We are on the verge of a full-blown technological revolution of shoes, sneakerheads, and we’re not talking those abominable toed running shoes that turn your feet into bad Nightcrawler cosplay from the ankles down. Footwear companies are aggressively pursuing new materials, manufacturing techniques, and designs. Now, the fruits of those theories are a step closer to shelves, with New Balance announcing a limited run of 3D-printed shoes in April 2016.
Each midsole begins life as a powder, and is created through a process called selective laser sintering, in which cross-sections build up slice by slice. The technique allows for improved elasticity and strength, the sneaker company says, and will target performance running. New Balance isn’t the only sneaker company with skin in the 3D game, either, with Nike execs hinting at a future where fresh kicks pop out of a printer in your own home.
A little closer down the line, New Balance tells Popular Science, you’ll be able to customize the shape of your shoe to best fit whatever weird hobbit feet you have; though you Cinderellas holding out for the perfect printed shoe will likely have to wait at least until 2017.