There’s no denying that paying $1900 for a pair of custom 3D-printed LORE LoreOne carbon road shoes is wildly extravagant, but… hear me out. What if their claims of unparalleled fit, power output boost thanks to perfectly efficient power transfer, and even decrease lactate build-up are true? Then, a competitive cyclist would have to at least consider them, right? Well, Lore are ramping up robotic printing now, with some slots still available for their early production Founder’s Edition, and we’ve got some more details…
LoreOne custom 3D-printed carbon road bike shoes
Lore first released a tease of their skeletal 3D-printed carbon road shoes last winter, before sharing more detail in the LoreOne shoes’ summer launch. They are almost certainly the most expensive cycling shoes you’ve heard of, from a company that you probably haven’t ever heard of. In essence, Lore is a technology company who are into manufacturing performance and claim to deliver a new benchmark in road shoe fit AND stiffness thanks to a 3D-printed clamshell design that is literally custom-shaped exactly to match your two individual feet.
The heart of the performance gains comes down to those two targets – fit & stiffness.
Tech details – Perfect fit & unmatched stiffness
Fit is solved by Lore Cycling’s parent company Drake Lab’s own Morphic Scan+Print technology. Using an iPhone (X or newer), the Morphic App lets buyers (or rather a cooperative friend) scan their feet in three dimensions at home to such an accurate level that Lore can model a shoe structure that perfectly fits your foot, a process that takes 20-30mins.
When building the shoes over your virtual feet, Lore factors in your sock, the supportive shoe liner, and the shoes’ unique ‘sole-stimulating’ lattice footbed insole to deliver perfectly even pressure distribution over both the top & bottom of your foot, with no hot spots.
Getting in and out of a shoe that’s exactly fit to your foot isn’t easy, so the LoreOne shoes split their CarbonAirFrame (CAF) exoskeleton in two. Slide your foot into the lower body, fit the upper piece over top, and clamp the two together.
It isn’t as light as a synthetic fabric upper, but the power transfer efficiency is said to blow anything else away.
Stiffness is achieved through the use of long continuous carbon fiber reinforcement in the 3D printing manufacturing process. In contrast to the standard chopped-up strands of carbon fibers that reinforce most injection-molded ‘carbon-reinforced construction like you see in 2nd-tier cycling shoes, Lore uses a technology that appears to feed continuous carbon fibers off a spool into the binder material as it comes out of the automated 3D-printing robot.
This means that the exoskeleton of the shoe is reinforced with unbroken, continuous strands of carbon fiber that are woven around the replicated shape of your foot. The result is said to deliver the “ultimate blend of high-performance composite stiffness AND light weight – while still allowing for total customization“.
The end product isn’t trying to be the lightest road bike shoes in the world, instead prioritizing fit and performance. A single LoreOne shoe of a standard size 43 weighs between 270-300g depending on foot shape. That puts them on par with some of the heavier carbon-soled road shoes on the market, but probably at least 50% heavier than the lightest shoes out there.
So how will they make you faster?
Let’s let Lore engineers try to explain a bit more again…
“The patent-pending CAF design features structurally interlocked dorsal and plantar shells that efficiently capture lateral and rotational forces produced by the foot through normal biomechanical movement. The structural relationship between these two parts provides the most direct energy transfer possible and is a first for any type of footwear, and is only enabled by true customization. Traditional shoes with soft uppers fail to effectively capture dorsal inputs; energy is bled off before it can be translated to the pedal. Superior power transfer has been obvious to testers and early pro users. We are planning an independent third-party laboratory study to validate performance claims.“
LoreOne custom road shoes – Pricing & availability
A pair of LoreOne custom 3D-printed carbon road shoes will cost you a cool $1900 if you buy in for the limited Founder’s Edition before the end of this year – available with either 3-bolt Look/Shimano of 4-bolt Speedplay compatibility. A max of 277 pairs are being made in this limited edition run, going into production starting next week in Silicon Valley, CA on a first-ordered, first-delivered time schedule.
Not really a huge surprise that 277 people haven’t already put down that much cash for a new pair of shoes, but it does mean that you can likely still get in on the ultimate custom shoe process if you happen to have two grand to burn (or maybe 0.033 Bitcoin?)
At least for that price you also get three sets of integral shoe covers for aero speed or weather protection, plus a shoe case, a weird baseball-style pennant to hang on the wall, and apparently a gift pack with off-the-bike apparel too.
If it helps you make that purchasing decision, Lore offers a full 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee once your custom shoes arrive, and a 1-year warranty against manufacturing defects.
Plus, we promise that everybody rolling up to your group road rides next spring won’t be wearing the same LoreOne shoes as you.