If you were wondering what inov-8 would do next with graphene, after their launch of the world’s first trainers to incorporate the strongest material on the planet earlier this year, we’ve got news! They have just launched the world’s first graphene hiking boots!
Why is graphene such a big deal in a hiking boot (or indeed a running shoe)? Well, at just one atom thick and 200 times stronger than steel, infusing it into the rubber make the outsoles 50% stronger, 50% more elastic and 50% harder wearing. And fittingly for Lake District based inov-8, graphene is produced from graphite, which was first mined in the Lake District fells of Northern England more than 450 years ago!
They have launched two ROCLITE boots with graphene-enhanced rubber grip (G-GRIP) – the ROCLITE 335 and the ROCLITE 345 GTX. The former offers increased warmth on cold days with PrimaLoft insulation in the upper of the shoe, while the latter has waterproof GORE-TEX protection for hiking adventures in wet conditions. The ROCLITE 335 weighs just 335g and the ROCLITE 345 GTX weighs just 345g. Both are available to buy now and are suited to runners who also like to do a bit of hiking, while staying fast and light.
Michael Price, inov-8 product and marketing director, said:
“Working with the National Graphene Institute at The University of Manchester, we’ve been able to develop rubber outsoles that deliver the world’s toughest grip. The hiking and outdoor footwear market has been stagnant for many years and crying out for innovation. We’ve brought a fresh approach and new ideas, launching lightweight, fast-feel products with graphene that will allow hikers, fast-packers and outdoor adventurers to get more miles out of their boots and grip to all terrains, no matter how gnarly.”
And will we see more (running-related) products incorporating graphene? Ian Bailey, CEO of inov-8 says:
“Mark my words, graphene is the future, and we’re not stopping at just rubber outsoles. This is a four-year innovation project which will see us incorporate graphene into 50% of our range and give us the potential to halve the weight of shoes without compromising on performance or durability.”
So that sounds like a yes!
The new ROCLITE boots with G-GRIP are available to buy from www.inov-8.com/g-grip and will soon be in-store via the brand’s retail partners worldwide.
Read our review of the inov-8 TERRAULTRA G260 trail shoe, their first running shoe to incorporate graphene.