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The German Army Trainer

Posted on August 24 2015


Over the years there have been many unforeseen uses of military design and technology which have filtered down into ordinary civilian life. Many everyday items we take for granted today were derived from research and development undertaken by the military. The GPS used by your satellite navigation system, the tin cans to preserve your food and the microwave oven which is often used to cook said food, were all military inventions. Even the internet which you are using to access was developed from the military.

Historically fashion designers have taken inspiration from the military. Designers take pieces of standard issue uniform and reimage them into their own visions. Using luxurious fabrics and the creative use of colour designers can completely change items into objects of admiration and desire. Items which are inherently mass produced, mundane and used to enforce conformity are transformed into pieces which are especially sought after and make you stand out from the crowd.

Cargo pants, bomber jackets and aviator sunglasses are all examples of how the military have invaded into the world of fashion. The use of camouflage is unprecedented and transcends from street fashion all the way up to designers such as Saint Laurent and Valentino as well as the upcoming Kanye West Yeezy Season 1 collection.

Many footwear styles seen today can trace their roots to the military. The German Army Trainer (GAT) is a glaring example of this trend. The exact origins of the GAT are inconclusive. The GAT was developed at a time when brothers, Adolf Dassler of Adidas and Rudolf Dassler of Puma, were competing over a German Army contract to produce footwear for troops in the 1970s. Consequently both Adidas and Puma both have similar styles in their repertoire and claim they were the originators.

The GAT was initially an evolution of the first track spike trainer and was designed for indoor use. The GAT featured an all leather upper for suppleness and comfort. The sole was made from rubber gum for grip which was enhanced by dome shape indents at the toes which would act like suction cups. There is a circular design at the ball of the foot to improve pivoting and quick changes of direction.

Maison Margiela are considered the great purveyor of the luxury GAT. Featured here in white premium leather with suede trim. The gum sole is in keeping with the original with all the standard hallmarks. As always the branding from Maison Margiela is super subtle which always attracts nods of admiration from those in the know.

The GAT style from Moncler has been called the 'Biarritz'. This style is made from premium leather with a suede toe and suede heel. There is Moncler branding along the side in gold and there is a Moncler badge on the tongue. The gum rubber sole strays from the original design with a smooth bottom which has a cross hatch pattern with multiple Moncler logos.

Keep an eye out for many more iterations of the GAT, in different colours and different fabrics, coming to ZOOFASHIONS.COM.

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