Inov-8 launch the G-Series, the first running shoes to use graphene

Inov 8 MUDCLAW G 260

You may not have heard of graphene before; it's the more expensive yet lighter brother of carbon fibre used in revolutionary bike frames, sports cars, areoplanes, medical devices, aerospace construction and more. Now – for the first time according to inov-8 – it’s arrived in running shoes.

Collaborating with The University of Manchester, inov-8 have created and released graphene-enhanced rubber outsoles that they claim will be 50% stronger, flexible and more resistant to wear than corresponding industry standard rubber. In layman’s terms, you could get double the amount of mileage out of your running shoe outsoles. In fact, Inov-8 claim that for the new G Series, they have developed rubber outsoles that in testing have 'outlasted 1,000 miles and are scientifically proven to be 50% harder wearing'.

There are three shoes in the G-SERIES range, two for running and one for crossfit/gym and each have been meticulously designed to meet the needs of athletes. THE MUDCLAW G 260 (pictured above) is for running over muddy mountains and obstacle courses, the TERRAULTRA G 260 (pictured below) for running long distances on hard-packed trails. The shoes are available to pre-order from June 22nd ahead of going on sale from July 12th and will retail for £140. 

Talking at the launch, 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.”

The Inov-8 TERRAULTRA G 260

So why do it, surely faster wearing shoes means more sales? Michael Price, inov-8 product and marketing director explained, “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.”

First isolated at The University of Manchester in 2004 by scientists who were later awarded the Nobel Prize for physics, it’s the world’s first two-dimensional material at just one-atom thick. Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan, Reader in Nanomaterials at the University of Manchester, has spearheaded this patent-pending technology. He said: “Despite being the thinnest material in the world, graphene is also the strongest. 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."

For more info, check out www.inov-8.com