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The Army Offers Advice on Transitioning to Minimalist Running Shoes

by Corey Nagle » on Sep 12, 2011 1

Though the US Army recently banned the use of FiveFingers in an official capacity, it looks like they are offering soldiers good advice on switching to minimalist running shoes. A new post appeared yesterday on the Army’s official site quoting Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Pendergrass (who is the Allied Health Officer of the Office of The Surgeon General) on proper transition techniques when switching to minimalist shoes.

Soldiers running

Photo credit: US Army

Here’s an exerpt from “Patience key when transitioning to minimalist running shoes“:

He recommends a slow break-in period focused on strengthening the foot and leg muscles. For the first two to three weeks, Pendergrass suggests running no more than 10 percent of your normal running distance. After the initial period, runners should gradually increase their MRS distance by no more than 10 to 20 percent each week, taking at least eight weeks to fully transition to the new shoe. For some, the transition can take up to six months.

According to a guest blog post LTC Pendergrass (update, the post has been removed) wrote for the US Army Medical Dept. Surgeon General’s Blog, he is a physical therapist and an avid runner, as well as a recent VFF wearer.I’m glad to see the Army is taking minimalist shoes seriously and are doling out good advice. Maybe someday soon they’ll allow FiveFingers to be worn with the PT uniform.

**Note: While the Army has officially banned Vibram FiveFingers from use in the official PT uniform,  any minimalist shoe with a fully enclosed toe box (i. e. unseparated toes) are allowed.

1 Comment

  1. Jeff, PR2 says:

    And that’s why I’m in the Navy… VFF fully authorized!

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