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25th June 2018, Staveley

inov-8 unveils graphene sports shoes

British brand inov-8 has unveiled an innovative new footwear collection – the G-Series, the result of a collaboration with the Nobel-Prize-winning experts at The University of Manchester. Two hundred times stronger than steel, and incredibly light, graphene is the thinnest material on earth, at just one atom thick. inov-8 says it is the first brand in the world to use the Nobel-Prize-winning material in sports footwear, infusing it into rubber, with its G-Series shoes available for sale on 12 July.

The result of the collaboration is a development in outsoles for running and fitness shoes. Tests have seen the shoes outlast 1,000 miles of running, and they’re scientifically proven to be 50% more durable that traditional outsoles in repeated testing, according to the brand.

The Mudclaw G 260 is for running over muddy mountains and obstacle courses. © inov-8

“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 sticky rubber that works well in wet/sweaty conditions yet quickly wears down, or a more durable, harder rubber that is not so grippy,” explained Michael Price, inov-8 Product and Marketing Director. “Thanks to intensive research, hundreds of prototypes and thousands of hours of testing in the field and laboratory, athletes now no longer need to compromise.”

The G-Series 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 is built for running long distances on hard-packed trails and the F-Lite G 290 is specifically designed for cross-fitters working out in gyms. Each includes graphene-enhanced rubber outsoles and uppers with Kevlar.

The G-Series range is made up of three different shoes. © inov-8

“The G-series, a powerhouse line forged in Northern England where graphite was first discovered, is going to take the world of sports footwear by storm. We’re combining science and innovation together with entrepreneurial speed and agility to go up against the major sports brands – and we’re going to win,” said inov-8 CEO Ian Bailey, while commenting on the patent-pending technology and the collaboration with The University of Manchester.

“We are at the forefront of a graphene-sports footwear revolution and we’re not stopping at 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.”

Graphene is produced from graphite, which was first mined in the Lake District fells of Northern England more than 450 years ago. inov-8 was forged in the same fells, albeit much more recently in 2003. The brand is now available in 68 countries worldwide.

Two hundred times stronger than steel, and incredibly light, graphene is the thinnest material on earth. © inov-8

The scientists who first isolated graphene from graphite were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2010. Building on their revolutionary work, a team of over 300 at The University of Manchester pioneered graphene-enhanced prototype projects, including sports cars, medical devices, and planes. Now the University can add graphene-enhanced sports foot wear to its list of world-firsts.

“Using graphene, we have developed G-Series outsole rubbers that are scientifically tested to be 50% stronger, 50% more elastic and 50% harder wearing,” said Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan, Reader in Nanomaterials at The University of Manchester. “We are delighted to be part of putting graphene on the shelves of 250 retail stores globally making it accessible to everyone. Graphene is versatile with limitless potential. In coming years, we expect to deliver graphene technologies in composites, coatings and sensors, many of which will further revolutionize sports products.”

www.inov-8.com

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