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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.

PT-03 DESERT - SAS (Special Anti-Sand) shoes

>>03 June 2010

Review by The Editor

Product review of the UK Gear PT-03 DESERT

Earlier this season I was in Abu Dhabi racing the new long course format. Within my luggage was a new running shoe especially designed to cope with the two biggest Abu Dhabi assets...sand and sun...the third being oil!

At the first opening of the box I have to be completely honest, they were not your typical bright coloured running / tri shoe as you can see in the photos. In reality, the sort of harsh environment these shoes are designed to perform in doesn’t require a catwalk like appearance; the typical event these would be used in would be something like Marathon des Sables, where the keys to running fast are to avoid sand in the shoes and damage to the skin on your over-heating feet.

PT-03 DESERT Abu Dhabi Race.jpg

I tested these amongst some native wildlife, the local camel farm, by running through their feeding ground and then asking them for their opinion on the tan colour, see pictures.

I was shocked by how light the shoes felt straight out of the box and wearing them in the dunes. They look like they should weigh twice as much as they do, something that would be a huge a benefit in soft sand. Also on the outside of the shoes were integrated loops for ‘gaiters’ used by hikers and sand runners to prevent sand from entering the shoes from the outside during strides, these are also available from the manufacturers’ website.

Cushioning was high for the shoes and added to the comfortable feel provided by a good arch support and the cooling internal fabric of the shoes, even after a good 45mins around the local dunes. I also ran in my regular shoes that I was using for the race and spent the next 2 days bashing sand out of them so the claims made by UK Gear were certainly true.

I needed a second opinion whilst testing and was lucky enough to be staying with a friend who was ex-SAS and now based out in the Middle East. He agreed to try the shoes (as well as take the photos) and reported back that they were some of the best shoes he had used in sand conditions, a great accolade by anyone’s standards!

The manufacturer’s claims are the shoe is designed for temperatures of +25 to +50°C and sand-proofness are certainly true. Whilst I didn’t race Abu Dhabi in them due to it being a road run I can report back that I left the shoes with the ex-SAS guy who has continued to wear them and gain some more interest from his commerades!

So if you are thinking of doing a crazy sand race or want a great shoe for training/walking in the heat you can’t go wrong with these UK Gear PT-03 Desert.