At the beginning of July, I was sent a pair of OOFOS to try out.
I’d not heard of them before, but OOFOS are described as ‘footwear recovery specialists’. I was initially sceptical about the product, but after reading that OOFOS recovery footwear was awarded ‘Gear of the Year 2015’ by Runner’s World USA I thought there might be something to them.
What shoes do Oofos make?
Other versions of OOFOS are available, including the OOlala Slide:
I was tempted to try the slides as I don’t often wear flip-flops and I figured that (as long as I didn’t have to appear in public wearing socks and sandals), I could wear them with compression socks at home after events. However, I thought I’d be bold and push my comfort zone!
I had a good look at all of the options available to women in the UK. Although black seemed like a sensible colour, I fancied something more exciting. I went for seafoam green.
According to the website, all of the shoes feature recovery benefits as the soles absorb 37% more impact than ordinary shoes and the footbeds are designed to cradle your arches.
Trying out the shoes
Initially, I tried out the OOFOS when I went open water swimming as I prefer to wear flip-flops lakeside. For many years, I refused to wear any kind of open-toed shoes as I have partial syndactyly (webbed feet). As I never wore flip-flops when I was a child, my feet have never toughened up and I find many pairs of flip-flops uncomfortable. The soft foamy material didn’t aggravate my feet. Another advantage of these shoes is that they are moulded from a single piece of foam. This meant that although they got muddy by the lake, it was easy for me to rinse them off in the shower.
Trying out the shoes after open water swimming didn’t really give me a chance to find out whether they would help with recovery as swimming isn’t exactly a load-bearing sport! A couple of weeks ago, I had the perfect opportunity to really test my OOFOS. I took part in Thunder Run a 24-hour relay race.
As part of the event, I ran 4 x 10k, which would be challenging enough for most people, but I had the added challenge of being 7 months pregnant. By the end of the event, I felt really tired and my feet and ankles were in pain. As soon as I could, I removed my trainers and put on my OOFOS. We walked around for a bit and then had a long drive home. My feet and ankles still felt achy when I went to bed, but I was amazed to find that the next day I didn’t feel any pain at all. In previous years, I’ve run 40-50k and have spent the next day or two hobbling around. I was especially surprised as I hadn’t really trained adequately for this event!
My overall thoughts
The soles of the shoes seem to have a gentle roll to them that feels natural and comfortable when you walk. Several of the other ladies at Thunder Run tried on my OOFOS. They all commented on how surprisingly comfortable they are.
I’ll be honest that I didn’t expect to like these shoes, but I’m a convert – I LOVE THEM! 🙂
OOFOS are available from specialist running retailers across the UK and direct from www.oofos.co.uk.