Required PT uniform ready for wear

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE -- The new physical training uniform became mandatory Sunday, exactly one year after the Air Force began issuing it at Basic Military Training last October. 

According to the AF PTU Wear Guidance, the PTU is a work out uniform designed to provide maximum comfort and visibility (to others) for Airmen. While the PTU follows the general uniform standards (such as jewlrey and tattoo standards), there are a few notable exceptions. 

For instance, while wearing headphones in your Battle Dress Uniform may be frowned upon, according to the wear guidance, headphones may be worn while working out in the new PT gear. Also, saluting is not required while wearing the PTU.
Female hair standards are somewhat different in the PTU, as long hair does not need to be pinned up or tied up to comply with normal hair-length requirements, according the wear guidance. 

The PTU shirt, emblazoned with the AF logo on the back in reflective fabric, may be worn tucked in or out, according to the guidance. 

Wearing the PTU might be mandatory for organized PT, but Airmen are also authorized to wear the PTU jacket with civilian clothes. While wearing it at PT, the jacket should be zipped up or left unzipped, according the wear guidance. 

Athletic shoes are left up to the wearer to choose, but color consistency should be reasonably compatible with the rest of the PTU. As always with running shoes though, proper care should be taken in their selection 

"You need the right equipment for the right feet for running," said John Martin, exercise physiologist at the Health and Wellness Center. "If you've been wearing the same running shoes three or more days a week for at least six to nine months, it's time to buy a new pair." 

Martin recommends doing a "wet foot" test before purchasing as new pair of shoes, to ensure the right type is bought. 

The test consists of dipping your foot into water, and then walking across a surface such as a paper bag or concrete. If the bottom of your whole foot is visible, then you need a motion control shoe. A normal arch, shown in the test by a middle portion of your foot and a vacant spot, means you need a stability shoe. While the lack of a middle portion to your foot's "wet test" mark means you have a high arch, and need a cushioning shoe, Martin said. 

Martin added if the shoes are going to be used for running then they need to be running shoes. 

"No cross training or basketball shoes," Martin said. 

When it comes to alterations and additions to the PTU, care should be taken with what is chosen. 

The wear guidance says that while additional clothing items may be added to the PTU, they should match the colors of the rest of the uniform to support a professional appearance. 

Additional safety or other items can be added to the PTU also, such as sweat bands, Camelbaks, gloves and other items. 

In the future, the AF plans to release certain optional PTU items, such as long sleeve shirts, sweatshirts and additional styles of running shorts. 

However Airmen choose to wear the PTU within the guidelines, they should take care to not modify the PTU items, other than the shorts that is. The lining in the PTU shorts may be removed as the Airmen see fit. 

Airmen who have questions about how to properly wear the new PTU should contact their commanders support staff, or the HAWC at 676-4292.