Graphene – the "wonder material" composed of a one-atom-thick sheet of linked carbon atoms – has already been used in products such as helmets, microphones and light bulbs. Now, it's found its way into a prototype shoe that helps keep your feet cool.

Among its other desirable qualities, graphene is very good at conducting heat.

With that in mind, researchers from the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (ITT) teamed up with Italian shoe manufacturer Fadel to put graphene in the sole of a sandal. More specifically, they added a small amount of graphene flakes to the polyurethane that ordinarily makes up the insole. The flakes were created via a process known as liquid phase exfoliation, which is said to produce large amounts of graphene at a relatively low price.

While the insole contains only about 1 percent graphene, that's still enough to improve its heat dissipation by a claimed 50 percent.

Although the ITT/Fadel collaboration was first announced last year, the shoe itself was recently showcased at the International Footwear Exhibition in Milan. Fadel has patented the technology, which is being marketed as Freshoes.

Source: Graphene Flagship