What to Look for When Shopping for Recovery Sandals

by | Jun 19, 2023 | Health and Wellness

Not All Recovery Sandals Do What They Promise – But Finding an Effective Pair Doesn’t Have to be Difficult

Recovery sandals are part of a growing trend toward more comfortable, supportive footwear that is also stylish. Regardless of age, people are ditching flat sandals with no arch or heel support in favor of summer-friendly styles that keep feet comfortable.

What are Recovery Sandals?

The inclusion of “recovery” in the name is important – it refers to footwear that is intended to help you recover faster post-exercise. Exercise puts stress on the body – starting at your feet – and it’s important to help your body return to “baseline”, or the energy level you were at before exercising, to reduce fatigue and muscle soreness.

Recovery footwear, like sandals, are a super simple way to reach your body’s baseline faster after exercise. Plus, even when you haven’t been exercising, this type of footwear is still preferable to flat, unsupportive sandals when walking around in the warmer months.

The Ambiguity of Recovery Footwear vs. Regular Footwear

The first question to ask yourself when shopping for recovery sandals is whether the footwear is really optimized for recovery.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much research at this time about what recovery footwear needs to offer in order to properly help the body recover from exercise and the stresses of daily activities. Any brand, in theory, can label a sandal as “recovery” when it is essentially flat.

This ambiguity has created a need for more education around recovery footwear to help consumers be more discerning. Even if footwear is designed with a goal of reducing fatigue and muscle strain, there’s a gap relative to what really needs to happen for true recovery.

INSITE Insoles is highly focused on closing this gap by leveraging biomechanics and the science of human movement to design insoles that are optimal for full-body recovery.

Key Features of Recovery Sandals

Whether shopping for recovery sandals, slides, or clogs, those that are truly designed for recovery will have specific material properties such as high shock absorbency and cushioning to promote comfort.

At INSITE, we know comfort is a subjective experience, and what one person believes to be enough comfort may not fit the bill for another individual.

Woman working in a coffee shop

Our Proven Comfort process was created to help quantify the very subjective nature of comfort by using plantar pressure mapping and comfort psychometric testing to establish a level of comfort that works well for the majority of individuals. We also use impact testing to determine the shock absorption, rebound, and cushioning of our insole material, so wearers experience the highest level of comfort possible in their footwear.

Here are 4 features to look for when shopping for recovery sandals:

  • A contoured footbed with optimal arch support:
    This feature is core to recovery as the goal of recovery sandals is to make the foot and lower body expend the least amount of energy following a workout.
  • The most comfortable underfoot conditions:
    As we mentioned, comfort is a subjective experience, so what matters most for your footwear is that it feels comfortable to you.
  • A fit that is congruent with your feet:
    If the footwear feels like it “fits like a glove” (i.e. that it conforms to your unique foot shape and feels supportive as your foot moves) then it is less likely to cause or exacerbate foot injuries or other issues.
  • A complete definition of “recovery”:
    Look for footwear that offers an explanation somewhere on the packaging of what “recovery” is and other information that demonstrates how the product is designed for foot health and lower body biomechanics.
Contoura Insole

Meet INSITE’s Contoura for Sandals

We’ve created a podiatrist-designed insole shape called Contoura that fits the majority of wearers by applying our patented shape algorithm. This insole is engineered for better biomechanics by featuring a footbed with dynamic arch support and a stabilizing heel cup. And as we now know, equally important to the shape of the insole is the material used to make it. Our insole foams include INSITE EcoComfort® and LuxComfort poured PU, both of which are optimized for shape, support, and durable cushioning.

Contoura for sandals leverages shape and materials to achieve recovery and support, bringing quantified comfort metrics to recovery sandals.

Flat, non-supportive, uncomfortable sandals are no longer something you have to settle for in order to free your feet during the warmer seasons. Recovery sandals are great not only following exercise, but to practice good foot health all the time.

With the right shape and materials, sandals can promote full-body recovery and help prevent or minimize more serious foot issues like plantar fasciitis or heel and arch pain. Furthermore, individuals can even alleviate pain in the legs and hips that can be caused by flat, non-supportive footwear with no shock absorption.

Even if you’re just walking around, proper footwear is important. Be part of a growing trend toward better foot health and more comfort in general. Who wouldn’t want that?

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