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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.

Army Plans Assault on Sports Shoe Market.

>>16 September 2004

LONDON (Reuters) - The British army has poked a toe into one of the world's toughest fields of conflict -- selling sports shoes.

The army is lending its name and insignia to a running shoe, called PT-03, which will do battle in the shops with the sleek and heavily marketed likes of Reebok, Nike and Adidas.

It is the first commercial product to be endorsed by the British army, whose fitness instructors helped test and design the shoes, and will carry the logo of crossed swords over a crown and lion.

The armed services have been looking to exploit their image commercially since 1998, when the Treasury urged government departments to examine opportunities such as selling real estate or intellectual property rights.

The Royal Air Force is currently trying to patent its red white and blue "target" symbol, long a T-shirt favorite.

While Nike have Michael Jordan to promote their wear, the British army has Colonel Phil Watkins.

The 55-year-old head of the Army Physical Training Corps says these running shoes are among the best he's worn in a 40-year army career which has seen him in combat zones from Malaysia to Northern Ireland.

"My instructors have been out and run these to destruction. They have been trashed," he said.

While the shoes' image may be true Brit, they are actually made in Vietnam.

And despite the endorsement, the army's custom is not even guaranteed. The 79-pound ($141) price tag may prove a bit daunting for many soldiers.

The PT-03 -- PT standing for Physical Training -- is manufactured for sportswear firm UK Gear and will be aimed at serious runners.

Andy Barber, deputy editor of Running Fitness magazine believes that while athletes tend to stick to a brand they already know, the new army brand may work.

"We use army guys here as testers and they give a shoe a good hammering, so if it works for the army you tend to see it as being a trusty trainer," he told Reuters.