• British outdoor brand Inov-8 claims to have developed the world's first sports shoe to utilise graphene.
  • The Descente-owned company has partnered with the National Graphene Institute at The University of Manchester on its G-Series footwear line.
  • G-Series shoes are available to pre-order now ahead of going on sale from 12 July.
The G-Series range is made up of three different shoes, each designed to meet the needs of athletes

The G-Series range is made up of three different shoes, each designed to meet the needs of athletes

Outdoor footwear and apparel brand Inov-8 has unveiled what it claims to be the world's first sports shoe to utilise graphene. 

The British brand, which was acquired by Japanese sportswear maker Descente Ltd in 2015, first announced its intent to overhaul the sports footwear industry in December last year.

It has since collaborated with the National Graphene Institute at The University of Manchester to create a graphene-enhanced rubber, which has been used to develop rubber outsoles for running and fitness shoes that in testing have outlasted 1,000 miles and are scientifically proven to be 50% harder wearing.

Clothing that incorporates graphene, an innovative nanotech material derived from graphite, is said to significantly improve performance for athletes, professionals and sports enthusiasts.

Now, the brand's G-Series shoes, which it says deliver a combination of traction, stretch and durability new to sports footwear, are available to pre-order ahead of going on sale from 12 July.

"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," says Michael Price, Inov-8 product and marketing director. "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."

The G-Series range is made up of three different shoes, each designed to meet the needs of athletes. The Mudclaw G260 is for running over muddy mountains and obstacle courses, the Terraultra G260 for running long distances on hard-packed trails, and the F-Lite G290 for crossfitters working out in gyms. Each includes graphene-enhanced rubber outsoles and Kevlar – a material used in bulletproof vests – on the uppers.

"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," adds Inov-8 CEO Ian Bailey.