There is a great feeling when you put everything you have into an event. Recovering well after this high output is essential. What do you put your feet in after kicking, mashing, and pounding them for hours on end? You need to slip something on your feet that is soft or solid, or maybe both.
I have searched for the best recovery footwear for feet. After years of my own research here are 3 options that I think give balance between the solid and soft.
The stiffest recovery footwear is the BIRKENSTOCK. This is a solid footbed. They have been around for ages. I have had numerous pairs that have lasted until the cork started falling out of the footbed. These break down after about 5 years. Because this is a sandal that takes time to break in you have to be patient. This footbed in a few weeks of wear will start to take on the natural shape of your own foot. The Birkenstock cradles the foot in a suede leather footbed with edges curved up to hug the foot. This is not ideal for strolling through sand or water. If you want them to break in quickly get them a little wet in the footbed and wear them until they dry. Most of the BIRKENSTOCK styles have two wide straps across the foot to hold it in. As you can see in this picture this is a style that I was glad to find. It is the structure of a flip flop with fancy leather adjustable straps. You will enjoy these if you have the patience to break them in. These are great looking sandals that dress up nicely for a night out or just chilling at a barbecue.
This recovery sandal was scientifically engineered to help with recovery: the SALOMON RX BREAK LTR. This is the recovery sandal you want waiting for you when you gather up your transition area. The footbed is made of dimples that follow the pressure point structure of the foot. The dimpled area is soft cushioning that is molded around to the side under the arch. This is a structurally perfect creation for multisport recovery. Even though it says on the website this is for post trail runs, you will not be disappointed to have this in the sand, sun, and surf as you recover. The way this works is the structure of the bottom. The bottom spreads out impact into the sides of the sandal. The cushioning is just right, it is not super hard and not super soft. This sandal is softer in the middle of the bed and more supportive around the cradling edges. The straps have vents and will do well getting wet because they dry quickly and don’t take on water. My feet have felt great wearing these after running 6 miles in my back yard or 43 in the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim. These do make a difference when you wear them as active recovery. Walking around is good for recovery and these are a strategic choice to make your experience smoother. Check them out at www.salomon.com .
The Sanuk Beer Cozy is the soft sandal. Nothing fancy just 100% pure awesome. The title alludes to the soft cozy you would put a cold beverage in to keep it insulated. Well the same Beer Cozy innovator realized that the Beer Cozy is not thick enough, it needs to be made out of a YOGA mat. Seriously, it is made from a yoga mat. This is super soft and very comfortable. This is the equivalent of the pillowtop mattress. This is squishy heaven. When you really want soft this is the one to wear. This takes on water if you submerge it like a sponge. I have found that these are really great for recovery and give you a high level of comfort. Sanuk has a number of other very comfortable offerings that can be used for recovery because the footbed is so comfortable.
As your recovery mood may vary all 3 of these are great options.