BOSTON — New Balance, long known for its commitment to domestic production, is introducing a new kind of Made in the USA. The Brighton, Mass.-based athletic company has created what it claims is the world’s first commercially available running shoe with a 3-D-printed midsole. The shoe, including midsole, is manufactured in Lawrence, Mass.
The limited-edition shoe will sell for $400 a pair at New Balance’s Boston flagship on Boylston Street starting Friday, timed to Boston Marathon tourism and the 44th anniversary of Jim Davis’ purchase of New Balance. Katherine Petrecca, the company’s general manager of studio innovation, said 3-D printing reduces concept-to-product time significantly and opens up customization possibilities. The company is capable of creating an entirely 3-D-printed shoe, but said prototypes haven’t met performance standards.
“The main benefit is the ability to deliver designs and shapes that can’t be made with any other process,” Petrecca noted. She said the company is exploring all kinds of 3-D printing, including apparel, but said performance customization and shoes were the brand’s primary focus.
After the Boston launch, New Balance plans to offer the shoe in limited quantities at the firm’s global flagships.