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Thread: US Army Medical Department Journal - Minimalist Shoe Injury Rates page

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    Wanderlust's Avatar
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    US Army Medical Department Journal - Minimalist Shoe Injury Rates

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    In a new study in the U.S. Army Medical Department Journal, about 47 percent of runners in traditional running shoes reported injury over the course of a year compared to just 14 percent of runners in minimalist shoes.

    Relationships Among Self-reported ... [US Army Med Dep J. 2012 Oct-Dec] - PubMed - NCBI

    So why the F are minimalist shoes banned in the Army? Oh well, I wear them anyways.
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    Im in the AF and I wear Inov-8's....


    With that being said, wearing minimalist shoes is a fashion trend for most with absolutely no education on the matter.

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    They aren't banned actually. Only split-toe shoes, because they "detract from a professional military appearance" or some other such crap. I see lots of soldiers wearing Minimus, Merrell Barefoots, Inov8, and others. I see a lot of VFF for people in civilian clothes, but I'm not sure if they are all Army or not. I encourage people who ask about my Minimus to try a pair of minimalist shoes for themselves.

    That is a rather interesting study though I don't have time to read it tonight.

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    Very interesting, I've been looking into getting my first pair of minimalist shoes and now I feel a little more confident about making the transition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jfreaksho View Post
    They aren't banned actually. Only split-toe shoes, because they "detract from a professional military appearance" or some other such crap. I see lots of soldiers wearing Minimus, Merrell Barefoots, Inov8, and others. I see a lot of VFF for people in civilian clothes, but I'm not sure if they are all Army or not. I encourage people who ask about my Minimus to try a pair of minimalist shoes for themselves.

    That is a rather interesting study though I don't have time to read it tonight.
    "The sudden increase in the use of minimalist running shoes has prompted the United States Army Physical Fitness School (USAPFS) to provide additional guidance as to the definition of “commercial running shoes” referenced in AR 670-1 paragraph 14-3, dated 03FEB2005. This interim guidance which is offered in accordance with AR 670-1, Paragraph 14-3 states that; “Commanders may authorize the wear of commercial running shoes with the PFU and IPFU. Commercial running shoes do not include minimalist shoes, light weight track/road racing flats, racing spikes, toe shoes, or shoes that simulate barefoot running. Commanders and leaders at all levels will comply with AR 670-1, Paragraph 14-3.”

    Technically all minimalist shoes are banned, just not enforced.
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    I work on an Army installation and a lot of soldiers use minimalist shoes. Some even train in VFFs but take their PT test in Merrills.

    The reason, from what I understand, is that the military views it as faddish, much like colored hair, piercings, etc. A professional looking Army is what the goal is, and I admit that VFF's look goofy, but I have a pair and I won't run in anything else.

    I think this article is the way ahead though. I see things changing, as change is constant in the Army, and eventually they will be allowed, but with restrictions similar to those of basic runners - no outlandish color schemes, etc. Stay tuned... I think this article will bring about some interesting discussions among the residents of the Pentagon - of course, it'll be low priority, but I think it'll spark discussion nonetheless.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderlust View Post
    "The sudden increase in the use of minimalist running shoes has prompted the United States Army Physical Fitness School (USAPFS) to provide additional guidance as to the definition of “commercial running shoes” referenced in AR 670-1 paragraph 14-3, dated 03FEB2005. This interim guidance which is offered in accordance with AR 670-1, Paragraph 14-3 states that; “Commanders may authorize the wear of commercial running shoes with the PFU and IPFU. Commercial running shoes do not include minimalist shoes, light weight track/road racing flats, racing spikes, toe shoes, or shoes that simulate barefoot running. Commanders and leaders at all levels will comply with AR 670-1, Paragraph 14-3.”

    Technically all minimalist shoes are banned, just not enforced.
    I've seen that, but it is definitely older than this site, Army Medicine, which states, "While the Army takes no official stand on the use of MRS, many Soldiers do in fact, use these shoes."

    That's on the front page of an army.mil website.

    CSM Brock of USAMEDCOM wrote a letter, linked on that page:
    "http://www.armymedicine.army.mil/mrs/assets/docs/CSM_Brock_Letter.pdf
    "There are many styles and flavors of minimalist running shoes (MRS). Currently the Army has banned the use of the Vibram FiveFinger’s (shoes that have five separate individual compartments for the toes) while in formation or while wearing the PFU. However, all other minimalist type shoe are currently allowed. [emphasis added] A survey of your Soldiers will likely reveal that there are good number of them that are wearing the Vibram FiveFingers or any of the other MRS types to workout and run. While there are anecdotal stories of these MRS reducing injury and improving performance, there are still no conclusive research studies that confirm these claims. What does seem clear is that switching from a traditional running shoe to a MRS requires a proper transition period to avoid potential overuse injuries. Our Soldiers are going to use these shoes and, as NCO’s, we need to ensure that our Soldiers are equipped with information that will help them with a proper and safe transition.

    and from later in that letter:
    "In the near future, we will present a transition program."

    This other one is good, too: http://www.armymedicine.army.mil/mrs...Info_Paper.pdf, dated July 2011:
    "The current U.S. Army policy is that minimalist shoes that do not encompass all of the toes cannot be worn with the Physical Fitness Uniform. There is no current policy limitation on other MRS."

    http://www.runningjackalope.com/2011...-major-on.html SGMA Chandler, in August 2011 wrote, "Currently the Army has banned the use of the Vibramę FiveFinger’s (shoes that have five separate individual compartments for the toes) while in formation, or while wearing the Improved Physical Fitness Uniform (IPFU). All other minimalist type shoes are currently allowed. (Refer to ALARACT Message 239/2011.) "

    They are not banned. They are coming, and they'll even provide a plan for how to transition.
    Last edited by jfreaksho; 10-04-2012 at 05:25 PM.

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    Hmm hadn't seen the latest updates, thx.
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