In a prospective study of stress fractures the hypothesis that training with custom made biomechanical shoe orthoses could lessen the incidence of stress fractures in infantry recruits was tested. Recruits were assigned randomly to groups and given soft biomechanical orthoses or semirigid biomechanical orthoses and compared with a control group that did not train in biomechanical orthoses. All recruits wore infantry boots with soles designed like those of basketball shoes. Recruits were examined biweekly during 14 weeks of basic training. The incidence of stress fractures was 15.7% for the recruits with the semirigid biomechanical orthoses, 10.7% for the recruits with the soft biomechanical orthoses, and 27% for the control group. The soft biomechanical orthoses were tolerated better by the recruits than were the semirigid devices. Among trainees at high risk for stress fractures, prophylactic use of custom made biomechanical orthoses may be warranted.