Forged in the fells and mountains of the British Lake District, inov-8 is a footwear, clothing and equipment brand for committed trail and off-road runners, fitness athletes and adventure-seeking hikers who push boundaries and stretch limits.
Since it was founded in 2003 by Wayne Edy, inov-8 has been renowned as a world leader in grip. The brand lives by the philosophy that an athletes’ interaction with the environment is the single most important factor when designing products. Our kit is light, fast and always innovative, as proven by our pioneering use of wonder-material graphene in sports footwear.
Thanks to our agility as a brand we were able to beat other big sports companies to the use of our patent-pending graphene technology. We are the world’s first - and only - brand to use the wonder-material in sports shoes.
We started working on the project in December 2016 with The University of Manchester, which homes The National Graphene Institute. The two scientists who first isolated graphene from graphite at the university in 2010 have since been awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics.
We never follow others, we carve our own way.
Our Founder: Wayne Edy
Back in 2003, Zimbabwe-born Wayne spotted a gap in the UK off-road running market and designed a shoe that took the community by storm. That shoe was the MUDROC 290 and it delivered the type of grip that runners had been craving.
One of the early success stories was that of Melissa Moon, a New Zealand athlete who turned up to the 2003 World Mountain Running Trophy in Alaska with shoes not grippy enough for the muddy course covered in snow. She borrowed a pair of the MUDROC 290 from another runner and duly won the women’s race. When she crossed the finish line she held the shoes aloft and told everyone how they had helped her win. It was the first podium of hundreds topped by inov-8 shoes over the past 16 years.
Wayne grew the company quickly and entered other markets such as the USA, where in 2009 sales began to rocket thanks to a mountain running shoe that was adopted by the Cross Fitness community and worn extensively by athletes undertaking hardcore workouts in gyms.
Since then inov-8 has continued to grow globally, with the business now trading in more than 60 countries worldwide and the shoes topping hundreds of podiums each year.
Our first graphene-enhanced shoes launched in the summer of 2018 and generated headlines across the world, with some media drawing innovative comparisons to the likes of the Nike Air and Reebok Pump. Since then we have expanded the range to have footwear with Graphene-Grip across our trail running, cross fitness and fast-hike categories.
And really, this is just the start. Graphene has limitless potential and working with The University of Manchester we are investigating how we can push new boundaries in its use across sporting footwear, clothing and equipment.
Learn more about our revolutionary graphene technology: Click here
Where are we now and what does the future hold?
In 2015, Japanese sportswear maker Descente acquired 80% of the inov-8 Group.
Having previously been the distributor of inov-8 footwear in Japan, Korea and Hong Kong for two years, the company – which has an 80-year history of craftsmanship and excellence – became the majority shareholder. Founder Wayne Edy remains at the heart of award-winning product innovation and with a talented design team based at offices in the UK and in the US, the future is packed with exciting possibilities across trail running, Cross Fitness and fast-hiking.
And don’t forget, it’s not just footwear. Our lightweight running apparel is regularly heralded as industry-leading and our backpacks & race vests are no strangers to winning awards.