"Resembling nothing so much as a cross between batting gloves and a pair of running shoes, 'finger' or 'toe shoes' are the latest trend in running. And as of last week, they're approved for use in DODDS-Europe track meets, according to track and field 'commissioner' Mike Thompson, whose day job is superintendent of the Bavaria District.
"'The question of the legality/illegality of "finger shoes" for track competition was raised and has been researched through state high school associations,' Thompson wrote to track coaches in a recent email.
"As long as the shoe, which advocates say simulates barefoot running, attaches to the foot with laces, straps, velcro and the like, Thompson reported, they're OK to wear in competition. Thompson added. however, that slip-on versions of the shoe are not allowed.
"However, there's more to the decision to use the shoes in competition than mere legality, according to Kaiserslautern coach Dennis DePriest.
"'We have a large contingent using the ... shoes,' DePriest wrote in an email. 'They are useful in training based on the correct biomechanical form while running. We would never use them in a track compeition based on the lost friction and grab a spike would offer.'...
...""I'm strongly considering wearing them in meets," said Brussels distance runner David Westland by telephone last week."
Seems reasonable to me, especially the part about requiring them to be secured to feet.
The DoDDS - Europe is the Department of Defense Dependents Schools - Europe.