Hard as nails...
When I was sent the blurb by the lovely Rowena at UK Gear on the new PT-1000 shoe, it seemed too good to be true. The implication was that the shoes will last 1000 miles and hardly be worn…
All British Army recruits get issued with a pair of standard UK Gear shoes every year – or used to, as the PT-1000 will now be issues all 450 instructors at the Army Physical Training Corp’s (APTC) Aldershot base.
If Andrew Murray is anything to go by too, these Army-ready shoes will go well beyond this. Personally, I am not a great believer in the ’500 mile rule’ (i.e replace them as they are no longer up to the job and you will get injured if you dont go out and buy some nice new ones) that so readily gets bandied about by some shoe brands.
How can a shoe used by a 15 stone pronator, running on tarmac, wear and degrade at the same rate as the same shoe worn by a pretty neutral striking 10-stoner in that same distance and time-frame? Equally, before run and after run care of the shoe can affect the EVA and so on, and so on. Anyway…how did they fair when we tested them over about 150 miles in total over the last three months?
Wear: After running in these on a variety of surfaces and gradients, the outsole appears to have minimal wear. Pretty damn impressive. In fact it would be interesting to understand the rubber compounds that UK Gear have used in the rear and mid-foot areas, as I can honestly not see any significant wear in these areas.
Build: As the box says ‘Built to Survive’. I am astounded by the the build quality actually. For free movement and unrestricted feeling the PT-1000 doesn’t score highly in my book. For quality and peace of mind that these babies wont collapse at the first sign of off-road conditions, they are up there. If anything, they feel over engineered – like a great 80’s Volkswagen that was built to never give up or be overtaken by the ravages of the terrain it inhabits.
Ride: For me, too harsh. I am a lightweight guy, who likes to be able to feel the terrain beneath his feet. With the PT-1000’s you don’t get that. But, not all are like mois, and you certainly feel that you have something considerable on your foot whilst on the move. And I can see that some of the bigger guys and girls out there would like that feel of a sturdy shoe.
On road: Very positive, good support, reasonably light (for what is a trainer after all). Nothing to get too excited about, but solid.
Off-road: Surprisingly good (I say this as the shoe is aimed at the trails as well as the road, and the tread didn’t exactly inspire confidence when I first saw it). That is on the low-level trails and canal path terrain. Unfortunately anything very wet and of a gradient above about 20% and the PT 1000 struggles. Not exactly tank-like put it that way.
VFM: 9 /10, really, as if these were the shoes for you they will last and last and probably be a great all-rounder for your ‘everyday’ needs.
Would I buy them: Me, personally, no. But I am no yardstick. I live in the high forests of Wales and most of my running is on trails, tracks and hills that are severe in gradient and often wet and muddy. If I was an everyday runner, living in a UK environment that wasn’t too harsh, and was doing lots of tarmac miles, with the need for lots of support – yes.
Rated or slated: Definitely rated. This isn’t about if they work for me, but if they work, and when it comes to doing what it says on the tin (or box) these shoes deliver – and that is what it is all about.