LoreOne carbon fiber cycling shoe is 3D printed to fit its wearer
The better a pro cycling shoe fits, the more efficiently its wearer's leg motion can be converted into wheel motion. That's where the carbon fiber LoreOne shoe comes in, as it's custom 3D printed to provide an exact fit for each buyer.
The LoreOne was created by US startup Lore, working in partnership with Olympic track cyclist and elite cycling coach Colby Pearce. Aimed at serious road riders, it's a clipless shoe, meaning that it mechanically couples with a mechanism on the pedal via a cleat on its underside.
Buyers start by using Lore's Morphic iPhone app to perform a scan of their feet at home. That data is then sent to the company, where it's used to guide the printing of that individual client's shoes. No molds are used in the robotic continuous carbon fiber 3D printing process. Lore CEO Stephan Drake tells us, "This is the first and only consumer product in the world made this way."
The resulting main body of the shoe, known as the Custom Carbon AirFrame (CAF), consists of dorsal and plantar (upper and lower) sections that get interlocked around the user's foot each time the shoe is put on. Added to the CAF is a custom-printed padded insole made of polyurethane and recycled polyester, along with a hook-and-loop retention strap.
The finished product gets shipped to the client, who bolts on their choice of Shimano, Look or Speedplay cleats. In order to guide the placement and subsequent adjustment of those cleats, the positions of the wearer's first and fifth metatarsal bones are already marked on the underside of each CAF.
According to Lore, because the exact fit and the stiff carbon fiber keep the user's foot from moving around inside the shoe when pedalling, much more of their energy gets transferred into the bicycle's drivetrain. The lattice-like structure of the CAF also makes it very breathable, although the shoes do come with three types of covers for use in cold or wet conditions. Weight-wise, Drake says that a single US size-10 shoe tips the scales at about 270 grams (0.6 lb).
Should you be interested in getting yourself a set of LoreOnes, Lore is now accepting preorders for an initial "Founder's Kit" edition that will be limited to 277 pairs, each priced at US$1,900. General availability and larger-scale production will commence at the beginning of next year.