Army bans use of ‘toe shoes,’ citing image concerns – Checkpoint Washington – The Washington Post

Army bans use of ‘toe shoes,’ citing image concerns – Checkpoint Washington – The Washington Post.




Look, I’ve never used “toe shoes,” but injuries from running a major cause of injuries in the Army. And I know a lot of runners swear by their toe shoes, citing better comfort, less stress on their feet, and improved run times.

If toe shoes were causing injuries, that would be one thing. But prohibiting them just on looks?

If it looks stupid but it works, it isn’t stupid.

9 thoughts on “Army bans use of ‘toe shoes,’ citing image concerns – Checkpoint Washington – The Washington Post”

  1. Wait, the Army will let two dudes slow dance at the next cotillion, but have “image concerns” about toe shoes?

  2. This is the same Army that brought us the Beret. Somethings just don’t change.

  3. I vividly remember when we were told that we could not wear our green jungle boots anymore, and the reason was “there are too many shades of green….” This was, of course, The Old Guard, but still, come on–In the field???

  4. Ghastly dahlink, we must implement the manicures and moisturizers at once. After all they’re TV stars now and villains have to look the part.

  5. The toe shoe thing is a scam anyway. And like every other “return to nature” fad, this one is based in hippie mysticism and is probably just as (un)grounded in reality. But even dirty hippies realize that their “all natural” feet won’t stand up to rocks and sticks and all manner of discomforts on the ground, hence “toe shoes”. The concept is, shoes are bad for running, and if we had been meant to run with shoes, we’d have been born with them.

    Mind you, that’s as monumentally stupid as saying “if we were meant to eat cooked food, we’d have been born with ovens in our gut.”

  6. “Barefoot” shoes have nothing to do with hippie mysticism. As a runner for 30 years, I can attest to how well they work. Around age 20, I had to cut back my mileage due to sore hips and knees. Anything over 5 miles would case (eventual) pain. This was the case for years and years. After resisting the advice of the local runner store owner to Vibram’s try, I finally bought a pair 18 months ago. I now regularly run 6, 7, and 8 miles with no pain. I don’t always wear the barefoot shoes, but after about 7 months of running in nothing BUT them, my form has been corrected.

    Yes, your feet are meant to run in a particular way, and running shoes disrupted that pattern. “Heel striking” leads to a ton more pounding on the joints. Running barefoot (or protected by a pair of Vibrams) you’ll correct that form pretty quickly.

    Not EVERYONE needs them. Not everyone runs incorrectly. But the modern running shoe (with a useful running lifespan of 2 or 3 months, costly $90 a pop, etc) wasn’t a good thing.

    My Vibrams lasted a year+ and only cost $90, and saved me costly trips to the doc. In addition to no hip or knee pain, two chronic conditions no longer bother me: a heelspur and intermetatarsal neuroma.

    Anyway, yes, we were meant to run w/o shoes. We can also eat uncooked food. Cooking it is only a preference.

    1. Any thoughts on what it would do to you if you had to switch back to regular running shoes? Or if, say hypothetically, you bought these shoes for your own personal running but then alternated them with “real” running shoes because of the army’s new policy? I have been considering getting a pair. I have a lot of knee, hip and heel pain that I would love to clear up, but have not done the research yet! I already run on my toes for most of a run, dropping down when I get tired and slower.

  7. Switching between the two is no problem at all.. I recommend that you start off using them for short runs or cool downs anyway. It takes a bit to toughen up your feet.

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