Thanks to a marriage between Dyneema, the world’s strongest fiber (15 times stronger than steel), and leather, ECCO has created a lightweight water-resistant boot that will stand up to anything you can throw at it. With the style of a urban sneaker but packed full of outdoor functionality, the ECCO Exostrike could be the ultimate crossover boot.
According to Hyperlite Mountain Gear, a company that makes tons of outdoor product from this ultrastrong material, “Dyneema fiber is produced by extruding a UV-resistant polyethylene gel through a spinneret. In a patented process, the fiber is drawn, heated, stretched and cooled. The result is a filament exceptional long-chain molecular alignment is paired with high crystallization, limiting density while allowing for unusual load dispersion. At one-thousandth of an inch in thickness. Dyneema’s outstanding strength-to-weight ratio makes it the strongest fiber in the world.”
ECCO teamed up with The Dyneema Project to bond Dyneema fabric to the back of leather, creating a soft, paper-thin material — just 0.5 millimeters thick — that looks and feels like leather but is five times stronger. Normally, such slim leather would be very weak but by adding the Dyneema, you can not only create a lightweight material but also one with superb tear resistance, a high strength-to-weight ratio, and one that is water-resistant also. Basically, it’s the thinnest, lightest, strongest leather on the market.
The ECCO Exostrike offers a glove-like fit thanks to a heel cup that hugs your foot while giving added support and protection. The boot provides good cushioning and responsiveness thanks to the unique ribbed polyurethane midsole. And the rugged rubber outsole maintains grip over a variety of terrain.
While these boots look awesome, the one issue I can see is that Dyneema is that it doesn’t breathe that well. That’s one of the biggest problems with tents made from Cuben Fiber (a Dyneema Composite Fabric)– they may be ultralight but condensation is a real issue.
The ECCO Exostrike will be available in limited quantities (cost $200-$300) starting on April 11th.