I’m guessing that there are very few people out there who don’t experience a bit of pain or at least a little discomfort after a serious workout or outdoor activity. There’s a reason that folks repeat the phrase “feel the burn” like it’s a good thing. At least for me, the part of my body that generally hurts the most is my feet. And we all know that sore feet can be the difference between getting out there and having fun or curling in a ball on the couch and eating a bag of potato chips (maybe that’s a bit on the extreme side, but you get the point). What more would you be able to do if your feet hurt less after exercise? Would you be able to push through an extra mile on your jog, climb the more difficult trail you’ve wanted to try, or play that extra pick-up game with your friends? When OOFOS offered a pair of their recovery sandals to review, I went out with the goal of answering that question for myself.
The idea behind OOFOS is pretty simple: take some of the weight off of your feet so that they can get a bit of R&R. Execution of that idea takes a good amount of work and innovation, though. One major component is OOfoam: a proprietary material that tests have proven to be 37% more impact absorbing than EVA, meaning your feet get a break even when you are still on your feet. Think of it this way: it’s like working only 25.2 hours, but still getting paid for 40 (wouldn’t that be nice). The other secret behind the design of OOFOS is the arch support that, when combined with the OOfoam, molds itself perfectly to your unique arch. On top of that, the rest of the sandal is designed to fit your foot snugly, without being suffocating, making it useful for lounging in or walking around town. They even do well on wet surfaces (from what we hear, swimmers love them for this reason).
At first glance, the OOFOS OOahh Slide doesn’t appear to be anything special. In fact, we probably would have walked right past their booth at Outdoor Retailer had it not been for the OOs and ahhs (pun totally intended) we heard coming from there as people tried on their sandals. Upon taking a second glance, they still don’t look like they should be causing the kinds of reactions we were hearing. It took trying them on for us to realize what everyone was getting so worked up about. They really do provide an enormous amount of cushion for your feet, while still giving you the support that you need. You instantly feel like pounds of pressure have been taken off of your foot. Also, unlike some sandals that I’ve tried in the past, they are extremely easy to walk in.
Of course, the real test of these sandals wasn’t how they felt on my feet, but how they made my feet feel afterward. I’m happy to report that they are awesome. In the past, the day after strenuous exercise generally would be one of sore feet and as much laziness as possible, but by using OOFOS afterward, things have become much, much better. Instead of taking a day off from any major physical activity, I’ve been able to find something else to do the next day to keep myself active and working toward getting in better shape (consistently exercising has been a major struggle of mine for years, largely due to foot pain). My completely unscientific hypothesis is that my feet feel better because they are getting more circulation while I’m wearing OOFOS, but I could be completely wrong. Whatever method they use to magically make my feet feel better, these things are amazing.
As for the particulars, there are two styles – the OOahh Slide and the OOriginal Thong (the names should explain themselves), both of which retail for around $40. The Thong version comes in four colors (fuschia, tangerine, mocha, and black), while the Slide comes only in mocha and black. Check the OOFOS website to find a retailer near you. They should also have an online store on their website soon, but it’s currently under construction.
It’s giveaway time! We’re looking for a couple of readers (especially skeptical ones) to try out OOFOS, and see if they’ll really “Make YOO feel better” too. Just post a comment telling us why your feet deserve a break, and we’ll pick two winners at random. Entries must be posted before 12 midnight Mountain time, Thursday, August 16th, 2012, and entrants must have a continental US shipping address. It’s that simple.
For more OOFOS info, and to see more comments on them (as well as find out who else is giving some away) check out the OOFOS Facebook page.
 The winners are Matt P. from Indiana, Tamara A. from Utah, and OOFOS selected an extra winner, Lisa T. from Arizona. Congrats to all three! Thanks everyone for entering, and check back regularly for more giveaways.