Nike, Adidas, and New Balance are creating ultra-light shoes with 3D Printing targeted at elite athletes. These shoes can be made with snowflake-like lattices to cut down on material to reduce weight as well as be customized directly to that athlete's foot size and shape.
This technology is just as easily applied to athletes of a different species, race horses. Race teams are now investing in 3D printed, titanium horse shoes, which cost about $600 for a set of four. Though more expensive than traditional aluminum horse shoes, they weigh less than half as much and fit the hoof exactly. This is a small investment to propel horses to record track times, especially when the investment in the horse is hundreds to thousands of times the cost of these shoes.
Traditionally, titanium is cut by CNC from a block. Due to the high material cost of titanium, this was not a cost-effective option. Additionally, it is much easier to make a shoe that matches the horse's foot directly from a 3D scan when using additive manufacturing.