured using advanced computational techniques and produced in only 15 days – from the first collaborative call to the catwalk show at Paris Fashion Week.
To manufacture the shoe, a layer of grey thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is inserted into an industrial HP Jet Fusion 5200 3D printer.
The printer uses a liquid binder to help fuse the different layers of TPU together, while a powder bed provides a kind of scaffold to support the different parts of the shoe as they are being printed.
Once completed, the trainer is removed from the powder bed and the parts are cleaned and finished.
Each shoe worn in the show was hand-painted in colours to complement the nautical and coral tones featured throughout Botter’s Autumn Winter 2023 collection.
According to HP, the company’s Multi Jet Fusion printing technology makes the manufacturing process faster than traditional footwear manufacturing processes.
“HP’s solution can drastically reduce the development and production time that is typical in the footwear industry,” François Minec, the company’s global head of polymers, told Dezeen.
“The benefits are the speed and agility around product development and the freedom of the design process, which offers many possibilities around personalisation.”
Botter also presented bags made from recycled bicycle saddles and T-shirts printed with images of fish throughout the show, using colours that the brand associates with the Caribbean Sea.
“This season we wanted to propose the winter version of our colour palette,” the brand said, “embracing more earthy tones together with the acid colours of corals and fishes you find in the darkest hours, in the deepest waters.”
Reebok and Botter are the latest in a slew of companies to release 3D-printed trainers.
Previous models include the Adidas Futurecraft sneaker, which has a 3D-printed sole, and Nike’s Air Zoom Alphafly, which has a 3D-printed upper.
The images are courtesy of Botter unless otherwise stated.