Unites States Army Bans “Toe Shoes”

  • By Mario Fraioli
  • Published Jul. 8, 2011
  • Updated Mar. 15, 2012 at 5:10 PM UTC
Toe shoes such as the Vibram FIve Fingers are now banned for use by soldiers in the U.S. Army.

Toe shoes such as the Vibram FIve Fingers are now banned for use in the U.S. Army. Photo:

Toe-shoe supporters are already protesting the move.

An official U.S. Army notice states that: “Effective immediately, only those shoes that accommodate all five toes in one compartment are authorized to wear. Those shoes that feature five sepearate, 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 a military formation.”

Supporters of toe shoes are already protesting the ban, and some military observers are also concerned.

“An army that is more concerned with looks versus results IS a matter of national security,” writes defense expert Thomas Ricks in Foreign Policy.

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Mario Fraioli

Mario Fraioli

Mario Fraioli is a senior editor at Competitor magazine. A cross-country All-American at Stonehill College in 2003, he now coaches the Prado Women's Racing Team in San Diego and was the men's marathon coach for Costa Rica's 2012 Olympic team. His first book, The Official Rock 'n' Roll Guide To Marathon & Half-Marathon Training (VeloPress, 2013) is available in bookstores, running shops and online.

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