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Runners spend a lot of time on their feet, so it makes sense that they are so obsessed with their footwear. But it isn’t just running shoes that are integral to your running performance. Once you slip off your trainers, it’s best to change into something that will not only feel great, but help you bounce back.
The best way to do this is with a solid pair of recovery shoes. Designed to give you maximum shock absorption, comfort, and relief, these shoes are just what you will need and want after your toughest workouts. And even on rest days, who doesn’t love a comfy shoe? To help you shop, we picked out our six favorite recovery shoes with options for every preference and season.
One of the most popular models on the market, the Oofos Ooriginals are favorite recovery shoes for a reason. They are made with a single piece of their signature molded foam which is highly effective at shock absorption. It also has a thong strap which works better than a slide for most people regardless of foot width. This is also made from the same material as the midsole so it is comfortable against the skin, and won’t rub or cause irritation. The shoe also comes in eight different colors including neutrals and some fun options like plum and neptune blue. It is machine-washable and designed to minimize odor so no worries if you want to slip it on after your smelliest, dirtiest runs.
One of the classics, the Ora slide is great if you need a super supportive arch. This shoe has the typical Hoka feel since it is made from injection-molded EVA like most Hokas are, and the arch is high, supportive, and feels great on tired feet. It also has the early-stage meta rocker which helps you to roll through the foot, increasing shock absorption and helping each step feel cushioned and comfortable. The midsole also has a slight lip which helps to keep the foot secure in the shoe, and built-in ventilation in the strap that helps keep your feet dry and slip-free.
This recovery ‘sneaker’ has a slip-on design that is breathable, durable, and highly cushioned. It uses a sugarcane-derived EVA foam which is a much more eco-friendly alternative to a traditional EVA. These shoes also have built-in acupressure which helps to stimulate and relax the feet with every step, and the perforations in the upper help keep your feet dry and aerated. The outsoles also have excellent grip which makes them a great pick for slippery and wet surfaces.
Most recovery shoes tend to be either sandals or slip ons which makes sense for post-workout, but if you want something a bit more secure, the OOmg Sport could be a better fit. This laced model is great for longer walks or those with a slender foot as it allows you to get an adjustable fit every time, and prevents any slipping or sliding. It has the traditional Oofos midsole, so it will feel just as great as the Oofos sandals underfoot, with the additional support of a fabric upper. This model is also fully machine-washable which makes for easy cleaning.
One of the first recovery sandals, we can’t forget the classic Adissage slides. These shoes have a nubbed midsole that massages the feet while you walk. Instead of just cushion, these shoes are designed to help the feet feel rejuvenated and relaxed while you walk. The midsole is made from a combination of EVA nubs and a soft, shock absorbing cloudfoam outsole. They also have a velcro strap that lets you adjust it to your ideal snugness. Unlike some recovery shoes which can be worn all day long, these are best used directly after a workout as they provide more of an acupressure experience than a comfort one.
While this is not marketed as a recovery shoe, it’s a great option for those who want something they can wear all day. Birkenstocks are notoriously supportive shoes that have cork soles that mold to the feet after long periods of wear. This eventually gives you a fit that feels custom to your foot. They also come in both soft and hard footbeds, though we recommend the soft version for recovery purposes or those that are used to a softer shoe. This model is a classic sandal style with adjustable leather straps. If you want an option for colder weather, we suggest the Boston Clog.