The trainer that's still going after 38 marathons

British soldiers' kitbags will soon contain the world's most durable running shoe

A British company has invented the world's first pair of running shoes that will keep going for more than 1,000 miles before wearing out. Sadly, it can't guarantee the same for the user.

A single pair of the UK Gear trainers, which will be launched next month, would get a keen runner all the way from John O'Groats to Land's End – and still have life left in them. Experts normally recommend changing running shoes every 350 miles.

UK Gear developed the shoes in conjunction with the British Army, which already issues the firm's standard trainers to new recruits. All 450 instructors at the Army Physical Training Corp's (APTC) Aldershot base will wear the shoes from next month.

Captain Barry Stoddart, the APTC's chief instructor, was one of those who put the trainer through its paces. "I've done over 1,000 miles in them. I had not one problem although I found it stiff at first. I run every day, about 70 to 80 miles a week, and tried the shoe on the road, track, treadmill, cross country. It did the whole job," he said.

David Hinde, UK Gear's chief executive, said the company, which also supplies the US army with shoes, initially wanted to develop a "training shoe with military DNA", so he got the Army to help him test out its first pair of shoes six years ago.

"We found during the process that there was a need for something specific to the Army. It became clear a normal commercial running shoe wouldn't survive the rigours of day-to-day training in the military." All 15,000 British Army recruits now get issued with a pair of UK Gear shoes every year.

The APTC's Major Dougie Peters said the new generation of recruits had needed something different from standard-issue boots to run in. "Back in the 1970s and 1980s all runs were done in boots, but the generations were changing. People weren't able to run in boots because they hadn't worn that kind of footwear as kids," he said.

Sergeant Julia Bloomer, one of the few female APTC instructors, was among the 40 involved in the testing stage. She found them "very functional and comfortable", adding: "The big thing is they are fit for purpose – multiple purposes, in fact."

Although The IoS can't claim to have clocked up the full 1,000 miles in the pair it was issued, it did visit the Aldershot base to test the shoes. And our verdict?

We found them slightly unforgiving, jarring in fact, but that could have as much to do with our tester's running style as with the shoe. That was certainly the experts' view: Jonathan Morrison, whose London-based Profeet store specialises in analysing runners' gaits and making custom-fit shoes, advised me to pick another pair.

"It's not ideal for you because you pronate [roll inwards]. It's too flexible through the mid and forefoot, so it won't help control the motion of your foot, although it would probably function quite well as a neutral shoe."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
News
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project