adidas keeps using Carbon’s 3D printing technology to find a 3D-printed midsole for running. The adidas 4DFWD is the latest iteration.
Colorway: Core Black/Core Black/Solar Red
Release Date: May 21, 2021
Those of you that read my adidas 4D Run 1.0 Review know that adidas’ 3D-printed 4D tech intrigues me. The 4D Run 1.0 was a good casual shoe, but can’t be classified as a true running shoe due to its stiff midsole setup. But adidas continues to use Carbon’s 3D printing technology to experiment and find a midsole pattern that works well for running. The adidas 4DFWD is the latest iteration on the 4D tech from adidas and shows some promise.
According to adidas, this new 4D lattice pattern is 23% more cushioned and generates 3x as much forward motion as previous 4D patterns. Is that enough to make it your new everyday runner? Maybe. Here are my first impressions:
First of all, this is definitely the softest 4D adidas has used to-date. That was immediately evident during my initial 5 mile run and while wearing the shoe casually. 4D is now rivaling mid-tier EVA foams. The stack height isn’t huge with 32.5mm in the heel and 21.2mm in the forefoot, but the cushion still gets the job done for a mid-tier run. Will it adapt well to longer distances? I’ll find out soon.
And as for the forward momentum or bounce, it’s there, but maybe not as pronounced as the awesome marketing videos want you to believe. I still have more testing to get done including speed work. That will reveal how much propulsion these actually provide.
The upper is adidas’ Primeknit+ as its best. It’s even made with 50% recycled materials. The upper is stretchy and comfortable without any hotspots. There’s also some nice 3M touches on the upper. The one negative? The laces are SUPER long. I may have to re-lace these with shorter ones.
The 4DFWD lattice extends wide on both sides of the forefoot and heel to create some natural outrigger action. The beefy internal heel counter also helps. The upper is knit, so there’s still a chance to slide off the footbed at the forefoot, but that’s largely mitigated by how far the midsole/outsole extends laterally. It’s solid support for a running shoe with a knit upper.
The outsole doesn’t say Continental but feels similar in terms of thickness and hardness. My one dry weather run didn’t feature any slippage. I still want to see how it performs in worse weather conditions but so far so good.
The adidas 4DFWD runs really large. You need to go down a half size from your typical adidas size. This includes wide footers as the shoe is built on an accommodating last. Since your adidas size is probably a 1/2 size less than most other brands, it’ll feel weird to be ordering such a small size. But trust me, if you don’t, you’ll end up with way too much shoe, a sloppy fit, and some heel slip.
As long as you get the right size, the adidas 4DFWD will work solidly as a running shoe. Can it do speedwork or long runs? That’s still TBD. Check back soon for a full performance review. At the very least, you’re getting a really good looking, conversation starting, comfortable shoe made with 50% bio-friendly materials.
How to Buy the adidas 4DFWD
- Colorway: Core Black / Core Black / Solar Red
- Release Date: May 15, 2021 11AM EDT
- Style Code: FY3963
- Retail Price: $200
Thanks to adidas for sending a pair to test. Adidas was not given any editorial control of the review. This review is based on our weartesters’ experiences using the shoes for speed workouts, trail runs, treadmill training, long runs, casual wear, and more.