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Footwear Today - PT-1000 Review

>>17 June 2011

FOOTWEAR FOCUS ROAD TEST - Poncing along the towpath
by Henry Harrington

Some of you who have read my reviews before will know that I normally run on Dartmoor dodging the hazards of rocks, streams and bogs. If you have ever imagined what it would be like for an alien landing on earth, you will come close to the experience I have had moving back to London.

On Dartmoor I have a gate from my garden that takes me onto the Moor. In London if I don’t want to pound the pavements (and I don’t, my knees would rebel) I have to catch a bus or take the car to somewhere I can run. That's not strictly true. I always walk for ten minutes before I run to prepare my body for the impending trauma. I am lucky enough to live near the Thames, a ten minute walk, from what is quaintly called the “tow path.”

To me, a tow path runs alongside a canal and it conjures pictures in my mind of beautiful dray horses quietly towing horses through the countryside. Any honest dray horse would probably bolt if they saw the sights and sounds on the bank of London's River. I have always thought it was better for humanity and for my own self-esteem that I ran as far away from other people as possible. Fortunately Footwear Today likes to publish pictures of shoes, not its reviewers. My gait and garb would certainly frighten the horses.


When I was living in London (a long time ago) I ran, and I had running gear including Lycra running tights. But it was fairly unusual then. I recall the looks and remarks I used to get (being called “Ducky” by burly builders, for example). That may have intimidated someone less thick skinned than I am: it was definitely considered effeminate or kinky to wear tights in those days.

Today there is a Lycra epidemic, an explosion. If you go down to the river on a Sunday morning almost everyone is tightly clad in a second skin of sporty Lycra. And of course there are the cyclists on the towpath too for whom it has always been de rigeur.

I think dressing in the most appropriate kit is quite right what ever activity you are involved in – which is why road testing shoes like the UK Gear PT-1000 is so interesting. And having been the victim of catcalls in the past I am the last one to criticise people for dressing properly, however odd we look.

In fact it's great that people who, perhaps justifiably, have a body self image that is worse than mine pull their fingers out, dress up, put on their running shoes and get some exercise. But like the alien arriving on this planet I have to admit to having seen some strange sights! The strangest perhaps is the men who protect their modesty by wearing conventional shorts over their running tights – they look a bit like Superman who was distracted by the phone ringing when he was changing in the phone booth!

Fortunately for me UK Gear's PT-1000 SC are a good, conventionally looking road / trail running shoe. In fact, with their understated charcoal, chilli pepper and silver livery they were quite butch – something to offset the Lycra! Butch is something you would associate with a company that worked with the British Army Physical Training Corps to design shoes for soldiers. Most of us reluctantly don our running shoes, at best, two or three times a week for a potter in the park and tell friends down the pub of an evening, “I went for a run this morning.” (Come on be honest!).

It is part of a soldiers job description to be fit. If the kit they use is too conventional it will not be robust enough to last – I used to live near the Royal Marine Commando training base and a shop nearby did a roaring trade in boots and rucksacks because the kit with which the Marines were issued was simply not up to the job - which is a poor reflection of how governments treat our soldiers – but that is another story.

I have previously tested UK Gear's PT-03 shoes – one designed for winter running and the other for the desert. They have designed this shoe for the guys who have to train on road and trail. They call the shoe the PT-1000 SC - SC stands for Structured Cushioning (SC), which they say makes it supportive and long lasting with an excellent level of cushioning. It is well suited for runners with an average running gait and mild to moderate stability needs. But perhaps more importantly being a road and trail shoe it suits the demands of running on roads to get to the trails. This is the position I find myself in now running from the house to the Thames tow path and it makes the PT-1000 an ideal hybrid shoe for this “cross training”.


As I mentioned, my knees rebel if I pound pavements but these shoes provide the best of both worlds – road and trail. The soles of the shoes boast being constructed from Dureva, a proprietary mid-sole material built on a unique molecular structure. It is found exclusively in UK gear footwear and, they claim, provides unmatched sustained cushioning and support thereby dramatically extending the lifespan of the shoe. They add that in using Dureva to determine mid-sole density, shock absorption and stability they optimise the performance and durability of the shoes.

You might have guessed it from the name but UK Gear say the PT-1000 is a “1,000 mile road and trail running shoe”. (It wouldn’t sound the same it they claimed it was 1,609.344 kilometre road & trail running shoe.) Well, 1000 miles (or 1,609.344 kilometres) that you or I run, poncing about in the park in our Lycra, is a very different and punishing 1,000 miles that the same shoes will endure on the feet of a fit soldier getting fitter to run for in his life when he is posted to Afghanistan.

source: www.footweartoday.co.uk