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UK Gear’s training shoes were originally designed in association with the Royal Army Physical Training Corps (RAPTC). These elite fitness professionals were closely involved in the development and tested our products in some of the most inhospitable conditions on Earth. Only when approved by the Military do we consider our products... Built to survive.

Sportswear firm joins the Army to create new shoe

>>17 October 2004

A new high performance running shoe, which has been developed by a Midland company alongside the British Army, has been launched at a gruelling testing day.

The shoe, named the PT-03 and produced by Nuneaton sportswear company UK Gear, is the first commercial product to be made in association with the Army and was unveiled at the Army School of Physical Training in Aldershot - where civilians were invited to put the shoe through its paces.

The shoe bears the Army's famous crossed swords logo. Fitness instructors from the Army Physical Training Corps (APTC) advised on its design and tested the shoe over a six-month period.

David Hinde, managing director of UK Gear, said: "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."

The entire project from concept, through design, testing and manufacture has taken UK Gear 18 months to complete and cost a six-figure sum, he added.

Before design work began on the shoe, APTC instructors helped UK Gear develop a brief of what the shoe needed to be able to do to match their exacting standards. The company then began the design process alongside top shoe designers and produced the first prototype.

The testing phase saw a number of instructors from the Aldershot-based APTC use the prototype shoe in all their training sessions. These included track, trail, and road sessions as well as the Corps' punishing hill running.

The Army's feedback was then incorporated into later designs before the final PT-03 was tested and approved. Mr 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 fulfill the needs of the majority of runners."

Lt Col Phil Watkins, of the APTC, added: "The PT03s are top quality running shoes. They embody the Army's values and standards and we're delighted to be associated with them. It's 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 PT-03, which has a recommended retail price of £79 and is available from shops including Sweatshop and The Athlete's Foot, is also the star on UK Gear's new website - www.ukgear.com.

As part of the arrangement between the Army and UK Gear the shoes are now worn by all APTC 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. Colonel Robin Clifford, head of the Army's commercial branch, said: "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."

UK Gear is now working with the Army on a gym shoe for use indoors.