The armed police division of China’s army has tested a new style of shoe which will replace the green canvas “liberation shoe” worn since the 1950s.
The website for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said the shoes had “passed the test of revolutionary years” – but the new black ones cause less odour.
The old canvas shoes have been replaced by combat boots for training but soldiers still wear them off duty.
They came in after the communists won the country’s civil war in 1949.
‘Lighter and less smelly’
About 180,000 soldiers and officers of the paramilitary branch of the PLA and the Public Security Bureau were asked their views on the new black trainer.
Man Xiangdong, the armed police officer in charge of shoe design, said they were “anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and odour-resistant”, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.
Li Zhixiang, a member of the armed police remarked on the army website that the new shoes were light.
“I feel like stepping on spongy cushion while running,” he said.
“Our dorm is no longer full of the smell of feet since we got the new shoes last year,” he added.
The traditional shoes, in dark green or camouflage, have seen improvements over the years and are still widely used by most PLA units.
The shoes are lightweight and easy to carry, Xinhua reported.
But their disadvantages include not being water-resistant and being so low they allow sand in and leave the ankle unprotected.
In March, China said it would increase its military budget by about 10% in 2015 to help modernise its defence.