Graphene is a wonder-material that has revealed remarkable properties in experimentation, shocking scientists with its superconducting, superstrength abilities. Now, it's also the leading ingredient in an upcoming commercial line of running shoes.
The combined brainchild of The University of Manchester and British sportswear brand inov-8 will use the one-atom-thick material to deliver running shoes that are more flexible and durable than any seen before.
Graphene, weighing in at roughly 200 times stronger than steel, was heated and added in particle-sized bits to the soles of the shoes.
"When added to the rubber used in inov-8's G-Series shoes, graphene imparts all its properties, including its strength," Dr. Aravind Vijayaraghavan of the University of Manchester said in a statement. "Our unique formulation makes these outsoles 50 percent stronger, 50 percent more stretchy and 50 percent more resistant to wear than the corresponding industry standard rubber without graphene."
Graphene has been touted as the most incredible material on planet Earth. The "miracle material," as some have called it, is as thin as it is possible to make a material while at the same time being an incredible conductor and a remarkable barrier. It seems as though scientists discover another mind-bending property it holds every other week.
Its first commercial use, the creation of these running shoes, seems like a perfect fit. Because of its lightweight, flexible, über-strong nature, it has the potential to create the best running shoes on the planet. But the material's applications could extend well beyond just running shoes.
While these running shoes are just one of many potential applications, they are the first publicly-accessible, commercial use of graphene. Perhaps the release of these shoes will be the tip of the iceberg for graphene-based super-products.