As the global sneaker game has exploded over the past few years, so too has the rate of technological innovation within it. So much so that these days, barely a week seems to pass before we're hearing about the latest – biggest! lightest! shiniest! – iteration to drop.

Not all technological innovations are born equal, of course, and when those 'Best Sneakers of the 2020s' lists finally come around, it's highly likely only a handful of today's hottest tech developments will have stood the test of time. One current technological trend that is almost certain to still be around, however, and all set to have a massive impact on the footwear game as a whole in the coming decade, is 3D printing.

While many brands have used 3D printing as a part of their manufacturing process for a while – mainly in the development of prototypes – we're now starting to see 3D printed elements increasingly appearing in the final products themselves. This is a shift that is likely to continue, and one that opens up enormous possibilities from a design perspective – not least the potential for totally personalised footwear at some point in the very near future.

adidas are a brand at the very forefront of 3D printing innovation. First dropping a shoe with a 3D printed midsole as a concept release from Futurecraft – their incubator for showcasing experimental and conceptual innovation – back in 2017, they have since been gradually ramping up their offering under the banner of adidas 4D. 

While last season saw adidas taking 4D to the next level with a slew of releases, the brand is now introducing the 4D Run to kick off 2020 in a major way. Complex caught up with Marco Kormann, the brand's Director of Future Technology Innovation, to find out more on the story behind their groundbreaking 4D tech and their plans for it in future.

The latest 4D drops can be found across adidas.com, adidas_LDN Oxford St and select retailers now.