During the NFL Combine this week, Nike unveiled the first athletic cleat made with parts from 3D printers.
The shoe will help football players excel in the 40-yard dash because it is "specifically designed for gripping on football turf" and the cleat "is intended to give athletes more speed and power during the first 10 yards, which is the most critical to achieving a solid time on the 40."
Nike's 3D-printed cleat plate makes the shoe weigh less, and the company plans to use the technology in its other shoes.
Shane Kohatsu, Director of Nike Footwear Innovation, said 3D printing technology "has revolutionized the way we design cleat plates – even beyond football – and gives Nike the ability to create solutions that were not possible within the constraints of traditional manufacturing processes."
Olympic gold-medalist sprinter Michael Johnson, who works with football players on maximizing their 40 times, said Nike's 3D printed plate "is contoured to allow football athletes to maintain their drive position longer and more efficiently."
“Translated to the game of football, mastering the Zero Step can mean the difference between a defensive lineman sacking the quarterback or getting blocked," Johnson said.