by Kevin Mackinnon
Photos and video: Kevin Mackinnon
It’s not too often we see ground breaking announcements in the shoe industry, but today there was a bit of excitement at the University of Manchester where Inov-8 has announced a new shoe that features a material that was only discovered in 2004 – graphene. Considered the strongest material on the planet, Inov-8 feels that these new shoes will be a game changer in the industry.
Time will tell, but they might be right. Graphene was discovered by Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov at the University of Manchester, and the material is considered to be so revolutionary that the two were awarded the Nobel prize for the discovery in 2010. It’s basically a one-atom-thick layer of graphite that is extremely strong, flexible, transparent and conductive. There are lots of potential uses for the product, but Inov-8 has managed to jump on board with the folks here at the University of Manchester to be the first to incorporate the material into a running shoe.
Ultimately the goal will be to reduce the weight of running shoes by 50 percent, according to Michael Price, Inov-8’s product and marketing director. Today the company announced three shoes that begin that process.
The G-Series range includes three different shoes – two trail-oriented shoes and one geared for cross-training. The TerraUltra G 260 will likely be the most popular in Canada – it’s geared for more hard-packed trail efforts. The Mudclaw G 260 is geared for really muddy terrain and obstacle courses. Finally the F-Lite G 290 has been developed for cross-fit athletes to wear in the gym. Each shoe includes graphene-enhanced rubber outsoles and breathable mesh uppers that are enforced with Kevlar.
We had a chance to talk to Inov-8 brand ambassador, mountain runner Peter Maksimow about how the shoe performs on the trail:
We’ll have an opportunity to test out the G-Series shoes over the next few days and will offer up a more detailed product review.