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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 Rumour SErvice - PT-1000 review

>>24 November 2010


UK Gear PT-1000 Running Shoes

Running shoes are supposed to have a 'life' of 250-550 miles depending on your size, your running style and the surface you run over. Over time, the mid sole starts to compress, leading to a lack of cushioning and stability; this makes running less comfortable, puts extra strain on your joints and may exacerbate injuries. By that rationale, if you run 25 miles a week, your shoes could be past their best in less than 3 months.

You will probably all be aware of UK Gear's long-standing relationship with the APTC (sorry, RAPTC), which has produced the PT-03 running shoe in all its variants. UK Gear have now developed the PT-1000 that, having been tested for thousands of miles by legions of tanned, toned and squeaky-voiced PTIs, they claim is good for 1000 miles of road & trail. Now I am no PTI and run anywhere from 5-20 miles a week, so this would mean that the shoes would last me anywhere from a year upwards and that makes the initially eye-watering RRP of £95 seem not such bad value.

So what makes the shoe so durable? From the ground up the shoe consists of: a non-marking Carbon Rubber Sole with deep traction lugs which is suited for road and trail running and includes an extra tough 'Rhino Pad' at the heel; next comes the mid sole, but this is not simply a layer of squidgy material, but a 'Force Dynamic System', a cunning blend of classified technology and proprietary compounds and materials - the running shoe equivalent of Dorchester Armour or the KFC crispy coating. UK Gear do admit to it including DurevaTM, their own proprietary mid sole material, NRG heel and forefoot pads and a mid-foot support bridge plus something called Bio Flex Technology - which combine to cushion, strengthen, stabilise and assist your foot's natural movement from heel down to toe off; lastly, the shoe body is constructed of synthetic leather and Hawk Air Mesh, with a molded heel counter and a dipped Achilles tab at the back and a protective toe guard at the front.

The shoe comes in two types; Neutral Cushioning (NC) for those of us with a stable gait and Structured Cushioning (SC) for those with stability needs (spazzy legs). The SC comes predominantly in black while the NC is in a lighter grey. Both have contrasting trim and 3M reflective material; the colourways are not the trendiest, but they are not an ugly shoe by any means.

First impressions on taking them out of the box are favourable; despite the claims of toughness they are not a heavy shoe, but are clearly built to last. The pair of size 8s I received fitted perfectly (I'm an absolutely standard 8M) and were easily and securely adjusted by the elliptical profile laces. The tongue is sewn in for two thirds of its length and sits centrally with no slippage whilst running. On first wear the PT-1000s feel a little stiff, particularly around the heel cup area; this persists for the first couple of miles, along with a definite feeling that the movement of your foot is being actively stabilised. It is not a particularly intrusive feeling, however, and you are soon able to concentrate on the joy of the open road/the pain of a 40 year-old trying to turn back the ravages of a misspent youth (delete as appropriate).

The shoes have now been tried out on tarmac, mud/stone track and grass; the tread is good for all three and I am happy to report that they are proving to be comfortable, stable and relatively light weight. It will be some time before I am in a position to report on how well they are standing up against the 1000-mile target, but I am confident that UK Gear have done their homework (has a PTI ever lied to you?).