What may you be thinking is the similarity between The Notorious B.I.G and Inov8? Well, Biggy G said it best, “Stay far from timid, only make moves when your heart’s in it, And live the phrase ‘Sky’s the limit'”. Inov8 have reached for the stars with their latest outsole rubber innovation.
Normally you have to choose – grip without durability or durability without grip? But Inov8 have got you covered now. Through intensive research, hundreds of prototypes and thousands of hours of testing in both the field and laboratory, you no longer need to compromise. The new rubber Inov8 have developed with the National Graphene Institute at The University of Manchester allows them to smash that glass ceiling and the limits of grip (and likely your mind as well).
The Graphene Low Down
See the pencil on your table? The graphite in there is made up of graphene. So it’s shouldn’t be completely new to you but rather the application of it will be. No, you’re not running on crumbly, brittle pencil lead – bare with me. Atomically, graphene is a single layered sheet of carbon arranged in a honeycomb structure that range in size depending on use. As it is only 1 atom thick it has no bulk and is extremely lightweight (hello light as a feather shoes). Special enough for you yet? Well get this – graphene is also 200 times stronger than steel, very conductive, elastic and bendable. Oh and it’s transparent.
Check out this video for some rad potential applications for graphene!
A Brief History of Graphene:
- 1555 Graphite (the stuff in pencil lead) was first mined in the Lake District fells of Northern England.
- 2004 Scientists Professor Andre Geim and Professor Kostya Novoselov at the University of Manchester isolate graphene from graphite. They do this by taking masking tape and sticking it to pencil lead. Repeat this process and you get graphene.
- 2010 The Nobel Prize is awarded to the scientists for their ground-breaking experiments with graphene.
- 2018 Inov-8 launch the first-ever sports footwear to utilise graphene, delivering the world’s toughest grip. They launched with three exclusive models with patent pending technology and showcasing the incredible characteristics of graphene. The graphene-enhanced rubber outsoles are scientifically proven to be 50% stronger, 50% more elastic and 50% harder wearing than ordinary rubber outsoles.
The Biggy G-SERIES!
The G-SERIES range was made up of three different shoes: the MUDCLAW G 260 is for running over muddy mountains and obstacle courses (so basically Table Moutnain then?), the TERRAULTRA G 260 for running long distances on hard-packed trails and the F-LITE G 290 for crossfitters working out in gyms (we run – gym no). Each includes graphene-enhanced rubber outsoles and Kevlar – a material used in bulletproof vests – on the uppers. This year the Notorious G-SERIES range has been expanded to include the Roclite, Trailroc (updated model for second half of 2019) and F-lite family of shoes. Look out for the G-Grip symbol on the sole.
Testing, testing… 1, 2, 3
7 months, 1807 kilometres, 8 countries, 15 races, 226 runs, all weather, all terrain, 1 shoe
Ben Mounsey was asked to test the prototype Mudclaw G 260, and see how many kilometres he could rack up in the shoe prior to finalising the design. No one expected the results. 7 months down the line and the outsole looked as good as new, he had racked up a whopping 1800km and had tested them out on all types of terrain. The Mudclaw outsole prevailed and Mounsey comments that they were the “first… pair I haven’t been able to wear out”. Need we say more?
So in essence what we want to convey with this semi-technical blab – is that Inov8, being the innovators that they are, have come out with an outsole that promises to outlast any other shoe you’ve had, be grippier than any other show you’ve ever had, go longer than any other shoe you’ve ever had, AND still be super lightweight. I mean…
*Drops the mic*
MORE READING: Reviews of graphene products available in South Africa:
- Inov8 Press Release: https://www.inov-8.com/roclite-275-graphene-press-release
- Editor’s Choice Trailrunner Mag: https://trailrunnermag.com/gear/inov-8-roclite-275.html
- Red Bull Best Trail shoe for 2019: https://www.redbull.com/gb-en/best-trail-running-shoes
- Runners World: https://www.runnersworld.com/gear/a27312252/inov8-roclite-275-review/
- Outdoor Radar: https://www.outdoorsradar.com/gear/roclite-275-graphene-sports-shoes/
Roclite 345 GTX:
- The Peak Lander: https://thepeaklander.com/2019/04/28/inov-8-roclite-345-gtx-review/
Run in Inov8? We at RUN are all about community and would love to hear what you have to say in the comments below.