Comment from: Victoria Klein [Visitor]
Victoria Klein

With the Navy now saying YES, I hope that the Marine Corps (an official branch of the Navy) does the same thing very soon - then my husband can wear his! :)

08/05/11 @ 16:05
Comment from: Preston [Visitor]

I am stoked. I was actually expecting the Navy to take the low, easy road and ban them from official PT. Glad to see they finally made a logical uniform decision.

Banning minimalist shoes for fear of people hurting themselves in unit PT would have done nothing to prevent folks from hurting themselves in personal PT, or hurting themselves doing an Insanity, P90X, or CrossFit workout incorrectly. Better to officially adopt the programs/trends and help people understand how to do them correctly. The benefits out-weigh any risks here.

08/05/11 @ 16:24
Comment from: Peggy [Visitor]

That is wonderful! Now if the Army will just do it! Navy must be smarter! ;)

08/05/11 @ 17:06
Comment from: Peggy [Visitor]

This is wonderful! Now if the Army will just do it! Navy must be smarter! ;)

08/05/11 @ 17:09
Comment from: Preston [Visitor]

The Navy Exchange has even started selling VFFs (so far I've just seen KSOs and Flows). I was really suprised to find them there. Looks like they are trying to keep up with the trends as well.

08/05/11 @ 17:55
Comment from: James [Visitor]

As a reminder, the US Air Force approved the use of VFFs months ago although they do require the wearing them with white socks. It is interesting how the Navy calls out non-toe shoe minimal shoes in their announcement. I'm not sure if anybody would even know or care if you were wearing minimalist shoes that weren't toe shoes like the VFFs. Were they breaking out the calipers to measure them before?

08/05/11 @ 18:56
Comment from: Marcus [Visitor]

I've got an inkling that this may be the Navy's way of getting in a dig at the Army and attempting to look a bit smarter. This kind of thing happens more than you might think . . .

08/05/11 @ 20:19
Comment from: Tom Bosch [Visitor]
Tom Bosch

With regards to Victoria Klein, the Marine Corps was perhaps the first branch to give "toes up" to dem toe shoes. According to the current issue of Army Times, many units in the Navy were allowing minimalist shoes, including dem toe shoesies, but were doing so only by immediate command authorization. The Air Force is pretty much on board as well.

I am approaching my tenth year in the Army and am still surprised by the "It's the way we've always done things" attitude that is still prevalent at the command levels and higher. Since I came in, there have been so many fast-tracked technological innovations in our communications, tactics, training and weapons that it boggles the brain cells that the Old Guard would be so put off by something that more and more doctors are getting behind. CSM of the Army Chandler went out among the Joes when he came in earlier in the year and listened to their gripes, chief among them being the utter uselessness of the black beret for everyday wear. He listened, and out went the beret as primary headgear. With VFFs becoming more well known and supported by pro atheletes in many sports, I'm wondering when the CSMotA, along with those at the top whose sole function seems to be to come up with, or enforce, arcane uniform standards when there are far more pressing issues facing the Army. While I understand and believe in a professional appearance, lets look at the senior NCOs and officers whose mid-section droops a bit over their PT short's waistband, casting a large shadow over their neon orange Nike basketball shoes that are about as professional and functional as, well... A fat senior NCO or officer in neon orange Nike basketball shoes.

08/05/11 @ 23:38
Comment from: Torsitano [Visitor]

I'm actually very glad to hear this. The shoes that they gave us at boot camp were horrible for me, and I was very disappointed when I couldn't wear my Vibrams during PT when I got to Florida. As far as minimalist shoes, they don't pay that much attention. I got a pair of Trail Gloves, and no one prevented me from using those during PT.

08/06/11 @ 02:12
Comment from: Matt [Visitor]

I'm a fitness leader for my unit, and I'm very excited the ban was lifted (no more Merrell Trail Gloves for fitness tests or unit PT). My priority now is to ensure everyone understands the affect that these shoes can have. If the unit has 200 people and 20 go out and buy a pair and run right away (not aware they shouldn't just dive in via their old routine), we're almost guaranteeing a huge loss in unit manning while they recover.

Regardless: Whoohooo!

08/06/11 @ 09:56
Comment from: Lindsey [Visitor]

Good on the Navy. I actually half-expected them to go with the Army on this one, so it's a nice surprise to see they're allowing minimalist footwear and toe shoes.

I'm not worried much about the Air Force at this point. Right now, VFFs are allowed in PT gear and at organized PT at most installations. Some require the socks, but I've also worn my Sprints to organized PT without socks, and have seen people test in VFFs without socks. So it's an installation thing.

But overall, I see the AF getting to a point that VFFs won't be a problem. Dr. Mark Cucuzzella is the chief medical consultant for the Air Force Marathon, as well as a Lt Col in the AF Reserves and a seasoned distance runner. He runs the Two Rivers Treads Center for Natural Running and Walking ( and has even held BAREFOOT (naked foot) running clinics with USAF personnel on Air Force bases to encourage more natural running techniques. Hopefully his clinic will make it around the rest of the AF as well.

I see all this as a huge step forward. We'll see.

08/06/11 @ 12:07
Comment from: Attila [Visitor]

GREAT! now i won't get yelled at for continuing to wear them. i didn't stop even when the late june thing happened and a negative stance was taken; i assume the command wasn't aware of the negative stance on VFFs. either way i've been using them for PT for 3 years now and everyone is accustomed to seeing them on the field. i just hope the higher-ups of other services stop being such bitter and stubborn old grumps...

08/07/11 @ 08:06
Comment from: Joseph [Visitor]

This is such great news. I am an avid barefoot runner and am joining the Navy. I was not looking forward to running in the Navy New Balance running shoes and was planning on buying some before hand and sanding off the bottom with a belt sander to get rid of most of the out sole. Hearing about this made me scream with joy so loud my wife came running into the room. Are we allowed to use huarache running sandals or do the minimalist shoes need to have covered toes? VFFs are better than shoes but huaraches are so so much better.

08/21/11 @ 10:19
Comment from: Chris [Visitor]


Wearing white socks with VFF is not an installation thing. The enforcement of the policy might be though. The new AFI 36-2903 states very clearly that you must wear socks, and they must be white. This just came out in the last month. The old AFI stated that socks must be white but never made it clear that they were mandatory. There was however a memorandum from pretty high up (I can't recall if it was a general or the CMSAF) which stated that VFFs were fine but you had to wear socks still. So feel free to wear them without white socks but just know that you will be disobeying a high profile AFI.

With that said, there are at least a dozen people in my unit who wear them and we love them.

08/21/11 @ 10:38
Comment from: Joseph [Visitor]

Does anyone know if they are allowed in Navy boot camp or are they only allowed after you are done with boot camp. Also would I need to buy a certain color VFF or can I use any color.

Thank you for your time!

08/22/11 @ 04:59
Comment from: Joseph [Visitor]

Does anyone know if they are allowed in Navy boot camp or are they only allowed after you are done with boot camp? Also would I need to buy a certain color VFF or can I use any color?

Thank you for your time!

08/28/11 @ 19:43
Comment from: Preston [Visitor]

Joseph, while they are now allowed per the Navy Regs for unit PT, it is still possible Boot Camp amends the rules for training purposes. Do you have a POC or a sponsor of some sort for boot camp? If so I would maybe ask them. As this is a relatively new development, the training command will probably come out with a policy one way or another. If they go strickly with the new uniform regs, you should be able to wear any style or color you choose. The hitch is that unit commanders have the right require more stringent regs for their unit under certain situations. Boot camp is usually one of them. Good luck with boot camp though and in the fleet.

08/29/11 @ 00:21

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