BEIJING (AFP) - A long march by China's armed police towards feet that do not smell appears to be nearing its end, with military leaders announcing "liberation shoes" dating back six decades will be "honourably discharged".
New breathable black canvas footwear will be distributed to members of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) paramilitary police, the force's website said.
The move will phase out dark green or camouflage rubber shoes used by the Chinese military since soon after the Communists won the country's civil war in 1949.
"It's light," officer Qi Wenlong gushed of the new kit. "I feel like stepping on spongy cushion while running. Very cosy.
"Since we got the new shoes last year, comrades in our dormitory no longer smell stinky feet," Qi told the website.
The force is known as "wujing" in China and used for domestic security.
The report said the "liberation shoes" would be given an "honourable discharge".
Man Xiangdong, the officer in charge of designing the new shoes, said they were "anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and odour resistant", the official Xinhua news agency reported.
The previous shoes "passed the test of revolutionary years" but have been gradually replaced by combat boots in military training, it said.
They are mainly used for relaxation and by Chinese peacekeeping troops, particularly in Africa, Xinhua added.