In a collaboration between scientists at The University of Manchester and sports footwear firm ‘Inov-8’, a new running shoe has been developed with double the longevity of the industry standard. How did they accomplish this? They used graphene- enhanced cushioned foam in the sole, known as called G-FLY™, which is said to deliver 25% greater energy return than standard EVA foams.
The new shoe is also far more resistant to compressive wear, helping to maintain optimum levels of underfoot bounce and comfort for much longer. This helps runners maintain a faster speed over greater distances, aid their feet in feeling fresher for longer and prolong the life of their footwear.
Michael Price, COO of Lake District-based inov-8, said: “In an industry where running shoe manufacturers seem hung up on underfoot carbon plates, we’ve delivered an innovative proposition. G-FLY cushioned foam not only gives runners incredible long-lasting energy return but an underfoot feel free of rigidity and full of agility.
“We’ve worked incredibly hard for the past two years with the university and leading footwear industry veteran Doug Sheridan in developing this innovation. A team of 40 athletes from across the world tested prototype shoes and more than 50 mixes of graphene-enhanced foam. Trail test reports show G-FLY foam still performing well after 1,200km – double the industry standard.”
The company first used graphene in 2018 when launching GRAPHENE-GRIP™ rubber on the outsoles of its running, hiking and fitness shoes. Sales of inov-8's footwear featuring the wonder-rubber have surged globally over the last three years and graphene-enhanced footwear now accounts for over 50% of sales.