How exactly can a set of things (jandals, flip flops) or slides help you recover? Typically when we think of recovery, we think of time off our feet, sleeping, adequate nutrition and hydration. But OOfos claim to have created a casual footwear that does help you recover.
I was sent a set to test out, as was my partner Imogen Smith. We were both a little dubious about a footwear item claiming to help recovery, when we couldn’t find any particular peer reviewed studies.
When the OOahh Sport Slides and OOriginal Thongs arrived things started to make more sense. The sole is really thick, and made from a very soft material. It’s this foam that is claimed to be more absorbent to shock than a setting of running shoes or other sport-specific shoes. They are pretty thick too, and trying them on there is way, way more arch support than a pair of Havianas, or double pluggers.
The material is meant to just absorb more shock and aid your walking movement. They certainly feel a lot more supportive and comfortable than any other shoes I have. They’re not what I’d reach for when going for a long walk, but off the bike and around home they are great.
And for me, this is where the benefit is. After a long training session on my bike, or a race, the arches of my feet are sore. Or if it is hot, the soles of my feet can be too after really long days. Alternatively after a day traipsing around feed zones ther esults are the same. So once home, I’ll normally opt for bare feet or a pair of things (or flip flops, jandals etc for those of you sniggering in countries other than Australia). This actually doesn’t help the problem.
For a few weeks, I’ve been slipping into the OOfos slides off the bike when I get home, or from driving home from the trailhead or bike race. The difference in comfort is noticeable, but in general my lower legs are feeling better too. It’s a small difference, and probably not one I can measure. But as I have a high arch, walking around in thongs or bare feet when tired does me no favours, as I have to use my lower leg or feet to maintain the structure I need, or I tend to roll out to the outside of my foot. It’s not the case in the OOfos.
While the marketing claims it can assist with plantar fasciitis and aid recovery – all I can say is that my feet and lower legs are more comfortable, and my feet are better supported than in other footwear. And this includes a variety of shoes with some half-length orthotics fitted.
So I’m happy to wear the ‘speed dealer’ jokes from friends, or the German-tourist gags when I wear them with socks. The OOfos are bloody comfortable, tend to make my feet less sore after a ride or race, and I can wear them with socks. At about $70 a pair depending which model you get, they’re not expensive but they do cost more than say, a $5 set of thongs from the service station, which I quie often end up in when replacing the last $5 pair that broke or wore out after 4 months. The difference is comfort though, and the sense they will last a lot longer.
The OOfos are a bit bulkier than a set of thongs when it comes to throwing them in luggage, but they stay on your foot better and are far more comfortable, and as such I think they will be perfect for warm days post-race at The Pioneer this year.
If you need more details – check out their website.