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Recovery footwear has been declared 'life changing' by Oprah. Here’s what you need to know
December 13th 2021 / 0 comment
Image: Instagram @oprah & @oprahdaily
Described by Oprah as a 'post-workout treat for feet' recovery shoes are here to make activity aftermath - or simply chilling out - a little bit more comfortable
When Oprah decides something is good enough to include in her annual favourite things list then you know it’s really good. The interview queen is not a woman who minces her words after all. So when we saw that she’d added a pair of APL Lusso Slides, alongside some other great suggestions like the very cosy Ugg Gertrude Coat £186 and one of our favourites, the Sigma Beauty Essential Travel Brush Kit £64.50 to her Favourite Things 2021 hotlist we had to know more.
Oprah called the quilted slides a “post-workout treat for feet” which got us thinking. What is recovery footwear? Do we need it? Where do we get our hands (feet?) on some? Don’t worry we’ll have you feeling as comfy as Oprah's famous sofa by the time you’ve finished reading this and if running or the gym isn't your thing, then just call recovery footwear your 'outside slippers'. Cosy, comfortable and practical, what more could you want?
Essentially, recovery shoes are comfy slippers or slides that you step into after a run or a workout to help swollen, sweaty feet cool down and, well, recover from all the hard work you’ve put them through. Equally though, the supportive slides are just as great to slip into after a hard day's work or to relax in once you've kicked off those heels, that seem a little more uncomfortable this year. Just ask chancellor Rishi Sunak, who was seen rocking the 'socks and sandals' look in a pair of Palm Angels sliders, £120 at No11 while preparing for the October budget.
You don't have to sacrifice looking chic. JW Anderson's leopard-print calf-hair clog, £570 (you'll be in need of recovery after paying that for a pair of posh slippers) with a statement gold chain, is one of this season's best selling shoes. After so long lounging in slippers, the recovery shoe/clog/slide is an appealing transition back into real life footwear.
While there are literally thousands of running shoes on the market, recovery footwear is a fairly new phenomenon but one that is catching on. Rachel Penrose, Trainer at F45 says that post-workout your feet will appreciate “a flat, supportive sneaker or slide” and that “if the arch of your foot is feeling tight and uncomfortable it may be worth looking into a shoe with arch support”.
It makes sense, if you think about it; we’re always being told how important wearing the right shoe to run in is for shock absorption. So, we should invest in a shoe that cares for our feet post-workout too. Think of recovery footwear as the shoe equivalent of your post-workout stretch, or as Oprah puts it “like walking on pillow-like clouds”. We’re sold. Even if it's only to make our Christmas PJ lounging that bit comfier.
The Oprah-approved recovery footwear
Oprah is such a fan of a little post-workout comfort that she called out not one, but two different cushioned slides in her list of Favourite Things 2021.
First up, Roam The Puffy Sandals £129 which she even added to her 'stylish gifts' section of her list. Described by the self-appointed recovery footwear queen as “a dream to wear” these squishy sandals have a “pillowy-cushion that’s been sculpted to your feet,” notes Oprah. Plus they’re made with vegan leather and the insoles are neoprene to sap up post-sprint sweat.
Oprah is also a fan of the APL Lusso slides £131, a luxury quilted slide with “special contouring that hugs your soles” says Oprah. So soft is the leather that it massages your foot with every step, so frankly we’ll be astounded if ever get round to putting your running shoes back on
More pillowy footwear we’re loving (and praying makes it onto Oprah’s 2022 list.)
Fitflop inventor Marcia Kilgore seemingly did the impossible in the noughties when she launched Fitflop to make traditionally ugly 'healthy' shoes with arch support and cushioned heels chic. We love these gorgeous Chrissie slippers with their patented Iqushion technology - read, walking on clouds.
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More luxe than laidback these toasty clogs look just as good as they feel.
Cool enough to be worn poolside these nifty sliders are moulded to support aching arches and sore toes.
The marmite of the shoe world have managed to make ‘ugly’ trendy thanks to collaborations with fashion houses including Balenciaga and Christopher Kane but first and foremost they’re beloved for their comfiness. The foam footbed provides support and comfort, just what you need post-run. We never thought a fluffy lilac croc would be on our wish list but it totally is.
Come summer the classic Birkenstock sandal is seen on everyone from Gigi to Gwyneth but aside from being the celeb sandal of choice, they are also a pretty great recovery choice for runners with high arches. The firm footbed stimulates blood flow and helps to clear lactic acid from the body. For extra comfort (and style) we’ll be opting for the shearling version.
Designed to look like the iconic Air Max 90 sneaker these are the ultimate comfort but make it a fashion recovery slide.
A fluffy mule you say? The hard sole makes it more sensible than it sounds and suitable for strolling (in comfort) to the shops.
They put their 00s bad rep behind them and Uggs are now a stalwart of style and comfort. These super cosy pair are ideally for mooching about the house post-workout, or post bed.
MORE GLOSS: Why winter is the right time to take up running