Reebok is expanding the use of its mold-breaking Liquid Factory technology.
The fitness footwear giant will release its first application of the Liquid Factory technique Thursday on a popular existing Reebok model, the Floatride Run.
The modified Liquid Floatride Run incorporates the same proprietary Floatride cushioning midsole for long-distance running, but is 20 percent lighter than the original.
Reebok introduced Liquid Factory technology in 2016 with the Liquid Speed, an energy return focused running shoe. The manufacturing technique uses an all new digital process with software, robotics and materials, including a proprietary liquid material created for Reebok by German chemical company BASF.
The concept is based on 3-D drawing, where the liquid material is used to draw shoe componentry “cleanly, precisely and in three-dimensional layers.” This layering technique is used to create footwear without the use of traditional molds, allowing Reebok to design and manufacture a high performance athletic shoe faster and more efficiently than ever.
The new Liquid Floatride Run, which will retail for $180, also introduces two component features, liquid lace and liquid grip.
Liquid lace replaces conventional laces—a thin “liquid web” is drawn by the Liquid Factory process that stretches across the top of the shoe in place of laces. The liquid lace turns the shoe into an easy-on, easy-off slip-on while still holding the foot in place.
Liquid grip replaces the shoe’s rubber outsoles—the heaviest component of a shoe—with a liquid version drawn in stripes across the bottom, significantly reducing the shoe’s weight.
As a bonus, Reebok noted that wear testers said the liquid grip provides increased traction versus a typical shoe. Bill McInnis, head of Reebok Future, said the company is exploring the breadth and future potential of the technique.
“The next generation of Liquid Factory products will be even more innovative, as we can create the entire shoe using the Liquid Factory process—outsole, cushioning and upper fit systems—the whole shoe,” McInnis explained. “We are looking forward to bringing many more products to market that incorporate the ground-breaking Liquid Factory process.”