By T.C. WORLEY
Ever had a pair of running shoes that you loved but became worn out too quickly and needed to be replaced? Great Britain’s UK Gear Ltd. knows your pain. Its proud to boast “the first shoe in the world designed to last 1,000 running miles.” That’s the selling point of its “ultra durable” PT-1000 running shoe, designed for road and trail and costing $130.
UK Gear enlisted some help from the British Royal Army Physical Training Corps in developing the PT-1000, citing that they “tested the shoe in some of the harshest conditions on earth” and “stamped their seal of approval.” This last part is literal, as the shoes bear the British Army’s crossed swords insignia as a logo.
What makes the shoes extra durable? UK Gear says its shoes have “classified technology” that was built on a foundation of “proprietary compounds and materials.” Kind of vague, we know. Really, the shoes seem to be built with pretty normal running shoe materials. But they are constructed well, and the sole, footbed, midsole, and the upper materials, all synthetic, feel durable and give the impression that they will last a long time.
This month we tested the tough British Army shoes. Upon receiving my pair of PT-1000s, I first felt they were overbuilt and heavy. Compared to my normal running shoes, which are more minimal, the Brit shoes are beefy. But for their tough build, the shoes are not overly heavy. My size 11 (U.S. men’s) shoes weighed 14 ounces apiece, which is an average running-shoe spec.
Testing the shoes out on the road and trail, they performed decently. Despite the somewhat bulky build, the UK Gear shoes feel fine on the run. Other than the high-mileage superlative, there is really nothing too special about the shoes. They run fine, and they are comfortable and protective, though not anyway beyond the norm.
Styling is not the shoes’ strong suit. With gray and maroon colors, mesh, and fat-looking heel padding, they are very normal with a commodity-footwear look. All military influence seems to have been skipped over in design.
One final important note: The shoes run big. My size 11 shoes fit more like a size 12 or 12.5. This is an annoying oversight, as most people who purchase these shoes will likely do so online.
My test, admittedly, with these shoes was not a true test of their main claim. But then again I’d need to run 1,000 miles to assess UK Gear’s durability spec. As far as we can tell, they are stout and built to last. At $130, the PT-1000s are not cheap. But if your running terrain is gnarlier than most and you like a tough, sturdy shoe — or you just want your runners to soldier on a little longer than normal — the PT-1000s could be your long-term fit.