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Every new recruit will get issued new Air Force running shoes during bmt.  Even still, when you’re asking what to bring to Air Force basic training, one of the first things should be a good pair of running shoes.

“Why should I?” you ask. “I love my military issue running shoes” said no airman. After basic training you can go back to your non-military issue athletic shoes.

Receiving Air Force Running Shoes In Basic Training

You will be given many military issue items, including military boots and now accompanying athletic shoes. That wasn’t always the case. previously you could bring your own shoes or you had to personally purchase new ones at BMT. Changes have been made so that Air Force running shoes are a standard issue item for every new recruit. However, are they worth it?

An average runner can expect to get 3 to 4 months of good use out of running shoes. Running in basic training is frequent and can potentially speed up the wear and tear.

Air Force bmt running shoes have a simple and uniformed style. Everyone receiving them during training will look identical. These unappealing Asics shoes are what I received years ago, view them on Amazon. Many trainees think they look bad and overall aren’t satisfied with them. It’s common for people to get issued new Air Force running shoes at bmt and turn around later on to buy a different pair, a pair they actually want.

The bad things about Air Force bmt running shoes are:

  1. They look terrible.
  2. They are issued, instead of using your own pair.
  3. You’re almost guaranteed to be disappointed and buy new ones later.
  4. You have to break them in.

The best option if you’re in need of Air Force running shoes is to get them before you arrive at bmt. True you won’t be able to use them during bmt, but you can store them and use them during tech school. 

Wearing Air Force Running Shoes In Zero Week

The first week of basic training is called zero-week and it’s a transition period. You’ll get all of your in-processing done, haircuts, vaccinations, and uniforms issued. While doing that you’ll be known as a “sneaker weeker”.

Receiving and breaking in your military boots is not a fun process. Beyond breaking them in your bound to get blisters doing so. As a way to limit blisters, you’ll wear military boots half of the day and the other half you’ll wear running shoes. This is where “sneaker weeker” comes from. Wearing running shoes with a military uniform is a dead giveaway your a new arrival. Expect to switch shoes like this for the entire first week of training.

Athletic Shoe Regulations

Over the years athletic shoe regulations have changed. It used to be the only options for shoes were basic colors like blue, black, or white, and certainly nothing flashy. Regulations have since loosened and according to the current Air Force dress and appearance instructions, there are no restrictions on the color of athletic shoes outside of basic training.

While there are no restrictions to your Air Force running shoe color, it’s still best to avoid drawing attention to yourself in tech school with flashy shoes. Instructors will jump at the chance to single a person out. It’s best to blend in and stay under the radar. Your life will be much easier, you’ll do fewer push-ups and flutter kicks wearing simple shoe colors.

Determining The Best Running Shoes For After BMT

So you decide you need shoes and you’re looking for the best running shoes for military training, more specifically, the best running shoes for after Air Force basic training, you need to dive in a little further. The best running shoes are gonna depend on the type of runner you are and terrain ran on.

Now, what kind of runner are you? Most people are overpronation runners or neutral runners.

Stability shoes are great for overpronation runners who’s foot naturally roll inward when striking the surface. This is common for most runners. You can tell by the tread wear on your shoes, wear on the inside edge of the shoe is a sign of overpronation. While neutral running shoes are best if you’re a neutral runner. Neutral runners will find wear centered across the ball of the foot and a small portion of the outer heel.

Ok, so you know what kind of runner you are, but what surfaces will you be running on? Nature trails, roads, treadmills? Surfaces and terrain make a difference when picking your ideal shoes. Throughout the Air Force, the majority of running takes place on pavement or a running track. So shoes designed for flat surfaces with cushion is a must.

When narrowing it down, your best Air Force running shoes will be either, road running stability shoes or road running neutral shoes.

Here are a few of the best options for you. These running shoes range from simple colors for flying under the radar to noticeable color schemes. You are not limited with these while looking for the best running shoes for military training.

The best Air Force running shoes for men.

Stability shoes:  These Brooks shoes https://amzn.to/2E8lVjM

Neutral shoes:  These Nike Air Force running shoes https://amzn.to/2BA0mXM, or the cheaper version https://amzn.to/2GE575Q

The best Air Force running shoes for women.

Stability shoes:  These Nike Air Force running shoes https://amzn.to/2TOLAmY

Neutral shoes: These Brooks shoes https://amzn.to/2GHBzUX

How Much Do You Run In Air Force Basic Training

You will run on a consistent basis throughout Air Force basic training. Morning pt is held 6 days a week and you’ll be running for pt every other session. If your morning workout isn’t a run there is still plenty of time throughout the day for your instructor to squeeze one in. You’ll run in both your Air Force bmt running shoes and military boots.

Depending on the day you could be running for around a 40 minute self-paced jog or doing a timed mock 1.5 mile or 2 mile run. In order to complete basic training, you have to pass the timed mile and a half run at the end of bmt.

Air Force running time requirements are different for males and females.

  • Males have to complete the final 1.5 mile run within 11 minutes and 57 seconds.
  • Females have to complete the final 1.5 mile run within 13 minutes and 56 seconds.

Be prepared to run to the point shin splints can happen. Between shin splints and blisters, it’s critical to have a good pair of inserts for your running shoes.

Related article: How Hard Is Air Force Basic Training

To Wrap It Up

Again, the key takeaways about Air Force bmt running shoes are:

  1. They look terrible, just see these Asics shoes for yourself.
  2. Changes have made them an issued item to everyone.
  3. Most airmen who get bmt running shoes buy better shoes later.
  4. You have to break them in and potentially endure blisters.

If you want to bring your own pair or get a new pair for tech school, you can store them in your bag for after bmt.

Corey Porter

Corey Porter

Air Force Veteran

Corey is an Air Force veteran and the lead writer at Basic to Blues. He refueled fighter jets as a young airman and deployed twice to the Middle East. Now Corey can be found hiking in the Pacific Northwest.

Who the hell… POL!

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