As if the shoe debate wasn't hard enough, inov-8 are following up the launch of their stickygrip trainers with the new G-SERIES, boasting world leading toughness technology. They break from the norm in that they feature graphene in the outsole, meaning that the shoes remain light whilst still being incredibly durable.
Graphene was developed from graphite, mined from the Lake District - how stunningly coincidental then, that inov-8 too were 'forged in the fells' and still have their roots firmly in the north of England. Believed to be the strongest material on the planet, it is a sheet of carbon just one atom thick, meaning that it's probably the only 2-dimensional material you're eve going to put on your feet. It's wicked flexible, almost entirely transparent, and certainly able to maintain shape while being flexed, bent, and put through its paces on whatever course you find yourself on. If you want to nerd out about the material, there's a nifty video from the University of Manchester here.
This enhancement was brought about by the punishing nature of the courses we run - ordinary rubber may be sticky, but it wears down so easily, creating an uneven running surface and loosening your grip on terrain and obstacles.
Using graphene in the G-SERIES has lead them to be touted as a world class shoe, and according to Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan, Reader in Nanomaterials at The University of Manchester, the outsole rubbers are 'scientifically tested to be 50% stronger, 50% more elastic and 50% harder wearing.' This makes graphene the perfect compromise between stickiness and toughness, whilst remaining super lightweight.
Though they expect 50% of their range to become graphene enhanced by 2020, there are currently three models with this feature: the Mudclaw G 260, for slippy mud and obstacle courses, the Terraultra G 260 for running long distances on hard-packed trails, and the F-Lite G 290 for crossfitters.
These babies are on pre-sale NOW before general release on July 12th, and we're a little bit giddy with excitement, so keep an eye out for some reviews in the near future.
[Photos courtesy of inov-8]