Reebok and Botter unveil vibrant 3D printed sneakers inspired by seashells

Models at Dutch brand Botter’s latest menswear show at Paris Fashion Week wore 3D-printed trainers with ridged soles, developed in collaboration with sportswear company Reebok.

The colorful Reebok x Botter sneaker was produced by the technology brand HP in Barcelona using a Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer.

A collection of Reebok x Botter sneakers
Reebok and Botter have developed a 3D printed sneaker. Image and video (above) courtesy of Reebok

Available in either solid color blocking or two-tone gradients, the sneaker is a cross between Botter’s banker shoe and Reebok’s football boot silhouette.

Its chunky, ridged sole is inspired by the shell of the murex sea slug, known for its intricate whorl shape.

Models at a fashion show by Botter
The shoes were worn by Botter models at Paris Fashion Week

“The design began with a structure that mimicked the growth of seashells,” Botter said.

“We ended up with the Murex shell as the final design inspiration. We loved that this was an object that the Greek goddess Venus used to comb her hair.”

A 3D printed trainer from Botter
The shoes were made with HP’s Multi Jet Fusion printer. Image courtesy of Reebok

Designed and manufactured using advanced computer techniques, the Reebok x Botter sneaker was produced in just 15 days – from the first phone call together to the catwalk show at Paris Fashion Week.

To create the shoe, a layer of gray thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is placed in an industrial HP Jet Fusion 5200 3D printer.

Reebok sneakers hang on a rail
The shoe is made of thermoplastic polyurethane. Image courtesy of Reebok

The printer uses a liquid binder to fuse the different TPU layers together, while a bed of powder provides a kind of scaffolding to support the different parts of the shoe during printing.

Upon completion, the trainer is removed from the powder bed and the parts are cleaned and finished.

A black Reebok x Botter sneaker
Each shoe was hand painted after printing

Each shoe worn on the show has been hand-painted in colors to complement the nautical and coral tones found in Botter’s Fall Winter 2023 collection.

According to HP, the company’s Multi Jet Fusion printing technology makes the manufacturing process faster than traditional shoe manufacturing processes.

A model in a Reebok x Botter sneaker
Its shape was shaped by shells

“HP’s solution can drastically reduce the development and production time typical of the footwear industry,” François Minec, the company’s Global Head of Polymers, told Dezeen.

“The advantages are the speed and agility in product development and the freedom of the design process, which offers many possibilities around personalization.”

Botter also presented bags made from recycled bicycle saddles and t-shirts printed with images of fish throughout the show, using colors the brand associates with the Caribbean Sea.

“This season we wanted to propose the winter version of our color palette,” said the brand, “which includes earthier tones along with the acidic hues of coral and fish found in the darkest hours, in the deepest waters.”

A Botter model on a catwalk
Other garments at the show were inspired by the Caribbean Sea

Reebok and Botter are the latest in a line of companies releasing 3D printed sneakers.

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.

Images are courtesy of Botter unless otherwise noted.

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