A British sports science company called Inov-8 has launched what it claims are the world's first sports shoes made with graphene - the strongest material on the planet.
Collaborating with graphene experts at the University of Manchester, Inov-8 claims that it has been able to infuse the wonder-material into the shoes' rubber outsoles, giving them "the world's toughest grip".
In testing, the company says that integrating graphene into the soles of the shoes has resulted in running and fitness shoes that have outlasted 1,000 miles, and are scientifically proven to be 50 per cent harder wearing.
"Two hundred times stronger than steel and super-lightweight, graphene is also the thinnest material on earth," the company said in a statement. "Inov-8 intends to revolutionise the sports footwear industry," it added.
The shoes are part of the company's G-Series range and will be available to pre-order from Friday, ahead of general sale on 12 July. The series is made up of three different shoes, each of which has been designed to meet the needs of different kinds of users.
The first is the Mudclaw G 260, which has been designed especially for running over muddy mountains and obstacle courses. Next is the TerraUltra G 260, which was created for running long distances on hard-packed trails. Third is the F-Lite G 290, which has been developed with the needs of crossfitters in mind, and for working out in gyms.
Each includes graphene-enhanced rubber outsoles and Kevlar - a material used in bulletproof vests - on the uppers, Inov-8 claimed.
The company's product and marketing director, Michael Price, said: "Over the last 18 months we have worked with the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester to bring the world's toughest grip to the sports footwear market.
"Prior to this innovation, off-road runners and fitness athletes had to choose between a sticky rubber that works well in wet or sweaty conditions, but wears down quicker, and a harder rubber that is more durable, but not quite as grippy.
"Through intensive research, hundreds of prototypes and thousands of hours of testing in both the field and laboratory, athletes now no longer need to compromise."
Graphene is produced from graphite, which was first mined in the Lake District fells of Northern England more than 450 years ago. Inov-8, too, was forged in the same fells, albeit much more recently in 2003.
The brand now trades in 68 countries worldwide.
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