New Shoe Material Is ‘200 Times Stronger Than Steel’

Imagine a material that is only one atom thick but 200 times stronger than steel. That is graphene, a wonder material revolutionizing everything from skis to race cars. And now, for the first time, a shoe company put it into footwear.

Inov-8 graphene shoe sole

Running shoemaker Inov-8 last week announced a new line of shoes called the G-Series. The shoes have soles infused with graphene.

“Our lightweight G-Series shoes deliver a combination of traction, flexibility and durability never seen before in sports footwear,” the brand said in a statement.

Inov-8 Shoes To Have Graphene In Soles

The details on this launch are still very thin. But we spoke with Inov-8’s public relations peeps to learn what we could.

Inov-8 graphene shoe sole

It appears that the brand will launch about six pairs of shoes (the number may change) aimed at mud running, fell running, cross training, trail running, and ultra distances.

The graphene-laced soles will come to the market sometime in summer 2018.

Beyond that, the brand is tight-lipped about the specific models coming to market. We’ll follow developments closely.

Why Graphene Soles

What we do know is that graphene is a cutting-edge material. We’re excited to see how the application affects footwear.

Inov-8 graphene shoe sole

The brand did allude to the material’s remarkable properties in a release:

Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan, Reader in Nanomaterials at the University of Manchester, says: ““Despite being the thinnest material in the world, graphene is also the strongest, and is 200 times stronger than steel. It’s also extraordinarily flexible, and can be bent, twisted, folded and stretched without incurring any damage. When added to the rubber used in inov-8’s G-Series shoes, graphene imparts all its properties, including its strength. Our unique formulation makes these outsoles 50% stronger, 50% more stretchy and 50% more resistant to wear than the corresponding industry standard rubber without graphene.

Time will tell how the new sole material measures up. For now, we look forward to testing the claim that this “graphene-enhanced rubber can flex and grip to all surfaces more effectively.”  If so, it could have a major impact on the sports footwear market.

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Editor-in-Chief Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie’s Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.

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