Minimalist shoes during tech school?

Posted by: JCAP

Minimalist shoes during tech school? - Fri Jun 17 2011 21:03 PM

Greetings gentlemen.

I was just curious if minimalist shoes* are recommended during tech school for special operations.

*Minimalist shoes like Nike Free Run, Brooks T7 Racer, New Balance Minimus Trail; I'm not referring to the Vibram Five Fingers or the like.

I plan on bringing 2 minimalist running shoes. Any thoughts/recommendations?
Posted by: LetsRoll

Re: Minimalist shoes during tech school? - Fri Jun 17 2011 21:33 PM

Wear whatever works for you. I was glad to see that you weren't talking about the vibram five would get laughed out of the school house.

Seriously though, cadre is not going to tell you what shoe to long as it looks like a decent athletic shoe and it isn't crazy colored then its cool.

Thats all there is to it...good luck!
Posted by: JCAP

Re: Minimalist shoes during tech school? - Sat Jun 18 2011 09:09 AM

Thanks for the heads up and for the swift response sir!
Posted by: EA2010

Re: Minimalist shoes during tech school? - Wed Jun 22 2011 23:27 PM

What's wrong with the Vibram Five Finger's? Would not be allowed to wear them or just have to put up with laughter?
Posted by: TE

Re: Minimalist shoes during tech school? - Thu Jun 23 2011 09:11 AM

From the Air Force Uniform Office:

The 5 finger shoe, also known as the barefoot shoe, is classified as an athletic shoe by the Air Force Uniform office and is considered authorized for wear with the PTU.

"PTU" is the Air Force physical training uniform.

Not sure if they are allowed at indoc/CCSC but I would certainly recommend against wearing them if you haven't been running in them at a 7 minute pace for a couple years at least...additionally, doing the myriad of other things one does at the courses doesn't help...5-fingers may be fine for just running, but put a ruck on and have to run, carrying a zodiac or a buddy, etc...where the proper "POSE" type method of running cannot be used and you're asking for serious injuries.
Posted by: Guard MC

Re: Minimalist shoes during tech school? - Thu Jun 23 2011 10:19 AM

Concur with TE. Without the POSE method, the Vibram isn't a good shoe. Once you are forced by circumstances (weight, fatigue, etc) to run or trudge on your heels, the Vibram won't offer much support. Additionally, you have to consider running through mud, water, gravel, adverse terrain and other training events such as rope climbing, obstacle courses, etc. You might THINK you are going out for a 45 minute LSD but it could turn into something incorporating all of the above. Would the Vibram stand up to that and offer you what you need?
Posted by: LJP

Re: Minimalist shoes during tech school? - Sun Aug 21 2011 17:05 PM

Can you please elaborate on the "POSE" method of running? I myself have been training for my PAST test run with a pair of Vibram Komodo Sports, (currently I can go 7 miles very comfortably). Once I pass the PAST test I plan to grab a good pair of conventional running shoes and rucksack to start preparing. I do not disagree with your logic on a barefoot shoe not being recommended outside of just running. Although I think they improve calf strength tremendously and help promote better running posture. I would however like to know some specifics on the running style you are speaking of. Thanks.
Posted by: TE

Re: Minimalist shoes during tech school? - Sun Aug 21 2011 19:42 PM
Posted by: LitlMikey

Re: Minimalist shoes during tech school? - Mon Aug 22 2011 02:26 AM

By tech school, I assume you mean Indoc?

From my very limited time there, I can tell you that they may not be disallowed, but by the impression I got, they weren't recommended.

I had a pair of minimalist running shoes, and during a running brief given by one of the selection cadre, he advised us to wear shoes with some cushioning in them, and not "track shoes" as he put it. I took that to mean minimalist shoes as well, as they have VERY little padding (obviously).

They run anywhere and everywhere at Indoc, to include hard paved roads. I should have taken the advice, as I hadn't taken the time to adjust to my new minimalist shoes. (I bought them a few weeks before Indoc) Believe me, my calves let me know how big of a mistake I had made.

In the end, as far as I know, it's technically up to you. But looking back I'd agree with the cadre, and I'd probably avoid them unless your heart is really set on wearing them.
Posted by: Mullerite

Re: Minimalist shoes during tech school? - Mon Aug 29 2011 10:53 AM

I would recommend not using minimalist shoes during indoc for a couple different reasons. First, the amount of time you are on your feet with a ruck or carrying something/someone would make your feet very uncomfortable after a while. Also, after a couple weeks of this you may start to deteriorate your muscles and bones. I saw two individuals there that wore them and both were set back due to leg injuries that could be directly associated with the lack of padding in the shoes. They are great for just running, but you are going to do way more than just running there so save them for after work time.
Posted by: Yukon

Re: Minimalist shoes during tech school? - Tue Aug 30 2011 11:52 AM

Just an FYI:

Army bans use of toe shoes

There are a variety of minimalist running shoes available for purchase and wear. Effective immediately, only those shoes that accommodate all five toes in one compartment are authorized for wear. Those shoes that feature five separate, individual compartments for the toes, detract from a professional military image and are prohibited for wear with the IPFU or when conducting physical training in military formation.
Posted by: crossfitsgt

Re: Minimalist shoes during tech school? - Mon Dec 12 2011 04:17 AM

Originally Posted By: Army
"detract from a professional military image"

So a fat soldier in Nikes presents a better military image than a lean/fit soldier in Vibrams? =/

It is unfortunate that they use this as the crutch for banning something that can be extremely beneficial. Why not just restrict the authorized colors or color combinations if they have such a heart burn over it?

Once we start limiting peoples fitness options on this kind of level, the uniform rules get a bit excessive.

Edit: Spelling corrections.
Posted by: WANNA_B_A_PJ

Re: Minimalist shoes during tech school? - Tue Dec 13 2011 10:20 AM

I have been wearing minimalist shoes now for about 6 months, starting with the Nike frees and moving to the New Balance Minimus, and I accredit them to helping me improve my run on the PAST from 12:00 to 9:20. If the minimalist shoes are a bad way to go for indoc then does anyone have a recommendations as to what brand or model shoe is a better option?
Posted by: Yukon

Re: Minimalist shoes during tech school? - Tue Dec 13 2011 11:25 AM

Originally Posted By: crossfitsgt

So a fat soldier in Nikes presents a better military image than a lean/fit soldier in Vibrams? =/

No. And neither does a griping cry baby make the man needed to do any job that requires grit. The duties in the operational environment being performed differs from high school as it does not allow to unplug when circumstances exceed the desired difficulty or unpleasantness and do another activity such as taking a coffee break or potty break.

The end game purpose of PAST fitness standards is not for competitive purpose of determining the fastest runner or for appearance sakes of who is not fat and unfit, but rather who is capable of performing a variety of physically demanding activities of a considerable range of task and skill activities. Its not about who has the best human performance under the most favorable conditions but who has the better reliable and dependable performance under unfavorable conditions.

The minimalist running shoes has specific design purpose for running and is not adaptable to the training environment and other activities that are not running.

Training to become Pararescue, CCT and other similar occupations is not pampered training, if you want the job you should expect to comply with foot wear standards just as you comply with PAST standards , Class III medical exam, etc, etc.
Posted by: Guard MC

Re: Minimalist shoes during tech school? - Tue Dec 13 2011 12:59 PM

If the beggest challenge to be faced is what shoes you wear, you may be missing the point. If your performance is seriously compromised by not being able to wear your favored footwear, you are unlikely to perform in the unfavorable environments faced in combat or on any other STS mission set. The mission isn't fitness, fitness is another tool used to complete the mission. I personally chose not to wear Vibram or any of the other individual toed thin soled shoes because I run out in the country and often find gravel, glass and other debris lodged in the bottom of my shoe deeply enough to cut through the thinner soled shoes. I've also been on team trail runs where the guys with the thinner shoes bruised and battered their feet on the many obstacles on the trail.
Wear whatever shoe you want in your own training but don't expect to wear whatever you like in the Pipeline. I don't really care about the image but I don't think that the Virbrams and other thin soled shoes are useful in other events that don't involve pose running. Events for which they are especially ill suited in my opinion are rope climbs, running through ditches and cross country, traversing gravel, trails, roots and debris, all of which occur often in the Pipeline.
There are better boots out there than the issue boots or what are approved by the AFIs for wear with the ABU but you don't get to wear them in uniform, do you? When you go to the field or deploy, you are authorized just about any boot that meets your needs but not when you are in your ABUs. The restriction on individual toed shoes is much like this. And just as valid. You don't have to like it, you just have to live with it.
Posted by: RRaymond

Re: Minimalist shoes during tech school? - Tue Dec 13 2011 13:03 PM

Vibrams aside, plenty of guys wear frees, minimus, kinvaras, racing flats, merrell barefoots, etc. If you train in frees obviously it would be stupid to switch to some asics with a bulky heal right before indoc. Wear what works for you but keep in mind everything that has been said about what you will be doing while there: wearing a ruck, carrying a zodiac etc. If you train in the minimus then there is no reason not to bring them with you.
Posted by: Hoeltje

Re: Minimalist shoes during tech school? - Tue Jul 03 2012 21:02 PM

I've been running in Merrell minimalist shoes now for about 8 months now. Would it be beneficial to alternate my training in both my merrell's, and also my pair of brooks traditional running shoe?

I understand that the different type of heel/sole activates different muscle groups in the foot and legs. Thoughts? Thanks!
Posted by: Guard MC

Re: Minimalist shoes during tech school? - Sat Jul 07 2012 10:13 AM

My advice is to start transitioning to whatever shoe you will wear in the Pipeline.