The Journey to iON SYNC® - Earthing Shoe DIY Kit 2.0

Aimee Coustier

For over a decade, our customers have expressed a desire for earthing shoes to complement our popular earthing sandals. However, our efforts remained focused on what has been the cornerstone of our success – an incredibly utilitarian and universally appealing sandal design that transcends gender boundaries... until now.

At Earth Runners, we recognize that footwear is a blend of personal preference and self-expression, and our aim is to offer products that cater to the widest possible demographic. While the challenge of ethically developing earthing shoes for a global market is daunting, we remain steadfast in our commitment to reconnecting people with nature and promoting healthy physical and biological functions.

The Genesis of Earthing Shoes

ShoeSync - Earthing Shoe DIY Kit (2016)


In 2016, we responded to customer requests by launching the ShoeSync - Earthing Shoe DIY Kit. However, this initial offering was rudimentary and lacked user-friendliness, leaving room for improvement. It marked the beginning of our journey towards the iON SYNC® - Earthing Shoe DIY Kit 2.0.

Chronology of Progress

To understand the evolution of our groundbreaking iON SYNC® technology, let's delve into the timeline of key milestones:

2012: Earth Runners was founded.
2013-2015: Customer demands for earthing shoes increased.
2016: Earth Runners introduced the ShoeSync - Earthing Shoe DIY Kit.
2018: A patent (pending) was filed for conductive rubber earthing plugs.
2019: Testing commenced on the conductive rubber earthing plugs.
2020: The trademark "ION SYNC®" was secured.
2021: A proprietary polymer earthing technology process was developed.
2022: Grounded tabi featuring iON SYNC® technology were launched.
2024: The iON SYNC® - Earthing Shoe DIY Kit 2.0 was officially launched.

The Path to Perfection

Our journey toward iON SYNC® was a prolonged and iterative process, taking a total of 12 years to reach fruition. We encountered numerous obstacles, including failed prototypes and design challenges. The breakthrough came in 2018 when we reimagined our earthing plug, a vital component of our kit, to dramatically enhance its efficacy.

Form Factor

Our primary goal for the iON SYNC® Earthing Plugs was to create a solution that seamlessly integrates with minimalist footwear. This solution needed to offer permanent fastening, a water-tight seal, direct contact with both the ground and the foot, a polished appearance, and comfort. Our innovative approach led us to discover "rubber rivets," initially used for mounting computer fans and as vibration-damping components. We reverse-engineered this fastener to serve as a plug through the sole of a shoe, developing a design reminiscent of a 'domed golf tee.' The inclusion of a cone-shaped pull tab simplified installation, allowing the plug to lock securely in place, with the tab trimmed flush to the outsole tread upon completion.

Conductive Composition

Once we refined the form factor, we embarked on the challenging task of perfecting the conductive composition. Creating conductive rubber polymers involves blending liquid polymers with conductive fillers, and achieving the right balance between conductivity and mechanical resilience proved demanding. We discovered that different conductive fillers had varying thresholds, affecting conductivity and mechanical properties differently. However, recent advancements in conductive polymer research, particularly in the realm of high performance molecular materials, opened new possibilities. Through persistent effort and global networking, we collaborated with a leading compounding company experienced in working with industry giants like Apple, Tesla, and SpaceX. After more than 15 iterations, we formulated a compound that combines the durability of shoe outsole rubber with the required conductivity, meeting the standards for therapeutic earthing (less than 10^3 Ohms resistance).

Our iON SYNC® - Earthing Shoe DIY Kit 2.0 represents the culmination of years of dedication, innovation, and collaboration. Earth Runners remains committed to its mission of reconnecting individuals with nature and supporting their physical and biological well-being. As we step into this new era of earthing technology, we invite you to join us on this transformative journey toward a healthier and more connected future.

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