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Monday, May 04, 2009

Commercial trainers: You're in the Army now

In the history of things one of the main easons we all ended up wearing colourful trainers was because after World War II, the sandshoes issued to the forces found their way into Civvy Street. Which was a fortunate conincidence since canvas topped rubber soled shoes were the badge of rebellion and in the absence of US ‘Chucks’ in the UK came as an appropraite replacement for many rationed teenagers in the UK. Seems fitting that the trainer revolution aside the British Army took until 2004 to produce their own extreme sports footwear for public consumption. ukgear.com is a commercial branch of the Army which retails its own brand of luxury trainers. Following a Treasury order in 1998 indicating all government departments must use “irreducible spare capacity” i.e. underused land, personnel and skillsto make money or enhance public relations, the Army have set too becoming entrepeneurial and amaong other things developed their set of trainers for sale. The original sportshoes were designed and developed by David Hinde, who runs UK Gear and the Army provided subjects for testing and development of the product. The UK Gear PT-03 range of runners which are sold under the cross sword logo of the British Army are all tested to extreme wear and climatic conditions and available in male and female sizes. The shoes are hardy, made in Vietnam but not necessarily the cheapest avialable retailing from approx. £79 a pair. Currenty miltary personnel are not issued with the new commercial trainers and receive either the more basic Hi-Tec Silver Shadow or an unbranded pair of trainers in their kit.

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