Those in the scientific community are familiar with the material known as graphene. But quite soon, athletes will be touting its benefits, as well! This is because the British sportswear brand inov-8 partnered with The University of Manchester to develop the first-ever running shoe which incorporates the material.
Despite being the thinnest material on the planet, graphene is also the strongest. In addition to being stretchy and light, it is 200 times stronger than steel. Because of its unique qualities, the same researchers who discovered the substance helped incorporate it into the sole of inov-8’s new sneaker.
Based on laboratory tests, the rubber outsoles of the shoes are stronger, stretchier, and more resistant to wear. As a result, everyone from beginner athletes to Olympic champions will benefit from the technology.
Said Michael Price, inov-8 Product and Marketing Director: “Off-road runners and fitness athletes live at the sporting extreme and need the stickiest outsole grip possible to optimize their performance, be that when running on wet trails or working out in sweaty gyms. For too long, they have had to compromise this need for grip with the knowledge that such rubber wears down quickly.”
“Now, utilising the groundbreaking properties of graphene, there is no compromise. The new rubber we have developed with the National Graphene Institute at The University of Manchester allows us to smash the limits of grip,” Price added. “Our lightweight G-Series shoes deliver a combination of traction, stretch and durability never seen before in sports footwear. 2018 will be the year of the world’s toughest grip.”
After discovering graphene in 2010, The University of Manchester researchers won the Nobel Prize for physics. They capitalized on their achievement by developing various inventions, including a graphene-enhanced sports car, medical devices, and aeroplanes.
Explained Dr. Aravind Vijayaraghavan of The University of Manchester: “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.”
Vijayaraghavan continued: “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.”
“The graphene-enhanced rubber can flex and grip to all surfaces more effectively, without wearing down quickly, providing reliably strong, long-lasting grip. This is a revolutionary consumer product that will have a huge impact on the sports footwear market.”
There is no information on when this shoe will be on the market, but keep an eye out!
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Source: The University of Manchester