As you know from my previous postings, I am a big fan of mobile, almost barefoot type shoes.  The question I get is from people who are in the military goes normally like this “I love my (insert Nike Free, Virbrams, Tigers, etc here) but when I leave or go back on active duty, I have to wear this horrible, heavy stiff combat boats.  Are there any other options?”

The only other option I could find that was pretty close was boots made by Camper out of Europe.  I first saw them at the Z-Health Master Trainer eval in CA this past January as Dr. Cobb had a pair.  They were lightweight and pretty flexible too, but as far as I could gather they were not specially made for military applications.

Camper Boots (from

You are in luck now!  The fine folks at Nike after much R and D have released their SFB aka Special Forces Boot.  I did a Z-Health session on an athlete earlier today who is leaving for Army Ranger school in about a month and he mentioned that he picked up a pair and LOVES them so far.  He said they are quite flexible and super light weight.  This is HUGE if you are doing 5 mile runs in boots and extremely fast marches carrying a crapload of weight on your back.  The last thing you want is a pair of heavy, stiff boats.  Remember, there are reflexes in the foot that go up into the hip, so messed up feet/ankles = messed up hips; thus decreasing your power and speed and potentially adding to injuries.

Nike SFB Men’s Boot according to the Nike website

A 21st century boot for high-speed operators, the lightweight Nike
SFB Men’s Boot was engineered to the specifications and needs of
Special Forces including elite military, law enforcement and first
responder professionals. As the lightest, fastest-drying, highest
mobility performance boot we’ve ever made, the SFB offers superior
comfort for extended wear, straight out of the box

Nylon and suede upper
Nike Free outsole technology
Outsole designed for traction and breathability
Weight: 15.9 oz. based on Men’s size 10

If you are in the military or have loved ones that are, this may be an option for them.  As always, have them check to make sure that it is an option for them, but many times it is now.

Time to get the military up to the 21st century with new footwear.  The amount of energy and potentially reducing injuries is huge.  As always with more flexible shoes, make sure to do your foot and ankle mobility.

Check out the pics below from Nike. com and this link

Nike SFB Mens Boot

If you have found any other boots that are lightweight and very flexible, post a comment below!

Rock on

Mike T Nelson


I want to send a special shout out to everyone that is in the military and their families.  Thank you very much for all that you do (many of it, we will never even hear about).

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