Late last year we previewed a new running shoe from sports apparel manufacturer Inov-8 that promised dramatic improvements in terms of durability in sports footwear. The company had been experimenting with the use of graphene in its products and was reportedly seeing substantial improvements in the life of its running shoes as a result. At the time, the high-tech footwear was scheduled for release at a nebulous date sometime in 2018. Now, those shoes are about to become a reality, potentially changing the industry forever.
The new G-Series running shoe made its official debut a few days back and if they hold up to Inov-8’s claims, the company has indeed delivered a major upgrade in terms of footwear. Typically, runners are advised to replace their shoes every 300 to 500 miles, depending on their running style, weight, shoe preference, and so on. But thanks to the inclusion of graphene in the G-Series’ design, these shoes can be used for 1,000 miles or more, if the marketing materials are to be believed.
Graphene has been hailed as a miracle material thanks to its incredible strength-to-weigh ratio (and other properties). The substance is 200 times stronger than steel, and yet is only one molecule thick and remains incredibly lightweight. It also happens to be a good conductor of electricity, is very flexible, transparent, and is impermeable to both liquids and gases. Those properties have made it highly sought after among researchers and product designers who are looking to employ it in a wide variety of applications.
Inov-8 is among the first athletic apparel companies to use graphene in its products and is already seeing positive returns as a result. Reportedly, the new G-Series of shoes are 50 percent more durable than previous models without sacrificing performance or adding additional weight. That should be music to the ears for frequent runners who have become accustomed to replacing shoes on a far too frequent basis.
The G-Series consists of three different models; the Mudclaw G 260 designed for mud and obstacle course racing, the Terraultra G 260 is a long-distance trail shoe, and the F-Lite G 290 is built for the crossfit crowd. Each shoe has graphene embedded in its outsoles and uses an upper made of Kevlar, which should add durability to the construction as well. Despite their high-tech components however, the shoes remain surprisingly affordable. Both the Mudclaw and Terraultra will sell for $150 a pair, while the F-Lite is just $10 more.
The G-Series will be available for pre-order starting June 22 and will go on sale on July 12.