The U.S. Army has unveiled new physical fitness uniforms, which will become available beginning in October.
The change was based on soldier feedback, the Army said in a press release last week.
The Army Physical Fitness Uniform (APFU) will replace the Improved Physical Fitness Uniform (IPFU).
A February 2012 online survey of about 76,000 soldiers found that soldiers had issues with the IPFU, said Col. Robert Mortlock, program manager, Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment, Fort Belvoir, VA. The soldiers liked its durability but believed the IPFU's textiles had not kept pace with commercially available workout clothes. From the Army:
"[Soldiers] also had concerns with other things, particularly modesty issues with the shorts, especially in events like sit-ups. Those concerns were expressed by males as well as females. The issue was of such concern that soldiers were purchasing spandex-like under garments to wear beneath the trunks, Mortlock said."
Another issue, Mortlock added, was that there were not enough female sizes in the IPFU.
About 34 changes were made to the APFU, according to the Army, most notably the gold-on-black colors to match Army colors as opposed to the black-on-gray Army T-shirt. In addition to a better fit for men and women, the new uniforms have lighter, moisture-wicking fabrics.
The old uniforms will be phased out by October 2017.
"It just fits better, it looks better," Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler told the Army Times about the new uniform. "Lots of folks that we talked to said, 'I would actually wear that downtown or at the mall.' So I just think it is a really great win for the Army because everything we changed were things that soldiers said that they would like to see different."