We got a sneak peek last winter of the 3D-printed carbon LoreOne road shoes, teasing a new level of fit & customization. Now LORE says the adaptable carbon skeleton inside has been dialed in, all the way out to the shoe’s unique integrated aero shoe covers. Now ready to open up the LoreOne for full-custom consumer availability in a limited Founder’s Edition, they carry almost hard-to-believe performance claims and a price tag that will make your bank account cry. They’re calling them the “most powerful custom road cycling shoe in existence…”
LORE LoreOne custom 3D-printed carbon road bike shoes
There is no denying that these shoes are going to deliver some over-the-top superlatives – think “better power transfer”, “improved efficiency”, “potential gains”, “energy savings” & “sport-changing” for a few. In fact, those all just quote from top triathlete Timothy O’Donnell, who’s been testing the shoes in development with Lore.
Road & track pro, record-holder, and coach & bike fitter Colby Pearce ratchet’s the praise up to even higher extremes. “The Lore project is three massive steps forward from any other shoe on the market… The technology used in the design and manufacturing is light years ahead of everything else…. The Lore shoe will change the way you interact with your bike, forever.”
But even without quantitative data to back those wild claims, the LoreOne shoe is undeniably revolutionary in concept, and promises a new approach to getting the ultimate fit and optimized power transfer from rider’s foot into the pedals.
But how? Tech details
The solution is simple in theory – scan a foot, then 3D-print a stiff carbon exoskeleton to perfectly fit over top, with a cleat on the bottom to clip into your pedals.
The trick is of course is combining a suitably light, stiff & durable material that can be 3D-printed, refining a manufacturing process to make that 3D-printing feasible, and in developing a generative design program to optimize the placement of the material. Easy-peasy.
OK, so probably a pretty hard egg to crack. And why it took Lore at least three more months to bring the LoreOne to market than what they hoped for last winter.
In fact, Lore seems to have made it an easy process, at least from the consumer side. Using patent-pending Morphic 3D Scan+Print tech, the buyer scans their own feet with an iPhone app. That becomes the virtual model on which Lore robotically 3D-prints the custom LoreOne shoes in a US manufacturing facility in southern California powered by 100% renewable energy.
Inside the 3D-printed LoreOne shoes
The result is a rigid Carbon Air Frame shoe with interlocking dorsal (top side of the foot) & plantar (lower arch side of the foot) shells that claim to better transfer biomechanical inputs from the rider to the pedals, especially in high power sprint efforts that engage more of the pedal stroke. Lore also says that since they support the foot from all around, the shoes don’t need to be exceptionally tight (not over-compressing the foot as is typical) to transfer your efforts into the pedals without your feet squirming or heel lift.
Underneath, cleat hole position is optimized based on the anatomy of the bones in your feet (determined by the 3D scan), and offered in either Look/Shimano 3-bolt or Speedplay 4-bolt. Lore even marks the position of your 1st & 5th metatarsal bones on your shoe’s sole to ease cleat alignment & adjustment.
Inside the rigid exoskeleton frame, a padded Plush Zone liner made of ventilated foam supports the foot for comfort.
The shoes also include custom textured polyurethane & polyester Ground Control footbeds inside that act as insoles, even claiming to “stimulate the soles of the feet… to produce better muscular and nervous system activation.”
On top of all that, interchangeable Aero Covers provide weatherproofing and smooth airflow over the LoreOne shoes. Three cover options are available at launch, the special Founder’s Edition aero knot, another white aero textile cover, and a more-protective black foul weather cover.
Lore makes no mention of retention specifically, other than to suggest that the upper & lower sections (dorsal & plantar) of the outer shell split open to put the shoe on, presumably clamping back into place with a series of buckles visible in their images. There does also appear to be a velcro strap across the top of the shoe for final fit adjustment.
No word however on claimed weight, sole:pedal stack height, or a stiffness relative to any other standard or custom road shoe on the market.
LORE LoreOne Founder’s Edition road shoes – Pricing & availability
Did you notice the lack of mention of affordability, so far?
Lore’s limited edition LoreOne Founder’s Edition road shoes are available now for pre-order for $1900. Yep.
The first 277 orders are set to go into manufacturing with promises of consumer delivery beginning in “Fall 2021” for first-come, first-served delivery. The Founder’s Edition includes not just the single pair of LoreOne shoes, but also three pairs of interchangeable shoe covers, a “commemorative pennant”, shoe travel bag & cycling cap. One reassurance, Lore is so sure that riders who commit that much money will be happy with the LoreOne’s ride, they offer a 30-day money back guarantee on the custom shoes.
Want to know more of the LoreOne development story? Colby Pearce’s Cycling in Alignment podcast broke it down last week with Lore CEO Stephan Drake and Lore lead engineer Rob Horacek for a deeper dive. (Interestingly, it also seems there’s an exclusive discount code to buy the shoes if you hit that link.)