These Sols Adaptiv high-tops are 3D printed, robotic and adapt to your feet

The future of footwear?
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New York Fashion Week has kicked off so expect some zany wearable tech collaborations and announcements, starting with the mad Sols Adaptiv - part robot, part shoe.

The futuristic boots are made from a shell, 3D printed by specialists Shapeways, using a material called Elasto Plastic which is similar to nylon. The bonkers design is the work of Sols' collaborator on the project, Continuum Fashion.

But it doesn't stop there, a 3D printed inner boot can be completely customised to the wearer based on a 3D scan of the feet and ankles. And custom insoles inside, also 3D printed, will have air bags and air pockets to precisely alter the fit.


The shoe uses a system of gyroscopes and pressure sensors to move air pressure or fluids to support the shifts and motions of your body as you walk, run or workout. Adaptiv is still a prototype at this stage so Sols, which has specialised in orthotics (foot support) since 2013, obviously hasn't quite worked out all the finer details yet.

But the overall aim is 'Instant Adaptability' making footwear that's adaptable and responsible using this system of soft robotics.

Read more: Well worn - the best smart clothing

Don't quite like the colour? Sols is even promising an ambitious system of colour sensing cameras on the boots themselves to detect what hue the rest of your outfit is and adjust RGB LEDs on the footwear to match.

Sols is pitching the footwear both at athletes looking to avoid injuries and fashion types looking for eye-catching, highly customisable accessories so it makes sense that Adaptiv was launched at FAST AW15, an exhibition at New York Fashion Week dedicated to fashion, technology and sports.

Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, was also there to show off the gorgeous Opening Ceremony Mica bracelet some more. "It's not about bringing technology into the [fashion] space," he said. "Go back 10 years ago, a phone was a phone. What people did was they brought intelligence, they brought capabilities, they brought the smartness."

There's no details on a price for the Adaptiv or release date to the public yet. Keep checking Wareable for more fashion tech news as Fashion Week comes to London on 20 February.

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Sophie was Wareable's associate editor. She joined the team from Stuff magazine where she was an in-house reviewer. For three and a half years, she tested every smartphone, tablet, and robot vacuum that mattered. 

A fan of thoughtful design, innovative apps, and that Spike Jonze film, she is currently wondering how many fitness tracker reviews it will take to get her fit. Current bet: 19.

Sophie has also written for a host of sites, including Metro, the Evening Standard, the Times, the Telegraph, Little White Lies, the Press Association and the Debrief.

She now works for Wired.

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