Just got an email from a reader (thanks Bill!) alerting me to the fact that the United States Navy just authorized the wearing of “minimalist” footwear with the Navy physical training uniform (photo of Vibram clad soldier via Rebecca Frankel at Foreign Policy). This is in contrast to the US Army, which recently banned the wearing of Vibram Fivefingers with the PT uniform.
Given the debate surrounding what constitutes minimalist footwear in the comments section of my previous post, here is the Navy definition:
“SHOES THAT ALLOW THE FOOT TO FUNCTION NATURALLY WITHOUT PROVIDING ADDITIONAL SUPPORT OR CUSHIONING. ANY SHOE THAT IS MARKETED AS MINIMALIST OR BAREFOOT-LIKE FOOTWEAR (CURRENT TYPES SUCH AS THE - VIBRAM FIVE FINGERS, NIKE FREE SHOES, VIVO BAREFOOT SHOES, INOV-8 SHOE, AND FEELMAX) ARE AUTHORIZED FOR WEAR WITH THE PTU.”
The full text of the Navy regulation is provided below, and can be found on-line here.
RMKS/1. THIS NAVADMIN AUTHORIZES THE WEARING OF MINIMALIST FOOTWEAR WITH THE NAVY PHYSICAL TRAINING UNIFORM (PTU) DURING COMMAND/UNIT DIRECTED PHYSICAL TRAINING (PT), INDIVIDUAL PT, AND ACTIVITIES TO INCLUDE THE SEMI-ANNUAL PHYSICAL READINESS TEST (PRT).
2. MINIMALIST FOOTWEAR IS DEFINED AS SHOES THAT ALLOW THE FOOT TO FUNCTION NATURALLY WITHOUT PROVIDING ADDITIONAL SUPPORT OR CUSHIONING. ANY SHOE THAT IS MARKETED AS MINIMALIST OR BAREFOOT-LIKE FOOTWEAR (CURRENT TYPES SUCH AS THE - VIBRAM FIVE FINGERS, NIKE FREE SHOES, VIVO BAREFOOT SHOES, INOV-8 SHOE, AND FEELMAX) ARE AUTHORIZED FOR WEAR WITH THE PTU.
3. FILE THIS NAVADMIN UNTIL CHANGES ARE INCORPORATED INTO THE QUARTERLY BUPERS DIRECTIVE CD-ROM CHANGE CONTAINING REF A. IN THE INTERIM, FOR MORE INFORMATION ON UNIFORMS AND UNIFORMS POLICY, VISIT THE NAVY UNIFORM MATTERS WEBSITE AT HTTP://WWW.PUBLIC.NAVY.MIL/BUPERS-NPC/SUPPORT/UNIFORMS/PAGES/DEFAULT2.ASPX.
4. POINTS OF CONTACT:
A. MR. ROBERT B. CARROLL, OPNAV N131U, VIA E-MAIL AT
ROBERT.B.CARROLL(AT)NAVY.MIL; CMDCM(SW/AW) MARTHA KASTLER VIA E-MAIL AT MARTHA.KASTLER(AT)NAVY.MIL; PSC(SW/AW) SHAWN LAFFERTY VIA E-MAIL AT SHAWN.LAFFERTY(AT)NAVY.MIL.
5. RELEASED BY VADM MARK FERGUSON, N1.//
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