The days of the British Army issuing its men and women pumps to do physical training with are long gone, nowadays trainers are issued for sports and gym work. The trainers issued form stores are not designer brands or very sophisticated designs, being bought to a price rather than being cutting edge footwear. Despite this, they are a functional design and the UK Gear design we are looking at today were a major improvement on the old Silver Shadows:
The underside of the trainers have white soles so that they do not mark the floors of gyms, and a simple tread for grip:
The trainers are identical to many civilian patterns, however under the tongue is a label with an NSN number, indicating their military origin:
Although these trainers were issued, and probably used during basic training, many quickly replaced them with their own privately purchased trainers, as one squaddie explains:
Issue tissue trainers have always been the cheapest the army can buy. The tender goes out, the bidders give their bottom line, and the army picks that one. They might sex it up in various ways, but ultimately, you’re buying the cheapest item which means the cheapest materials, the cheapest manufacturing costs and the cheapest quality assurance.
Having said that, there were some fans of the UK Gear trainers:
The UK Gear trainers are/were absolutely outstanding, designed with the help of the PT Corps, carrying the PT corps badge and I’ve literally run thousands of miles in them – they came with either neutral or structured cushioning…and far better than their equivalents on the market to the point where the US and German armies also issued them! to buy on the open market they cost in the range of 70-100 pounds depending upon the version you were buying