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Vibram FiveFingers

chrisf

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Here I was hoping this would end in more discussion on effective/in-effective running shoes... nope, random executions...

Back to the original topic though, it's a rather flimsy excuse to ban the shoes... there's already plenty of variation in running shoes... one has to wonder, what sort of shift would result in them being re-allowed?
 

Swingline1984

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a Sig Op said:
Here I was hoping this would end in more discussion on effective/in-effective running shoes... nope, random executions...

Back to the original topic though, it's a rather flimsy excuse to ban the shoes... there's already plenty of variation in running shoes... one has to wonder, what sort of shift would result in them being re-allowed?

Perhaps it is a safety issue.  All those loose toes flying around could poke out an eye or something.  ::)  As for saluting...oh well, part of the job and my arm needs the exercise.
 

Container

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Jim Seggie said:
That's not what the article intended. The intent of this particular thread is to discuss the way ahead in a post combat mission Afghanistan CF. You will see the "spit and polish" types appear, and I'm one of them, to a certain extent (not extreme). What's the problem with a few ceremonial parades ie Trooping of the Colour?
Besides, it was the US Army that banned them, NOT the CF. What the US Army does WRT to dress and deportment etc is not our concern. Our concern is the CF.

The last two miltary bases I trained on Edmonton and Esquimault had gym bans on 5-finger running shoes as well. I thought they would be happy the guy was running but no....ah well. I'll never understand. I'm sure some day when Im S/M I'll forget ever thinking that way!
 

OldSolduer

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Container said:
The last two miltary bases I trained on Edmonton and Esquimault had gym bans on 5-finger running shoes as well. I thought they would be happy the guy was running but no....ah well. I'll never understand. I'm sure some day when Im S/M I'll forget ever thinking that way!

Some time ago I watched a TV show about why some Africans run far faster than any other group. Short answer..they run barefoot which changes how you run. We run with shoes on, and have a substantial heel strike. Running barefoot makes you land on the ball of your foot, and in essence this is what the toe shoes make you do. I tried running barefoot on the treadmill and lasted five minutes. My calves were tender.
Maybe they are banned due to injuries incurred by members.
 

Snaketnk

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It says in the article that they were banned because they detract from a professional military image.

As far as I'm concerned that attitude is far further from a professional military image than any running shoe you could wear.

Just reading that makes me angry. That kind of attitude belongs nowhere near a military. I'll take this ad extremis and advocate the abolishment of body armour because you can't see the combat uniform worn under it, and therefore detracts from a professional military image.
 

Container

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Jim Seggie said:
Some time ago I watched a TV show about why some Africans run far faster than any other group. Short answer..they run barefoot which changes how you run. We run with shoes on, and have a substantial heel strike. Running barefoot makes you land on the ball of your foot, and in essence this is what the toe shoes make you do. I tried running barefoot on the treadmill and lasted five minutes. My calves were tender.
Maybe they are banned due to injuries incurred by members.

I also tried to run barefoot ONCE. I believe the reason was injuries, in the case of my two base ban experiences, as opposed to image- you have to train a certain way to retrain your feet. Which I didn't- keeping with my long time mantra of making every mistake once.

The issue I have with me and the guys I work with wearing these shoes for training is that we wear boots when we run, chase, and breach- why would I train differently? But I dont know enough about running that way to say that its not an effective way to train for boot running as well- it used to be if you saw a guy in minimalist shoes you knew he could run like the wind and I wouldnt offer him any advice.

They seem popular now with every pear shaped young cop and soldier wearing them- this probably happened just prior to a huge spike in training injuries and required a ban to protect the softies from themselves.

As for spit and polish- I like it too. I like utlity when Im doing my job in the dirt, and I like spit and polish and pride when it can be applied. I think the reasonable leader can balance both. But is the professional military image applicable in footwear on morning runs? That kinda suggests a little micro management.

The injury side does have some merit. But hey- im not privy to how the American military does things- it could be a case of this was the easiest, quickest way to get the shoes gone until they could draft a formal policy on the footwear and has no malice attached to it at all.....
 

kawa11

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I gotta say, this is the first time I've even seen these things.
Does anyone actually have any first hand experience with them that might suggest the potential injury claim as being plausible?

 

Container

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Its well documented about the way you have to train with them at the beginning to avoid injury. And its also well documented that alot of folks dont bother doing it and hurt themselves. They aren't hospital injuries- they are running related strain and pull injuries associated with not adjusting how you run.

But they are enough to annoy people that work in the 'biz.

I have minimalist trail running shoes that I love but there is still enough "shoe" there that I didnt have to change anything.
 

Fishbone Jones

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kawa11 said:
I gotta say, this is the first time I've even seen these things.
Does anyone actually have any first hand experience with them that might suggest the potential injury claim as being plausible?

There is a whole thread on them, if you want to do a search.
 

chrisf

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Jim Seggie said:
Besides, it was the US Army that banned them, NOT the CF.

I seem to recall them being banned a while back in the CF, however, on the grounds of safety rather then appearance.
 

acen

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I have a pair (Vibram FiveFinger TrekSport), with a second pair on order (Vibram FiveFinger Komodo's, they sell out every year). These "shoes", and I will use that term lightly, are by far my favorite footwear. I have worked muscles I did not know existed until now (and I am not a slouch), but they change your gait and running technique into something that is more "natural" than what we have grown accustomed to with modern footwear. The previous assessment of barefoot running is entirely true, we strike our heels with much more force than our kenyan counterparts, which translates into much more force that jarrs our knees, hips, backs etc. Using the forefoot to absorb this impact (which translates to the calf muscles), we are using muscles instead of joints to absorb said forces.

I read extensively about the pros and cons before committing to buy a pair, and from my research I found that a lot of people in physio and rehab from the U.S. Army were seeing a lot of success using these shoes to rebuild muscle. Many runners who suffer from knee and other joint problems have switched to minimalist footwear and have rediscovered pain free running.

I will now be using these at my gym, I can just imagine how they will feel when doing squats or doing a leg press.

Yes they look absurd. They will turn a few heads. They feel weird until your body adjusts. That said, I have no doubt that these shoes and the entire minimalist footwear movement are picking up a lot of steam for a reason.

Disclaimer: I do not use these for PT while on the CF's paysheet, but rather on my own accord.

As always, YMMV
 

MJP

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Staff Weenie said:
As for the 'shoes' - I'm tempted to try them - I wonder what they would do with plantar fasciitis???

They work to a degree in alleviating some issues like plantar.  Don't ask me how and the whys but a few friends that swear by them had fairly sever plantar fasciitis before using them and it seems to have been mitigated by wearing 5 fingers.

I personally find them hideous and wear minimalist trail runners like Container.  The main safety issue that gets brought up with the 5 fingers is that people are concerned about injuries to toes from falling weights.  A bit of a non starter considering that unless your wearing steel toed boots in the gym, most shoes worn in a gym provide little to no protection from that sort of thing.  The other issue that was already brought up was that the 5 fingers place more initial strain on muscles you don't normally use.  Like anything physical you have to ease into them and pushing oneself too far is afault on the part of the user not the shoe itself.
 

GAP

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The other issue that was already brought up was that the 5 fingers place more initial strain on muscles you don't normally use.

Is that not the same as those who change over to running barefoot.....?
 

daftandbarmy

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Good old #6 didn't need shoes to make it to the Olympics.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGSjpUIGbZs
 

Trick

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Ha, just thought I'd share. Turns out our friends to the south aren't big fans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SboXKbnLP2Y
 

Wookilar

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OK, for one, ignore those news articles. They are American. Have no bearing on us whatsoever. The days of the CF making us wear Johnny-go-fast specials are long gone (MAN did those things suck!)

According to the "Physical Exercist Specialist" VFF's are are authorized for all areas of the field house in Gagetown (including the weight room and the combat training room) and the running track/trails out back. The Combat Fitness corner did ban VFF's but that has changed.

I know a number of the Running Team here in Gagetown have been wearing them for some time.

I am waiting on "official" word from Borden on their policy. From Gagetown, unless something comes down on the national level, they are good to go, so I do not see why any other Base would have a problem with them either.

edit: CFB Borden, Buell Gym: From the Fitness Director, VFF's are cleared for use in the Buell Gym.

Wook             
 

Redeye

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I picked up a pair of Bikila LS after hearing so much about them and I'm just going to start slowly moving toward them.  I have all sorts of foot trouble that I'm finding working to strengthen my calf muscles etc is helping for, and this is the next logical step.  I'm just trying to learn the biomechanics for the foot strikes so I don't wind up making the conversion worse - hoping to have them ready to use for the Terry Fox Run this fall.
 

MJP

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Wookilar said:
OK, for one, ignore those news articles. They are American. Have no bearing on us whatsoever. The days of the CF making us wear Johnny-go-fast specials are long gone (MAN did those things suck!)

According to the "Physical Exercist Specialist" VFF's are are authorized for all areas of the field house in Gagetown (including the weight room and the combat training room) and the running track/trails out back. The Combat Fitness corner did ban VFF's but that has changed.

I know a number of the Running Team here in Gagetown have been wearing them for some time.

I am waiting on "official" word from Borden on their policy. From Gagetown, unless something comes down on the national level, they are good to go, so I do not see why any other Base would have a problem with them either.

edit: CFB Borden, Buell Gym: From the Fitness Director, VFF's are cleared for use in the Buell Gym.

Wook           

Good to hear Wook.  There have been some knee jerk reactions to them in the past mostly from uninformed PSP staff.  I still think they look ghey...but am glad folks can train the way they want

Redeye said:
I picked up a pair of Bikila LS after hearing so much about them and I'm just going to start slowly moving toward them.  I have all sorts of foot trouble that I'm finding working to strengthen my calf muscles etc is helping for, and this is the next logical step.  I'm just trying to learn the biomechanics for the foot strikes so I don't wind up making the conversion worse - hoping to have them ready to use for the Terry Fox Run this fall.

Sounds like you are on the right path by taking it slow.  Most injuries I see with minimal shoes come from guys thinking they can carry on as if it was a pair of their old runners.  That and heel striking probably cause the most angst for folks in the first few weeks.  Look up pose running to see a good toes strike technique which can help with the transition.
 

Redeye

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MJP said:
Sounds like you are on the right path by taking it slow.  Most injuries I see with minimal shoes come from guys thinking they can carry on as if it was a pair of their old runners.  That and heel striking probably cause the most angst for folks in the first few weeks.  Look up pose running to see a good toes strike technique which can help with the transition.

The Vibram website links to a couple of great sources.  I'm basically going to treat it as a "learn to run" type course to build up, I'm not much of a runner to begin with but I've realized almost all my friends are, and so I'm going to try to get better at it.  I did my first ever race this weekend and had a lot of fun at it, and lots of campfire chat about VFFs let me to take the plunge on trying a pair.
 

Cyris

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I just thought I would add, I am in BMQ now and there are a few recruits, myself included that wear vff's and they are acceptable footwear - even a few psp staff here wear them!
 
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