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The Unbelievable Testing Laboratory’s Ninja

UT Lab is back with a new design, new materials and an even lighter ultra-lightweight pair of casual shoes: The Ninja.

Previously, we covered covered two of the UT Lab’s shoe designs: theĀ  Light Wing Pencil and the Light Wing Trainer. Both were made from Tyvek, were super light, and were successful Kickstarter projects.

UTLAB Light Wing Shoes

UT Lab’s Light Wing trainers

Not wanting to rest on their laurels, the folks at UT Lab continued to explore the limits of ultralight shoe design and manufacturing. This time, they not only wanted to see if they could make a lighter shoe, but also one that was easy to manufacture. After all, if you want to be able to scale up your product, optimizing its production is a key next step.

The new Ninja, even lighter than the Light Wing at 130g. (Credit: UT Lab)

The new Ninja, even lighter than the Light Wing at 130g. (Credit: UT Lab)

So, how light is the Ninja? A scant 130 grams, which makes them even lighter than the Tyvek-based Light Wing. How can they be so light? They are made from a woven microfiber instead of Tyvek.

OK, you may be thinking microfiber is that stuff that super-absorbent towels are made from. You wouldn’t be the only one. That was the first thing that came to my mind as well. Who wants a shoe that will absorb every puddle you walk by?

It's microfiber, but not the chamois kind. (Credit: UT Lab)

It’s microfiber, but not the chamois kind. (Credit: UT Lab)

Fortunately, that towel- or chamois-type of microfiber is not the only kind that exists. The Ninja are being made from a woven, non-split terylene microfiber. So, it is not only light and soft, but also water resistant.

The four colors of Ninja (Credit: UT Lab)

The four colors of Ninja (Click to enlarge. Credit: UT Lab)

The Ninja, a slip-on style trainer or casual shoe, will be made in four colors: black, gray, green and eggplant (purple). Each one also features a contrasting accent color for the tongue and stitching. I quite like the black with red stitching. It kind of reminds me of a Ricaro racing seat design.

Look interesting? Want to get a pair of your own? Well, you are in luck. These are being launched tonight on Kickstarter at 7:00 pm EDT, starting at US $38. Their quantities will not be limited the way the Light Wings were, so you can get as many as your heart desires. However, UT Lab is making some limited serial numbered versions for early backers. So, if you have a Kickstarter account, sign up for notification of when the project page goes live and have a look for yourself.

Update: You can visit the project page at Kickstarter.

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