Army Bans Five Fingers Footwear

Army Bans Five Fingers Footwear

As the popularity of minimalist running shoes continues to gain ground, at least one official entity has decided to official stomp out their use. In early June 2011, the U.S. Army sent out notice that Vibram Five Fingers and any other minimalist shoes that don’t “Accommodate all five toes in one compartment” are no longer approved for use.

In a message from the Pentagon Telecommunications Center, military personnel were informed that, “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 (i.e., Improved Physical Fitness Uniform), when conducting physical training in military information.”

While not commenting on the performance features that have helped the minimalist running shoe market expand so quickly, it seems that Army just thought the shoes looked too unusual to jibe with their dress code.