Home > Running Shoes

Inov-8 bringing world’s strongest material to running footwear

The innovation is expected to significantly lengthen the life of a running shoe without comprising weight or flexibility

Inov-8 Graphene
Inov-8 Graphene
Photo: Inov-8.

Inov-8 is launching a first in the sports footwear market following a collaboration with scientific experts to bring graphene to running footwear.

RELATED: 2017-18 winter shoe guide.

Inov-8, a British brand, whose North American headquarters are located in Massachusetts, worked closely with a team at the University of Manchester that originally developed the material to become the first-ever company to do so.

Graphene could change the way consumers think about outsole durability, flexibility and stickiness – wet or dry, particularly appropriate for Canadians battling vastly differing conditions from season to season.

Basically, Inov-8 says that the outsole should last twice as long as most current shoes with no weight or flexibility penalty. Lab tests have shown that the rubber outsoles of these shoes, which will come to market in summer 2018, are 50 per cent stronger, more durable and more flexible than traditional outsole materials.


Graphene is the thinnest material on earth, and the strongest material ever tested, and is 200 times stronger than steel and a mere fraction of its weight. First isolated by the team at Manchester in 2004, graphene is the world’s first two-dimensional material at just one-atom thick.

“And this is just the start, as the potential of graphene really is limitless,” Inov-8 CEO Ian Bailey says. “We are so excited to see where this journey will take us.”

Michael Price, product and marketing director with Inov-8, says that 2018 “will be the year of the world’s toughest grip.”

Inov-8 Graphene
Photo: Inov-8.

Graphene is produced from graphite, which was first mined in the Lake District fells of Northern England over 450 years ago. Inov-8 too was forged in the same fells, albeit much more recently, in 2003.

Edited from a press release.