Best Run Recovery Shoes: the next edition of Another Mother Runner Gears Up. We have #motherrunners—put key running gear to the test, then deliver the results so you can grab the gear that works best for your running and body.
By Allison Pattillo
If we’re lucky, we spend 30 minutes to an hour or so running on a normal day. Which leaves a lot of time when we’re not on the run. Yet we tend to obsess over running shoes, while giving little thought to what’s on our feet when the run is done. It’s time to show your feet some love with a pair of recovery shoes. Whether you want something soft and squishy or more on the structured side, we have you covered!
Editor’s note: A poll of our BAMbassadors showed that Birkenstocks were the go-to shoe for once you’ve unlaced your runners. However, they are not included in this review for two reasons, 1) we wanted to expose you to different styles, and 2) Birkenstock does not provide test samples and we wanted to keep the same parameters for all brands.
Let us know, what are your favorite recovery shoes to wear after a run?
Tester rating: 5
Review: Our tester was thrown off by the over-sized styling at first, but loved these clogs once she put them on, calling them “cute and comfortable.” In fact, she said the wide toe box was good for her feet because her toes had room to move. As an added bonus, these are easy to clean, have odor control, and work for those with higher arches.
Perfect for: Post-run support and wearing to the beach.
Tester rating: 5
Review: Our tester, who was used taking a while to break in Birkenstocks, loved the step-in comfort of these and how easy they are to like. You can tighten the strap for a more secure fit for narrow feet or loosen it if you have some post-run puffiness or want to sport them with socks. We also found out first-hand that these float, thankfully, in case that’s a concern, and our tester is also a big fan of the just-right amount of arch-support in the footbed for her medium arch feet.
Perfect for: Wearing around with a dress, with running shorts, pretty much anywhere you want to go….it took a lot not to make any “chill” puns with this review!
Tester rating: 4
Review: Talk about a challenge. Our tester for these has bunions and tailor’s bunions making finding comfy shoes a tall order. Yet, she claimed these “fit like a glove, were supportive for post run and cute enough to wear out with a skirt.” The reason they didn’t get a perfect score is that the knit strap did cause some irritation on her feet. Our suggestion is to try them on and see what you think. An added bonus is that the orthopedic footbed is wear-moldable, meaning it will fit like a slipper.
Perfect for: Solid support in a stylish package.
Tester rating: 4
Review: These are for you if you want comfortable active-recovery footwear that isn’t an open-toed shoe. Sure, you could wear your running shoes, but you both could probably use a break! These have a wide toe-box, slip-in styling, and Ortholite 3D Wave Sense footbed for easy wearing. Plus, they’re breathable and could make good travel shoes. Our tester does recommend that you try them on for size as she would like to have gone up at least half a size.
Perfect for: When you want comfort with more structure than a flip flop.
Tester rating: 4
Review: We had two testers for these, one rated them a 3 and the other a 5, so let’s dive into it. The tester who gave them a 5, has been wearing these on and off for years, basically whenever plantar fasciitis and ankle pain become an issue. While they may not be her absolute favorite flip flops, she looks at them kind of like kale, something you get used to because you know it’s good for you! The raised big toe, firm foam, arch support and rocker design all help to give your foot a break, while also stretching leg muscles. In defense of our tester who gave these a 3, she only had a week to test these, and they do take two to four weeks to achieve maximum comfort. But these are also different than a lot of shoes out there, certainly different than most flip flops and getting used to and appreciated the firm support is an adjustment. Both testers agreed that these are cute and can be worn anytime you would usually grab flip flops.
Perfect for: A stylish recovery shoe if you’re suffering from foot pain or plantar fasciitis.
Tester rating: 3.5
Review: “If you are interested in walking on a pair of clouds post workout, absolutely recommend.” They fit well, even with our tester’s high arches, leaving her feet feeling incredibly comfortable and supported. The downside for our tester was their appearance. Her test pair was white and she’s a size 10, so her husband and children giggled whenever she put them on. The other downside was that the slide version was a bit hot in SoCal in July. (editor’s note: The flip flop version doesn’t have as much material in the upper, which may help.)
Perfect for: Showing weary feet some pillowy love.
Did we miss your favorite run recovery shoes?
Let us know in the comments below!