Art/Design, Fashion, New Products

Heron Preston x Zellerfeld HERON01 3D printed sneaker arrives

The first fully 3D printed sneaker is here.

words by: Matt Peng
Oct 5, 2021

Multi-talented creative Heron Preston is giving the world its first fully 3D printed sneaker. In collaboration with up-and-coming Brooklyn-based technology company Zellerfeld, the duo have crafted the HERON01.


Why the HERON01 is so important

The arrival of the HERON01 is of utmost importance because of the way it disrupts the sneaker and footwear industry — no longer do you need large factories and supply chains or a ton of materials. In addition to being fully recyclable, the sneakers can be customized to any foot: while they arrive in standard sizing, custom orders can be fulfilled thanks to an iPhone foot scan at no additional cost and time — absolutely unprecedented.


And instead of taking months to develop from concept to wear samples, the HERON01 took mere hours. Speeding up the design cycle is beneficial for both designer and consumer as it helps both stay ahead of the competition as trendsetters instead of trend followers. It’s also possible to create new versions on the fly while adding and subtracting from the current one, solving sustainability issues.



Thanks to 3D printing, the footwear is able to mimic the scales and textures on the Heron bird’s feet that traditional materials just can’t. The impression of a bird claw is also incorporated into the sole elements to add additional texture and design inspiration. A chunky sole follows the love affair for thick soles that has persisted for years.


A low ankle entry point and slightly higher tongue section gives off mule vibes — perfect for the crib or a trip outside. Like we previously mentioned, the sneaker is fully recyclable since there’s no glue, stitching or seams. Cushioning, fit and breathability were taken into serious consideration with the varying levels of internal structures.



Because of COVID travel restrictions, Preson and Zellerfeld couldn’t meet in person and had to design the sneakers over WhatsApp conversations, making this final product even more impressive. Here’s what both parties has to say about this groundbreaking collaboration.


Heron Preston:

“The HERON01 is just the beginning — with additive manufacturing, the potential is unlimited. I was able to design and print functional and evolving prototypes in hours — with traditional manufacturing, this would have taken months. I can’t wait to print more shoes and updates.”


Zellerfeld CEO, Cornelius Schmitt:

“Heron is a truly inspirational designer, and 3D printing will allow visionaries like him to reshape footwear for the better.”


How to buy

The HERON01 initially launches today via StockX’s Campaign for a Cause. To enter the raffle, participants make a $10 donation. Proceeds from this benefit will go to Global March, a charity fighting supply chain child labor.


Winners chosen from the StockX raffle will join the Zellerfeld Beta Program. Zellerfeld will launch the sneakers on October 11 at 3PM EST for beta testers. All beta program members will be entitled to a free updated version in the future.


In related 3D printing news, would you cop a $450K 3D printed home?


Photo via Heron Preston/Zellerfeld