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Oofos Sandals Make Abused Feet Happy

Alex Gauthier Alex Gauthier
Gear

Oofos Ooah Sport Slide Sandal and Ooriginal Sandal

Around here, we don’t spend a lot of time on our butts and my shoe rack looks more like a spaghetti pile of laces, Stealth Rubber and Vibram than it does a carefully cataloged shoe aficionado’s collection. Between forcing my poor dogs into tight climbing shoes, and cooking skin off them on long runs in the mountains of Colorado, my feet take a fair beating. Luckily, I found Oofos sandals.

DISCLOSURE: Oofos provided product for testing for this gear highlight. 

When Oofos let me give their sandals a try a while back, I was a little skeptical because I had sworn off flip-flops after reading Kelly Starret’s book, Ready to Run.  Kelly strongly discourages this kind of footwear as causing all kinds of havoc with our bodies. However, Oofos sandals are designed to be a recovery aid rather than the deterrent that most sandals would be. They have a slightly negative heel which helps to bring some length back to tight calf muscles. The thick foam feels blissful for tired feet.

If I was going to start wearing “flip-flops” again, they may as well be really nice ones and both the sandals that I tried out were really nice. Oofos builds a sandal that has a super thick and plush sole on it. You won’t feel the concrete or cactus needles in the sole of your foot like you would a sandal with a thin sole. The Ooriginal Sandal’s toe divider allows for a little better stability when traversing rougher terrain. The Ooah Slide Sandal goes on quick and may be preferable if your toes don’t care to be parted. Both felt otherwise identical to me. Around the house I tend to put on the Ooah and outside I tend to go for the Ooriginal.

Oofos Ooriginal
Men's Ooriginal
Oofos Sport Slide
Ooahh Sport
belaying with Oofos sandals
The Ooriginal made an amazing crag sandal

I tried both Oofos sandals as recovery tools but also as easy to slip on footwear for sport climbing sessions. Not only is it nice to have a quick on-and-off shoe between climbs but let’s face it; even the most cushy climbing shoes are pretty miserable to wear for long.

The Oofos felt heavenly after aggressive climbing shoes and certainly were more convenient than getting in and out of approach shoes. They are so thick and cushy that stumbling around over broken rock between pitches was no problem even at crags that lack a good trail system. I wouldn’t want to hike a long way in Oofos but for resting  your feet in between climbs they work awesome. The Oofoam soles never got stinky but they also can be quite slick if your feet sweat much and they really aren’t designed for the kind of torture I probably subjected them to. Still, after nearly a year these things look pretty much brand new.

I put in a lot of training hours getting ready for the Collegiate Peaks Trail Marathon and both Oofos were clutch after long runs. On race day, I ended up completing the race with severe blisters and destroyed feet. I spent about a week in the Sport Slide Sandal during this time and I’m not even sure I realized how soft they really are until then. They literally made the difference between going out for dinner with friends after the race or laying flat on my back in recovery mode.

I’d  Buy It

At around $60 for a pair of OOah Sport Slide Sandals or $45 for the Ooriginal Oofos sandal, they certainly are on par with similar sandals on the market.  Given the longevity of the foam and how much nicer they treat your feet and body than a normal sandal would, I feel they are worth that price. When mine wear out, i do plan to replace them out of my own wallet.

Alex Gauthier
Alex Gauthier
Alex Gauthier is the head adventure junky for Subaru Adventure Team and part time outdoor adventure photographer. His first love is climbing of any kind but can also be spotted on mountain bike trails or working on building sea kayaks which he may or may not ever get to paddle.
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