Our world is a precious place.
It is stunning in it’s beauty and wonderful in it’s intricacy. Our world is there for us to enjoy, but it demands our respect as we tread upon its hallowed ground. Our footprints must be light in every way if we are to continue to live in harmony with all that it generously offers from it’s created richness.
This is the goal of Inov-8, not only do they manufacture some of the lightest footwear for active people, but in the process of creating their footwear they seek to achieve a light carbon footprint on the earth.
Innov-8 was founded in 2003 by Wayne Edy who wanted to design a niche brand running shoe for the off road running community. His design starting premise was to create a shoe where “the foot controls the shoe not the shoe controls the foot.” This has become the “key DNA” of Inov-8 footwear.
Wayne’s design process started by identifying the terrain that a runner would engage, designing an outsole that would provide good grip and a midsole that would provide “sufficient pro-perceptive feeling under foot” so that the wearer could be “in tune with the ground” while having “an element of cushioning”. At the same time striving to be the lightest possible.
The result was the highly successful Mudrock shoe, designed to give a runner the confidence needed to achieve their best in any competition.
Since 2003 Inov-8 have prided themselves in pushing the boundaries of development of footwear for active people. Today they have three main activity categories.
Running – incredibly light footwear with good grip and exceptional response specifically created for either road or off-road running.
Training – The F-Lite footwear has been very popular in the functional fitness community, light with good grip.
Hiking – There is an ever growing trend towards lighter footwear for both backpacking and hiking. Lighter footwear is both less wearing on the feet and tiring upon the legs. Many cross country hikers like to travel light and fast across a wilderness.
In 2019 Jasmine Paris was the overall winner of the Montane Spine Race in a record breaking time. This is regarded as Britain’s toughest cross country race, 268 miles along the route of the Pennine Way. For the entire race Jasmine was kitted out by Inov-8 and ran in their Roclite 275 with g-grip shoes.
Pushing the boundary of technical development Inov- 8 worked in collaboration with The Manchester University to produce the world’s first Graphene enhanced shoe outsole. Normally to achieve good grip on the sole of a shoe rubber is used, this is both soft and wears away quickly. By adding Graphene to rubber a new compound has been created that has both elasticity to give good grip and durabiity to last longer.
Launched in the summer of 2018 the inov-8 Graphene sole gives the world’s toughest sole, it is 50% stronger, 50% more elastic and 50% harder wearing than most other all rubber outsoles.
The Arrow System
On the back of the heel of any Inov-8 shoe there are small arrows,these indicate the drop of the shoe – that is the heel-to-forefoot differential. The more arrows the bigger the drop and the underfoot cushioning, fewer arrows the smaller the drop and greater underfoot responsiveness. Each arrow indicates a 4mm drop.
An ecological footprint
It is not just about walking physically lightly upon the earth. To continue to enjoy the outdoor experiences that Inov-8 equip us to do, we must also walk with an increasingly light impact upon our environment.
It is always encouraging when I read of an outdoor company that is taking its environmental impact seriously. It is a fine balance between providing highly technical kit for the outdoor world, and minimising the impact that has on the environment we are out there to enjoy.
Inov-8 have committed themselves to to assessing the environmental impact of their business by setting up an environmental “audit system”. This uses a technique of ecological footprinting covering every aspect of their products and activities, taking seriously how their business effects our world. Read more about Inov-8, the environment and climate change
e-OUTDOOR and Inov-8
At e-OUTDOOR we stock a range of Inov-8’s most popular shoes covering the three categories Run/Train/Hike. Including the X-Talon reputed to be the best gripping off road shoe in the world.
Each number in the shoes description indicates the weight.