Working with graphene experts the University of Manchester, the British brand inov-8 have been able to infuse the material into rubber and develop rubber outsoles for running and fitness shoes that, in testing, have outlasted 1,000 miles and are scientifically proven to be 50% harder wearing.
Michael Price, inov-8 product and marketing director, said: “Over the last 18 months we have worked with the National Graphene Institute at The University of Manchester to bring the world’s toughest grip to the sports footwear market.
“Prior to this innovation, off-road runners and fitness athletes had to choose between a sticky rubber that works well in wet or sweaty conditions but wears down quicker and a harder rubber that is more durable but not quite as grippy. Through intensive research, hundreds of prototypes and thousands of hours of testing in both the field and laboratory, athletes now no longer need to compromise.”
Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan, Reader in Nanomaterials at The University of Manchester, said: “Using graphene we have developed G-SERIES outsole rubbers that are scientifically tested to be 50% stronger, 50% more elastic and 50% harder wearing.
What is graphene?
200 times stronger than steel and super-lightweight, graphene is also the thinnest material on earth. Graphene is produced from graphite, which was first mined in the Lake District fells of Northern England more than 450 years ago.
The scientists who first isolated graphene from graphite were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2010.
When are the graphene sports shoes available?
Inov-8’s G-SERIES shoes available to pre-order now, ahead of going on sale from July 12th.
The range is made up of three different shoes, each designed to meet the needs of athletes. THE MUDCLAW G 260 is for running over muddy mountains and obstacle courses, the TERRAULTRA G 260 for running long distances on hard-packed trails and the F-LITE G 290 for crossfitters working out in gyms. Each includes graphene-enhanced rubber outsoles and Kevlar – a material used in bulletproof vests – on the uppers.
Inov-8 CEO Ian Bailey said: “We are at the forefront of a graphene sports footwear revolution and we’re not stopping at just rubber outsoles. This is a four-year innovation project which will see us incorporate graphene into 50% of our range and give us the potential to halve the weight of running/fitness shoes without compromising on performance or durability.”