While we used to believe that all-out nanotech is a matter of the future — so distant that only our kids might see it — the University of Manchester has chosen to unite its experience in research on one atom-thick materials with the sports brand Inov-8 to introduce the world’s first graphene-infused shoes.
The new high-tech shoes will be priced at ‘only’ $200 a pair — a hefty sum, to be sure, but not impossible for those who place being cutting edge above paying for groceries.
According to Tech Crunch, graphene infused within the shoes will increase flexibility and strength, as graphene is just one atom thick yet 200 times the strength of steel.
“When added to the rubber used in Inov-8’s G-Series shoes, graphene imparts all its properties, including its strength,” University of Manchester employee Dr. Aravind Vijayaraghavan said in a statement about the shoes.
“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,” Vijayaraghavan enthused.
Besides, having extremely expensive shoes with graphene is just damn cool, right? While designers have previously tried to incorporate nanotech materials in clothing, most molecular-sized materials are extremely irritant to the skin, much like glass wool.
Jumping from feet to the head, Nike has taken an opposite approach, bringing together sports and good old-time religious fundamentalism, as they present their first high-performance sports hijab.
While it is not the world’s first sports hijab, as in 2016 Ibtihaj Muhammad, wearing the headdress, competed for the US fencing team during the Summer Olympics in Rio, it is the first acknowledgement by a for-profit multinational sports manufacturer that athletic activity and religion can coexist.
Muhammad’s hijab was noted again, after doll manufacturer Mattel released a limited edition Barbie character wearing a hijab in her honor.
The new Nike holy sports headwear is currently available in select retailers in Europe, North Africa, North America, and the Middle East, and will appear on the company’s website in January, unless a fatwa is issued that bars participants from using the item, cited by Jezebel.