One single atom thick and 200 times stronger than steel, wonder-material graphene has been infused into the rubber of Inov-8’s new Roclite hiking boots, with the outsoles apparently proven to be 50% stronger, 50% more elastic and 50% harder wearing.
Collaborating with graphene experts at The University of Manchester, Inov-8 is the first brand in the world to use the Nobel Prize winning material in sports shoes and now hiking footwear.
“The hiking and outdoor footwear market has been stagnant for many years and crying out for innovation,” said Michael Price, Inov-8 product and marketing director. “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.”
“The scientists who first isolated graphene from graphite were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2010”
There are two Roclite boots with graphene-enhanced rubber grip – the Roclite 335 and the Roclite 345 GTX. The former supposedly 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 in wet conditions. The Roclite 335 weighs just 335g (see what they did there?) and the Roclite 345 GTX weighs… you guessed it, 345g. Both are available to buy now.
Graphene is produced from graphite, which was first mined in the Lake District fells of Northern England more than 450 years ago. The scientists who first isolated graphene from graphite were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2010. Building on their revolutionary work, a team of over 300 staff at The University of Manchester has pioneered projects into graphene-enhanced prototypes, from sports cars and medical devices to aeroplanes and of course now sports and hiking footwear.
Outdoors Magic gear reviewer Jon Doran recently tried out Inov-8’s original graphene-based trail running shoe and was impressed.
“That overall comfort and, in particular, the ability to cope with expanded, high-mileage foot volume makes it a good option for ultra-runners,” he said, adding that it’s also a “good call for anyone tackling firm to medium-soft trails full stop who wants a grippy, durable shoe.”
Visit Inov-8.com for more.