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German Army Trainers: Rubber Soles Bring Comfort And Simplicity

Views: 43     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2024-05-09      Origin: Site

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Today, there are hundreds of styles of German Army trainers, yet their iconic design remains unchanged, centered around functionality rather than fashion. Comfort, support, durability, and longevity of the rubber sole are the most crucial considerations.


The original trainers featured a sleek, almost aerodynamic silhouette created by a rubber sole, soft leather, and gray or off-white suede leather on the toe.


GAT


This design suited the soldiers of the German army perfectly. The sole of the trainers distinguished them from other athletic or sport shoes with its unique circular and grid patterns.


1. The History of GAT


The German army training shoes, also known as GAT, commonly referred to as "trainers", were the shoes worn by the West German Federal Armed Forces during indoor training sessions in the 1970s and 1980s. Renowned for their superior shock absorption and exceptional comfort, these shoes became the dedicated footwear for German military training.


The story of these shoes begins with two talented brothers, complemented by an American Olympic athlete, events from World War II and the Cold War, and the involvement of a Belgian fashion designer, tracing back to early 20th-century Germany.


1.1 Adidas and PUMA Before the Split


The founders of Adidas, Adolf Dassler, and PUMA, Rudolf Dassler, were brothers. In 1924, before their split, they were the joint founders of the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory in Germany. After ten years of development, their shoes gained recognition in Germany. They co-founded the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory in their hometown of Herzogenaurach, Germany.


Dassler Brothers

the Dassler brothers


the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory

the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory


1.2 One of the Greatest Athletes of the Time, Owens, Wearing Dassler Shoes


In 1936, during the Berlin Olympics, Owens, wearing spiked running shoes from Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory, won four Olympic gold medals, bringing all-time prestige to the brothers' shoe factory.


Owens in the Dassler Shoes

the Dassler Shoes

Owens in the Dassler Shoes


1.3 Adidas and PUMA After the Split


By 1948, disagreements led to a split between the Dassler brothers, resulting in the formation of Adidas by Adi and PUMA by Rudolf, later known as PUMA. Before the split of the Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory, their shoes featured twin stripes. To avoid potential conflict with PUMA, Adidas decided to discontinue using the twin stripes. Three stripes seemed like a good alternative. Many manufacturers used stripes at the time, but since they matched the shoe color, it was hard to differentiate between brands. By painting the three stripes white, Adidas immediately stood out. This logo was officially registered in 1949.


Logo of Adidas and Puma


PUMA had a similar idea, choosing a single stripe. Initially, the design featured a wide single stripe across the shoe, which later evolved into the streamlined appearance seen today: wider at the front and tapering towards the heel.


Adidas's trainer

Adidas's trainer

Puma's trainer

Puma's trainer


In the 1970s, the West German army announced the production of a new type of sports shoe for 500,000 soldiers for indoor training. Adidas and PUMA, the two most powerful German manufacturers at the time, both participated in this order.


According to the official records of the German Federal Armed Forces Military History Museum, PUMA proposed the initial model of the German Army Trainer. However, PUMA itself has no record of producing this type of shoe.


It is widely believed that Adidas was the company that produced the first batch of GATs, its "Bundeswehr sportschuhe," which indeed were worn by the German Federal Armed Forces during training in the 1980s.


GAT



2. The Fashion Industry Discovers GAT


In 1989, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of East and West Germany, the West German army disbanded around 370,000 soldiers, and the trainers disappeared along with the demilitarization.


Subsequently, thousands of pairs of GAT trainers flooded the second-hand military surplus market. Thanks to their simplicity, generosity, quality, durability, and versatility, they gained recognition and favor from countless military enthusiasts and the general public, quickly spreading from Germany to the entire European market.


Regardless, the original GATs were strikingly similar to the spiked shoes Adolf Dassler gifted to Jesse Owens. In 1998, Belgian designer Martin Margiela discovered the GAT trainers in Austria. Margiela was evidently captivated by the GAT trainers and purchased dozens of them, eventually showcasing them at his eponymous brand's Spring/Summer 1999 handcrafted release, thereby introducing the GAT trainers to the world of fashion.


The most famous improved version came in 2001 to 2002 when Maison Margiela's team painted the soles of Adidas-produced GAT trainers and added handwritten annotations on the uppers, making each pair unique.


By 2006, Maison Margiela officially launched the "Replica Sneaker" GAT trainer replica series, which remains a classic modern version of the GAT trainers.


Maison Margiela's trainer

Maison Margiela's trainer

Maison Margiela's trainer


Trainers' resurgence in the fashion circle is also attributed to Hedi Slimane, a design genius. Born on July 5, 1968, Slimane is a French photographer and high-end fashion designer. From 2000 to 2007, he served as the creative director of Dior Homme (Christian Dior's menswear collection). From 2012 to 2016, he served as the creative director of Yves Saint Laurent. Since February 1, 2018, Slimane has been serving as Celine's creative, artistic, and image director. Recently, there have been rumors of his departure from Celine, awaiting official confirmation.


Hedi Slimane

Hedi Slimane


In November 2018, Hedi Slimane topped Vanity Fair's annual list of the "50 Most Influential French People".


During his tenure at Dior, in 2004, Slimane introduced an improved version of the GAT trainers called Berlin 01. Upon its release, it became immensely popular, remaining a perennial bestseller and one of the most iconic footwear in the Dior brand, frequently seen in celebrity street style and corporate settings.


Dior Homme “B01”

Dior Homme “B01”


The primary difference between B01 and Replica lies in the contrasting black stripes on the side panels (perhaps a reference to Adidas "three stripes") and the use of gray leather on the toe instead of suede.


Since then, various brands have competed to replicate the classic trainer style, from high-end to mass-market. Both Gazelle, Samba, and Resplit Low from Adidas are improved versions of the original GAT trainers.


Adidas's Gazelle

1970s Gazelle advertising campaigns (via SNS)


Adidas's Gazelle

Adidas's Gazelle


Adidas's Samba

Samba (via Aaron Miller)


3. Recommend a pair of Comfortable New Trainers


Loro Piana 2024 New GAT Trainers

Loro Piana 2024 New GAT Trainers


From the LP24 Spring Collection comes a pair of GAT trainers made from soft deer leather. The breathable properties and flexible texture of natural materials make these trainers both functional and comfortable. Without metallic tanning and with rolling techniques, the natural texture of the leather stands out. The camel-colored sole and white rubber trim create a double-layer sole effect, making them suitable for daily wear.


The heel embellishment features Kummel-colored inserts, and the tongue is adorned with the embossed LP logo.


Loro Piana 2024 New GAT Trainers

Loro Piana 2024 New GAT Trainers

Loro Piana 2024 New GAT Trainers

Loro Piana 2024 New GAT Trainers


The shoes are incredibly comfortable to wear, with a substantial insole. Taking out the insole reveals the craftsmanship at the pull tab, indicating attention to detail not immediately visible. The soft and delicate


Calf leather combined with the thick latex insole provides a satisfyingly resilient feel.


Loro Piana 2024 New GAT Trainers' sole


The rubber sole is comfortable to step on, slip-resistant, and flexible.


The weight of Loro Piana 2024 New GAT Trainers


Extremely lightweight at only 283g, they remain comfortable to wear.


Loro Piana 2024 New GAT Trainers


With an extremely accommodating last, they strike a balance between vintage charm and contemporary style, combining aesthetics and comfort.


4. High-Quality Rubber Soles Create High-Quality Trainers


In the design and production of trainers, rubber soles are not just a simple footwear material but play a crucial functional and responsible role. High-quality rubber soles can provide excellent traction and durability, ensuring stable support and comfortable walking experiences on various surfaces.


Furthermore, high-quality rubber soles offer outstanding shock absorption and cushioning, effectively reducing foot impact and pressure, thereby alleviating fatigue and protecting foot health. This shock-absorbing effect is particularly crucial for trainers, which are worn for extended periods during training and activities that involve high intensity, requiring comprehensive support and protection.


Therefore, it can be said that high-quality rubber soles directly determine the overall quality and performance of trainers. They provide a solid foundation for the shoes, making trainers the preferred choice for athletes, military trainers, and everyday wearers alike. With the support of modern rubber technology, trainers not only boast excellent functional performance but also continuously innovate in design and fashion trends, becoming a perfect blend of sports and fashion.


Huadong Rubber Sole Manufacturer not only possesses advanced technology and equipment but also has rich experience and excellent quality control capabilities. Through continuous research and innovation, we provide rubber sole products that are wear-resistant, slip-resistant, elastic, and stable, laying a reliable foundation for the performance of trainers.




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