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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.

GT-02 - The perfect shoe for Freerunning! Aaron Palmer

>>05 October 2011

Aaron Palmer handstand

UK Gear GT-02 Urban Multi-Sport training shoe review for PARKOUR & FREERUNNING

Aaron_Palmer_1.jpgBeing a Freerunner who is also part of the British Military and training to complete the Physical Training Instructor course with the Army, I couldn’t wait to test the GT-02’s knowing that they had been put through their paces by the Royal Army Physical Training Corps.

From what I have seen and read about the shoes, it seems the GT-02's have excelled in areas which would most suit the sport of Parkour and Freerunning, areas such as durability, support and grip; all of which need to be of a high standard in order to withstand the demands of their Military use. And so I received the GT-02’s expecting these high standards and they certainly didn’t disappoint.  

On first inspection, I realised how light the shoes were compared to so many other freerunning or multi-sport shoes that I have tested in the past. They are not the lightest of shoes in the world, but I have found that the 'norm' is the lighter the shoe - the less durable. But the GT-02's seem to have the correct balance. I have been wearing these shoes for over 4-weeks now, training on all types of surfaces and terrain including concrete, tarmac and dirt - and they have put up with it all.

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The grip on the bottom of the shoe looked promising, maybe even a little delicate but once I started to move in the shoes it became apparent that the grip was rather good especially on shiny surfaces such as marble or polished stone. This is probably due to the fact that they were designed for indoor as well as outdoor use, meaning that they had to work well on military polished gym floors. Many shoes fail miserably when it comes to grip on these types of surfaces. The non-marking sole means that using these shoes inside a gym environment is also an option, as I have found that many gyms in the UK will not allow other Parkour shoes due to the marking nature of soles. The sole itself is completely flat which means that precision jumps onto bars or railings (for those of us who like to use the instep as a lock-on) are not as good as could be because the instep is only slight. For those who use the toes/ball of the foot to land on, the grip is pretty good on metal and rounded surfaces.   

The shoe has good cushioning, and although the main cushioning seems to be in the heal area there is adequate cushioning in the toe box to support landings on the toes. Cushioning is one of those areas which is quite controversial, some Freerunners prefer a lot of cushioning to protect them from harsh landings and landings from heights. Others prefer little cushioning, and to practice a softer landing technique.

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After wearing these shoes for prolonged periods of time, I can firmly say they are very comfortable. I have quite wide feet which can sometimes cause me discomfort with overly narrow shoes, but the GT-02’s were a delight to wear. They offered plenty of room all around the shoe and fitted snugly when fastened with no excessive movement or slipping while training. The meshed areas around the mid section of the shoe give great breathability, meaning that even on long sessions your feet don’t get too sweaty and start rubbing unlike a lot of other training shoes.

Right from the start you have the sense that these shoes were built to last. Small details such as the wrap around sole and strategically placed plastic and rubber bumpers all help to keep the shoes together during the demanding day to day movements involved with Parkour & Freerunning. A few more weeks of punishment will tell for sure if these shoes were built to survive but so far that statement is holding true.

Review By:
Aaron Palmer
UK (Essex) Freerunner / Parkour Practitioner