Can you believe these Nike A.I.R 3D-printed sneakers were made using AI?


Hailed as the “new alchemy of shoes” by John Hoke, NIKE’s Chief Innovation Officer, this series of 3D-printed sneakers bring imagination to life in a game-changing way.

NIKE’s A.I.R sneakers – short for Athlete Imagined Revolution – push the boundaries of generative AI and 3D printing like never before. To create the series of 13 sneaker designs the team started by using AI prompts as part of their mood boards, creating a series of generated inspirational images which allowed them to visualise the 3D-printed sneaker concepts. From a series of one hundred-plus mood boards they were able to define 2D models of their chosen designs. From there they used mathematical algorithms and 3D design programs to feed these 2D images through their 3D printers to create prototypes in just a few hours.

Working with 13 athletes throughout the design process – their discipline spanning across track, global football, basketball and tennis – helped to shape NIKE’s understanding and concept definitions to best meet their user’s needs. The chosen athletes were asked a number of questions from aesthetic preferences to functional requirements, the answers from which were then entered through detailed AI prompts, generating hundreds of visuals for each athlete. Through following feedback and design development 13 final designswere chosen and run through NIKE’s Air MI machines at their Concept Creation Center, with the final prototypes being launched at their exhibition and runway show in Paris, presented by Serena Williams.

This series of sneakers – part AI-generated, part human created – put NIKE in a future-forward design mindset for it’s A.I.R series. “It’s the intimacy of not just asking the athlete to wear what we make”, says John Hoke, “It’s about working with us, co-creating, co-conspiring so that these products become as unique to them (the athletes) as their fingerprint”.

With their A.I.R sneakers, NIKE show us how vision, co-creation, and technology can come together to create products pulled from our wildest imagination. NIKE promise that soon their futuristic designs will transpire into everyday wear for everyone, and personally we can’t wait to try them out.