Dyneema has become all the rage in the outdoor industry and we’re seeing it emerge everywhere — in backpacks, tents, climbing equipment, and recently a technical ultralight jacket. The development of Dyneema Bonded Leather was the next step forward, created as a collaboration between Netherlands-based company Ecco Leather and DSM Dyneema. Ecco has implemented the material into its Exostrike boots, to be released in limited quantities at select retailers in April. This one-of-a-kind boot combines urban style with backcountry functionality — to serve as the only boot you’ll ever need to wear whether you’re traipsing down the streets or hiking mountain trails.
The Ecco Exostrike is crafted with paper-thin, Dyneema-infused leather that is 15 times stronger than steel, yet light enough to float on water.
“The first challenge was to develop a way of effectively bonding Dyneema composite fabric along the full surface of thinly skived high-grade bovine hide. The bonding process needed to maintain enough adhesion-integrity to withstand a battalion of secondary and final tanning processes. Achieving this bond, Ecco Leather was then able to refine the material by deploying milling, tumbling, toggling and finishing stages designed to bring out the leather’s natural qualities,” designer Sruli Recht told Digital Trends.
Ecco claims the bonded leather upper is five times stronger than any other leather on the market — which is easy to believe when you’ve brought Dyneema into the equation. Although the Dyneema keeps the boot lightweight, the company integrated a layer of Phorene (a patented polyurethane) into the midsole, which adds some weight to the shoe, but also makes for trail-worthy durability and support. The boots feature a wrap-around heel guard made from the same stuff, which serves to provide for protective support and a snug fit — but adds back the weight the Dyneema had subtracted. The end result? A rugged, comfortable hiker with an upper that you won’t have to worry about wearing or tearing.
While the boot is all street-style on top, Ecco integrated a rugged rubber outsole that provides for grip on uneven terrain — which makes for a hiker-style bottom. The boots weigh in at 1 pound, 8.5 ounces per boot according to GearJunkie, and while not waterproof, offer some water resistance. Whether or not you’re convinced they’re going to be the next new trend, the judges at ISPO gave the Exostrike a Gold Award in recognition of the Phorene midsoles and Dyneema bonded leather.
The Ecco Exostrike will be available in limited quantities at select retailers next month.
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