A person who is a regular jogger can know the pain of replacing their worn-out trainers regularly. Now the scientists have developed a ‘miracle material’ known as Graphene which is the thinnest material in the world and 200 times stronger than the steel. This is by far the toughest material developed and lasts very long as well. The material will be used in the trainers to make a sole that can last very long.
It is said to last 50 percent longer than the regular shoes with rubber sole, which tend to hold up for 300 miles or roughly 2 to 3 months, depending on their usage before they wear out and need replacement.
Graphene is the world’s first two-dimensional material at just one atom thick, which has been added to trainers by researchers at Manchester University, where it was first isolated in 2004. While the result is a fairly expensive pair of trainers that cost around $200, they also have a better grip and go a long way too.
Dr. Aravind Vijayaraghavan, a reader in nanomaterials at the University of Manchester said, “Graphene is extraordinarily flexible and can be bent, twisted, folded and stretched without incurring any damage.” He added, “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.
Scientists already created the toughest ‘little black dress’ ever by adding Graphene into clothing. The material conducts electricity, so can be used to make panels which monitor how fast someone wearing the dress is breathing and changes the fabric color in response using LED lights.
The trainers in collaboration with a sportswear brand will go on sale next year. John Brewer, professor of applied science at St. Mary’s University in London said, “Manufacturers have got better at making shoes, whose lasting, wear and tear can depend on someone’s weight. But every time your foot hits the ground, two or three times the force of your body weight goes through the shoe.
This is a difficult and expensive part of running, needing to replace shoes every few months which can lead people to keep trainers longer than they should. ‘This is dangerous because they could end up ‘pronating’ i.e. running with their ankle turned outwards, which can lead to a serious ankle injury. The scientists who first isolated graphene were awarded the Nobel prize in physics in 2010.
A million times thinner than a human hair, the material is produced from graphite, which was first mined in the Lake District falls of Northern England over 450 years ago. The material which is the strongest has already been added to sports cars, airplanes, and medical devices. Micheal Price, marketing director of British sportswear brand inov-8, who has teamed up with the University of Manchester on the trainers said, “Off-road runners and fitness athletes live at the sporting extreme, and need the stickiest outsole grip possible to optimize their performance, be that when running on wet trails or working out in sweaty gyms. For too long, they have had to compromise this need for grip with the knowledge that such rubber wears down quickly.