Outdoors

Temp-regulating graphene and Dyneema trail shoe sprints through winter

Temp-regulating graphene and D...
The 001 G+ Spike features a single-piece Dyneema upper and a chunky, spiked outsole
The 001 G+ Spike features a single-piece Dyneema upper and a chunky, spiked outsole
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Norda R&D in the cold, wet outdoors
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Norda R&D in the cold, wet outdoors
The G+ membrane fro
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The G+ membrane from Directa Plus delivers premium weatherproofing and temperature regulation
The 001 G+ Spike features a single-piece Dyneema upper and a chunky, spiked outsole
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The 001 G+ Spike features a single-piece Dyneema upper and a chunky, spiked outsole
Carbide-tipped spikes won't be ideal on all surface, but they'll provide serious bite in slick snow and ice
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Carbide-tipped spikes won't be ideal on all surface, but they'll provide serious bite in slick snow and ice
At $335, the Norda 001 G+ Spikes are anything but cheap, but they're loaded with premium features meant to deliver the best cold-weather runs
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At $335, the Norda 001 G+ Spikes are anything but cheap, but they're loaded with premium features meant to deliver the best cold-weather runs
Norda brings together serious wonder-materials to create its latest trail running shoe
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Norda brings together serious wonder-materials to create its latest trail running shoe
Between the lugged Vibram outsole and 20 spikes, the Norda 001 G+ Spike seems very unlikely to slip around
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Between the lugged Vibram outsole and 20 spikes, the Norda 001 G+ Spike seems very unlikely to slip around
Norda infuses its new 001 G+ spike with tech and features optimized for winter trail running
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Norda infuses its new 001 G+ spike with tech and features optimized for winter trail running
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Graphene has worked its way into running shoes before, but Canadian startup Norda uses it in a more advanced way in its all-new 001 G+ Spike trail running shoe. The shoe's graphene waterproof/breathable membrane keeps feet dry and also regulates temperature, allowing runners to stride comfortably through snow, slush and icy puddles. Combine that with ultralight, near-indestructible Dyneema up top and carbide spikes down low, and you have a running shoe that's built to rack up serious mileage through the heart of the coldest, harshest winters.

Yet another example of a latent business idea driven to fruition by the life-disrupting, time-freeing CIVID-19 pandemic, Norda was founded in 2020 by husband and wife team Willa and Nick Martire, lifelong runners and footwear industry veterans. Following a dream of developing the ultimate, no-compromise technical trail-running shoe, they worked with athletes, materials experts, suppliers and manufacturers from around the world, eventually identifying the exact balance of breathability, cushion, fit, grip, weight and sustainability that met their precise definition of "ultimate," testing prototypes on the oft-cold, wet trails of southeastern Quebec. Norda launched its first shoe, the 001, this (Northern Hemisphere) summer and is now ready to outfit runners for winter 2021/22.

A close relative of the 001, the 001 G+ Spike might just be the most technical trail running shoe we've ever come across, combining some of the world's buzziest wonder-materials into a single platform. Norda claims that it's the world's first shoe lined with a G+ graphene membrane, delivering not only 10K/10K waterproof/breathable weather protection but also temperature regulation via inherent thermal conductivity, so the runner's feet stay warm and dry, even when sprinting exclusively through wet, frozen or near-freezing terrain.

Norda R&D in the cold, wet outdoors
Norda R&D in the cold, wet outdoors

The G+ membrane alone makes the Spike a notable advance in the running shoe market, but Norda doesn't stop there. It houses that membrane within the seamless, single-piece bio-baced Dyneema upper it launched on the 001, saving weight without sacrificing an iota of toughness or abrasion resistance. Dyneema is the go-to fabric for no-expenses-spared gear that needs to be both ultralight and tough as nails, from tents, to apparel ... to bulletproof whiteboards. Dyneema also features in the laces, adding integrity-boosting strength and foot-hugging stretch.

Below all that uber-material goodness, the sole is still rubber. Norda previously teamed with Vibram to formulate a firm-gripping sole for the ever-varying terrain of trail running, and to further enhance that grip for all-out winter slickness, it adds 20 carbide-tipped steel spikes to put the "spike" in G+ Spike. That means wearers won't want to forget to pop these runners off before stepping onto their hardwood floor, but more importantly, it means they'll enjoy crunchy, full-spike bite when running up the type of ice-coated trail that would otherwise send them flailing back down the mountain.

Between the lugged Vibram outsole and 20 spikes, the Norda 001 G+ Spike seems very unlikely to slip around
Between the lugged Vibram outsole and 20 spikes, the Norda 001 G+ Spike seems very unlikely to slip around

All that attention to detail and materials results in a shoe that weighs under 10 ounces (283 g), complete with waterproofing and traction spikes. Norda lists the men's version (size US8.5) at 9.5 oz (268 g) with standard TPU insole, down to 8.7 oz (247 g) with OrthoLite insole, and women's (size US8) at 8.2 to 7.4 oz (232 to 211 g) with the same respective insoles.

Nothing about outdoor gear with buzzwords like "Dyneema," "lightweight" and "graphene" in the description ever comes cheap, and the 001 G+ Spike shoes are definitely no exception to that rule. At US$335, they're some of the most expensive trail running shoes you can buy. Of course, "low price" was never among the mission-statement attributes for which Norda aims.

Source: Norda

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2 comments
2 comments
guzmanchinky
Very cool! But doesn't a lot of water make it's way in from the top, past the sock anyway? I wonder if a high top version of this would make sense, almost like a hiking boot/running shoe...
minivini
Having quite a few years training, selling, and occasionally testing outdoor apparel, I have a pretty mixed opinion regarding waterproof shoes. Unless you are moving through a very predictable series of terrain under complete control (ie, not trail running), you will occasionally have water enter a shoe via the cuff. It’s unavoidable. Once you add a barrier, breathable or not, the ability of that shoe to dry is severely inhibited. Conversely, a running shoe (trail or road) that is properly designed will allow lots of airflow. This not only allows the foot to breath and allow sweat to evaporate, but allows allows the fastest possible drying (often as you run). While this design is not inherently “warm”, good socks along with a quality barrier sock are a much more effective solution.

tldr; a waterproof shoe stays wet once wet. Wet = cold in winter. Wet = overheating in summer.