Air Force: Basic Military Training

Discussion in 'Military Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by ghost, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. ghost

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    Hello fellow barefoot runners. This is my first time posting or even on this website for that matter. I found a lot of great information and came across the military forum which seems the perfect place to post this question. I am 24 year old male. I am currently in Delayed Enlistment Program for the Air Force. I am waiting for my job with an estimated date for basic training early next year.

    I have been running barefoot / vibram five fingers for the past two years. This may seem strange but one of my biggest worries about basic is having to wear issued running shoes. From what I gathered from other military personnel is that many times the training instructor will let you wear your own footwear if they approve.

    I feel as though I have no chance of getting my five fingers approved. So my question is this, what minimalist shoes do you think I could get approved for basic? I would prefer a minimalist as possible feel while looking like a normal shoe. I guess I may have give up a little minimalist to get a better chance for approval. Also in line with appearance, do you think any particular colors would work better? Like a grey or black?

    Thanks for your time and input. And I look forward to serving with my fellow barefoot runners.
     
  2. Phil Hart

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    Look at Altra's "Adam," but

    Look at Altra's "Adam," but it is the AF, not the Army. Those guys tend to be smarter than we are, so I wouldn't give up on the VFFs until you at least ask.

    http://altrarunning.com/mens/adam/#comment-1703
     
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  3. Go_Blue

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    If BMT is anything like OTS

    If BMT is anything like OTS (and last I knew they were much more conservative at BMT), then VFFs are definitely a no-go. I would check on AFForums.com though and ask the question, because that's the first I've ever heard of non-issued running shoes being "approved" at Lackland for BMTers. If that is the case, then look at Merrell Trail Gloves, New Balance Minimus, and Mizuno Wave Universe 3 racing flat. Anything light, flexible, conservatively colored, and flat will work. But again...confirm that with folks who have been there recently, because it could very well still be the case that they make you wear the issued footwear.
     
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  4. PB Junkie

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    What about the Inov-8 Bare-X

    What about the Inov-8 Bare-X Lite 150? They look pretty "normal" and have a zero drop and a 7mm stack height. I would think if you're allowed to wear your own shoes, these would work.



    http://www.runningwarehouse.com/descpageMRS-IX150M1.html



    If you get them through runningwarehouse, you can use the runblogger 10% discount (runblog10).
     

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  5. FreeYourToes

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    Army here- when we got to

    Army here- when we got to basic we were issued everything, even our running shoes. Anything brought with us got locked up in a closet until we finished. Like Phil said, the AF does tend to be smarter then us on most things.
     
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  6. anscbo

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    Hello Ghost, I have seen

    Hello Ghost,



    I have seen many folks use the Vibrams shoe for doing PT at different bases, however the reg says that the shoe cant be loud in color and you must wear white socks. I know they have socks specifically for the fivefinger shoes. Good luck in basic training. If you want the reg, it is AFI 36-2903. Please read it carefully and be causious on how you present it to the training instructor. They will not like being showed up.
     
  7. NickW

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    In the Army during basic my

    In the Army during basic my civilian running shoes were locked in a closet. We had three different types of running shoes that were issued. Shoes for flat feet, shoes for normal arch, and shoes for high arch. Your foot type chose what shoe you wore no matter if they hurt you or not. I hear the Air Force is much smarter than us Army folks, but I don't know if they are any more lenient with footwear during Basic or not. I would imagine probably not though so that everyone conforms to the same uniform. I think no matter what branch your in they like everyone to be uniform.
     
  8. Go_Blue

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    Again, track down someone who

    Again, track down someone who has been through RECENTLY, or just call Lackland and ask. AFForums.com. I didn't go through BMT, but I highly doubt they allow just any old shoe there. If OTS doesn't allow them, I can't imagine in what realm BMT ever would. The AFI regs about VFFs don't really apply, because BMT is a training environment and can lock that down tighter than what the AFI specifies. If that's the case, prepare for a severe butt chewing when you argue your case with your MTI about an AFI they are already intimately familiar with.

    Last I knew, ALL trainees had to wear the issued New Balance running shoes. The only exception to this is if you have a medical waiver to wear another type of shoe.

    Call Lackland. Get the right info about what is allowed and what exactly will be issued. Specifically ask about minimalist shoes. If you get "I don't know," then ask to speak to someone who does. Save yourself getting on their radar before training even really starts. Please.
     
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  9. ghost

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    Thanks everyone for the

    Thanks everyone for the feedback. It really gave me a lot to think about.

    Phil thanks for your advise. The Altra Adam looks like five fingers with one big toe. I am very interested in trying that one out. Go_Blue I took your advise and checked out the Trail Glove and the Minimus. To my surprise they have both at Dick's and they both fit me well. I am leaning towards the Miniums just because New Balance is a more recognizable name which I think helps my chances. PB Junkie the Inov-8 Bare-X Lite 150 looks very "normal" while appearing to be very minimalist as well. I am going to end up trying one of those shoes listed above for Basic Training.

    It seems I will be waiting longer than anticipated for my job so I have some time to decide. Even if I could get away with the Five Fingers I don't want the attention or trouble it may bring. As long as when I'm actually in the Air Force they are permitted I will be happy. It seems like most people on the afforums.com can wear them for PT as long as they wear white socks with them. Anscbo I just got some white Injinji toe socks for my birthday and they work really well for me. Also thanks for the regulation info.

    I have talked to one recent graduate from Air Force BMT at my recruiting office and he said they were allowed to wear their own running shoes. He said his were old and not that nice but he could still wear them, which is a big relief to me.

    Go_Blue I am a little apprehensive to call Lackland. I have a feeling they won't like future recruits calling their office. I am afraid they will put me on some kind of black list and be waiting for me at Basic. Although I could just try to avoid giving out my name.

    Thanks again for all the advice. I will let you know what I finally decide to get. Also when I get through basic training (which might be a while) I will follow up on their footwear regulations and such.
     
  10. dunetraveller

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    Of course the goal is to

    Of course the goal is to avoid attention, but you should know you won't ever come away unscathed. Part of the job of a TI is to see how you handle adversity and some negative attention. IF they will allow your choice of shoe, make sure it's as ultra conservative as possible.

    When I was in, a kid next to me had normal black converse, but shoelaces that had pink hearts on them cause he was a skateboarder or into hip hop in the early 80's. Needless to say he had about five TI's (most from other flights) giving him some "personal encouragement" every morning for a few days. I was glad I wasn't in his shoes (pun intended). Basic colors, nothing colorful or fancy... fly as far under the radar as possible. Your goal is to achieve generic status as soon as possible. Prove yourself a good airman before putting yourself in front of your TI's baleful gaze (think Eye of Sauron, lol).

    Of course the shoe situation is going to happen even before you get your uniforms as you will still likely be in civvies when they go through your luggage for contraband (pleaaaasssseee for the love of all that's holy... no sexy pics of your girlfriend or magazines as they WILL be confiscated 100%). Your shoes will be in the luggage and you're going to have to get them to allow them to stay out right then, at the worst possible moment, because they'll be a bit trigger happy and looking for problems. Some of the TIs may be from other units so as to go through the luggage as quickly as possible which won't help, as then you'll need to have even more TIs around you so you can appeal to the right authority. :-(

    If the shoes don't stay out, they'll be locked away until you go on to school.

    Good luck.

    John T.
     

  11. NotSoDoomedRunner

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    The Air Force is considered

    The Air Force is considered military? JK. I'd think a Minimus or a MTG type shoe would be okay...
     

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  12. NickW

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    NotSoDoomedRunner wrote:The

    Hahaha! That's what I was thinking!
     
  13. ghost

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    Update time,

    Just wanted to let you all know I made it through boot camp with minimalist shoes!

    PB Junkie I took your advise and went with the Inov-8 brand and got the bare-x 200. They blended in well and none of the traning instructors ever commented. It seems like you could really wear anything. One guy in my flight even wore some Velcro New Balances.

    The major hurdle is your training instructor. Mine said we better look down at our feet because some of us have some (insert swears) shoes. He said we had the options to get shoes if we wanted. It seems other instructors like to keep their flights uniform. You could tell because they all marched by with matching shoes.

    So it seems to be the luck of the draw. It all depends on what training instructor you get. I left my instructor a positive critique so hopefully the commander will read it and suggest all the instructors allow you to wear your own footwear ;-)

    By the way 5 fingers would be impossible at basic. You have to wear issued socks and you can't cut them. I'm at tech school now and 5 fingers are approved for PT.

    Once again thanks to everyone for advice.
     
  14. Barefoot TJ

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    Good deal.
     
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  15. PB Junkie

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    Good to hear, Ghost. Congrats on getting through BMT. If you should end up at Mountain Home AFB, I'm near there if I can be of any assistance.
     

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  16. JoshM813

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    Five Fingers are fine for AF. I saw a video of a bunch of SERE guys training in five fingers. However during BMT you have to wear the issued shoes.
     

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