The Air Force’s newest airmen are finally working out in the service’s upgraded physical training uniforms.

The new workout gear began rolling out at basic military training earlier this month, an Air Force spokesperson told Air Force Times. They are anticipated to hit shelves at Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores in July, said AAFES spokesperson Chris Ward.

Originally slated to arrive in 2022, the clothing’s debut was snagged by fabric shortages and other global supply chain problems sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. They were again postponed by a month in March because of the shortage and a color-matching problem between the running and all-purpose shorts that are included with the uniform.

Designed for more comfort, the new athleticwear marks the first time the service has overhauled its PT uniforms in nearly two decades. With a track suit, a slimmer jacket and pair of breathable, moisture-wicking running shorts, as well as longer shorts with pockets, the new uniform looks almost identical to the previous ones but now comes in men’s and women’s sizes rather than unisex. A total of 150 airmen were involved in testing out the clothing.

Though it was delayed, the new uniform has arrived before airmen are required to begin wearing it in 2026.

In addition to the new, standard uniform, the Air Force is also working on a long-sleeved PT shirt, expected in winter 2025, along with a hoodie. Those clothing items are not required to be worn during exercise as part of the uniform package.

The Space Force started issuing its own PT uniform at boot camp in March as well.

The military designs its own workout clothing in part due to a 1941 law passed to support American jobs and suppliers that requires military uniforms to be made in the United States, limiting options of major retailers that outsource production.

Courtney Mabeus-Brown is the senior reporter at Air Force Times. She is an award-winning journalist who previously covered the military for Navy Times and The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., where she first set foot on an aircraft carrier. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy and more.

In Other News
Load More