A new high performance running shoe which has been developed in association with the British Army has been launched at the Army School of Physical Training. The shoe, named the PT-03 and produced by British sportswear company UK Gear, is the first commercial product ever to be produced in association with the Army. It bears the Army's famous crossed swords logo and embodies the Army's values and standards.
During the development of the shoe, Army fitness instructors from the elite Army Physical Training Corps advised on its design and tested the shoe over a six-month period. The entire project from concept, through design, testing and manufacture has taken UK Gear eighteen months to complete and has resulted in a unique association with the Army.
David Hinde, managing director of UK Gear, said: "The PT-03 is a high performance running shoe. It has been created with the help of some of the fittest people on the planet - the Army’s own fitness instructors - which means it will stand up to the demands of any runner. Whether they are an elite athlete or occasional jogger, when people buy the PT-03 they will know they are buying the best".
Before design work began on the shoe, Army Physical Training Corps instructors helped UK Gear develop a brief - a detailed written description of what the shoe needed to be able to do to match their exacting standards. The company then began the design process and produced the first prototype. The testing phase saw a number of instructors from the Aldershot-based Army Physical Training Corps use the prototype shoe in all their training sessions. These included track, trail and road sessions as well as the Corps' punishing hill running sessions. The Army's feedback was then incorporated into later designs before the final PT-03 was tested and approved.
David Hinde said: "The end product is a stability running shoe which incorporates all the latest technical benefits which are available. The PT-03 will provide support and cushioning to fulfil the needs of the majority of runners". One senior Army Physical Training Corps officer who covered more than 800 kilometres in the same pair of PT-03s said they were an outstanding pair of running shoes.
Liutenant Colonel Phil Watkins of the Army Physical Training Corps said: "The PT-03s are top quality running shoes, they embody the Army's values and standards and we are delighted to be associated with them. It is the first time the Army has worked with a company in this way to share our expertise and experience and we expect them to be a great success".
The Army's crossed swords logo appears on the underside of the tongue. The shoe also comes with a brief history of the Army Physical Training Corps. As part of the arrangement between the Army and UK Gear the shoes are now worn by all Army Physical Training Corps instructors, a total of more than 450 around the world. In addition, a proportion of the revenue from sales of the PT-03 will go back to the Army to be spent on quality of life enhancements for the units involved in the project.
Colonel Robin Clifford, head of the Army's commercial branch, said: "This pioneering initiative is in keeping with the Army's values of innovation, expertise and flexibility. We believe that activities like this, with Army personnel demonstrating that their specific skills can be of value and benefit to the public, are positive for the Army. Of course, the Army is very busy on operations and training, so we will only take part in such initiatives when they do not impact on our core activities".
Run The Planet thanks The British Army website (www.army.mod.uk) for the permission to reprint the article "UK gear and British Army join forces on new running shoe". The PT-03 running shoe is available from the United Kingdom's top specialist running stores and major sports shoe retailers. Customers can also order shoes online at www.ukgear.com or by calling the company direct on +44.0870.403.1400.