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What Are Recovery Sandals?

by Mark Paigen 9 minute read

Do you know the best way to maintain your workout and health gains? Rest!

Making time for active recovery and rest after you’ve pushed your body to its limits gives your muscles a chance to rest and rebuild, which is where recovery sandals come in.

If on the other hand you spend your whole work day on your feet it’s important to give your feet a rest. However, it is not always possible to put your feet up and relax. Dogs need walking and errands need doing.

Recovery sandals offer a comfortable and convenient solution for tired feet that need to take it easy. 

They’ve become increasingly popular among athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and anyone who wants to provide their feet and lower limbs with a little extra TLC precisely because a little rest goes a long way in helping the foot and ankle checkpoint of our kinetic chain rebound. 

Therefore, today we’ll delve deeper into:

  • What recovery sandals are and how they work their magic
  • The benefits of using comfortable recovery footwear
  • Who can benefit from wearing recovery sandals
  • When custom insole sandals and orthotics are more ideal 
  • Tips on what to look for when purchasing recovery sandals

If you are looking for a way to give your feet the rest they need, keep reading to learn more about recovery sandals.

The Basics

  1. Recovery sandals are designed to aid in post-exercise recovery and promote faster recovery and reduce the risk of injury.
  2. Recovery sandals offer benefits such as improved circulation, pain relief, faster recovery, corrective support, and hygiene.
  3. Recovery sandals are beneficial for individuals who are physically active, spend long hours on their feet, have foot-related injuries or conditions, or experience swollen feet.
  4. When purchasing recovery sandals, it's crucial to consider factors such as arch support, cushioning, flexibility, durability, and correct sizing.
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Table of Contents

What Is the Purpose of Recovery Sandals?

Recovery sandals, also known as post-workout or after-sport sandals, are a type of footwear designed to aid in post-exercise recovery. 

Unlike regular sandals or shoes, they are made with special materials and unique features that assist in arch support, promoting circulation, reducing fatigue, and easing tension in the feet and legs. 

Some of the notable characteristics of recovery sandals include:

  • Soft and cushioned footbeds that provide shock absorption and comfort.
  • Arch support that helps to maintain proper alignment and balance.
  • Breathable materials that allow for moisture-wicking and temperature regulation.
  • Massaging features such as raised nubs or textured surfaces that stimulate blood flow and alleviate soreness.
  • Lightweight and flexible construction that allows for natural movement and minimal strain on the ankles, knees, and hips.

Though designs may vary, the overall goal of supportive recovery sandals is to provide a comfortable and therapeutic support for weary feet and legs.

In the next section, we'll take a closer look at exactly how recovery sandals work to aid in recovery.

How Do Recovery Sandals Work?

sporty man warming up street

Recovery sandals work by providing the feet with the support and cushioning needed to aid in the healing process after physical activity. They take the pressure off your feet as you go about your active rest, which often involves some walking, allowing your feet to recover.

These ergonomic sandals are often designed using anatomically correct principles to ensure that they conform to the natural shape and movement of the feet. 

For example, 

  • The midsole curve needs to be high enough to prop up the foot arch and reduce the workload on the foot while walking. 
  • The deep heel cup keeps the heel in place offering further pronation control.
  • The rocker design curves the sandal toe forward, which makes the heel-to-toe walking motion more fluid rather than jarring.

These three principles are central to achieving a supportive design for after-sport sandals.

On top of ergonomic design principles, the soles of recovery sandals are typically made from materials that offer superior shock absorption, such as EVA foam, which helps to reduce stress on the feet, ankles, and knees

Tread Labs' sandals feature soft and flexible polyurethane midsoles backed by firm rubber outsoles, creating that balance of soft and firm, which is the holy grail for overworked feet. 

Additionally, some recovery sandals feature massage or reflexology elements, such as nodules or ridges on the footbed, which can help to improve blood circulation and decrease inflammation

Adjustable straps allow wearers to customize the fit and support of the sandals. With a backstrap, as in the Albion sandal, there’s an extra level of support that allows the foot and leg muscles to do minimal work.

“Extremely comfortable on the insole. The weave and slight stretch in the straps makes them more than you expect and better than any sandal I’ve ever worn.
Herbert J., Verified Buyer, Cambridge, United States

These features work together to promote faster recovery and reduce the risk of injury by supporting the feet and aiding in the body’s natural healing process.

The Benefits of Recovery Sandals

Recovery sandals offer numerous benefits that can help alleviate pain, speed up injury recovery, and improve overall foot health. Here are some of the key benefits of recovery sandals:

  • Improved Circulation: Most recovery sandals are designed with textured footbeds that massage the feet with every step, which helps stimulate circulation in the lower legs and feet. Improved circulation can reduce soreness and swelling, common after hard workouts or long periods of standing or walking.
  • Pain Relief: Recovery sandals feature contoured arch support, midsole padding and soft footbeds that cushion the feet. This can alleviate pain associated with plantar fasciitis, flat feet, and other foot conditions. Textured footbeds can also help reduce pain by improving blood flow.
  • Faster Recovery: Wearing recovery sandals after intense exercise or competition can help speed up recovery time. The sandals' massaging footbeds can help reduce muscle soreness and inflammation, while the arch support and cushioning provide much-needed relief for tired, achy feet.
  • Corrective Support: Some recovery sandals are designed with corrective support features that help correct foot and gait issues, such as overpronation or supination. This can improve walking and running form and reduce the risk of future injuries.
  • Hygiene: Recovery sandals may be made with materials that are moisture wicking and thus prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi. This helps prevent foot odor and infection, and maintains healthy feet.

Our supportive recovery sandals have a microfiber suede footbed with antimicrobial treatment to keep feet fresh.

Women's Albion Sandal


Women's Covelo Sandal


Men's Covelo Sandal


Men's Albion Sandal


Overall, recovery sandals offer a range of benefits that can promote post-workout recovery, and overall foot health to help you maintain an active lifestyle.

Who Can Benefit From Using Recovery Sandals?

Recovery sandals can benefit almost anyone, but they are particularly helpful for individuals who are physically active or spend long hours on their feet. 

Athletes, runners, hikers, and gym-goers can benefit from wearing recovery sandals after a workout or sports activity to help reduce inflammation, soreness, and fatigue. 

People who work on their feet for extended periods, such as healthcare workers, restaurant staff, and retail employees, can also benefit from the support and cushioning provided by recovery sandals.

Individuals with plantar fasciitis or other foot-related injuries or conditions can also benefit from wearing recovery sandals.

Here is a brief video explaining what plantar fasciitis is:

The added cushioning and arch support can help alleviate pain and aid in the healing process.

Learn More: Our previous article goes into more detail on how foot pain can be alleviated without the use of additional treatments.

Additionally, pregnant women who often experience swollen feet can find relief and comfort by wearing recovery sandals.

It's important to note that individuals with severe foot or ankle conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, bunions, neuropathy, sprains or fractures should consult with their healthcare provider before using recovery sandals. 

They should also look for podiatrist-approved sandals, which are likely to be customized to their specific issue.

Are There Any Potential Risks or Drawbacks to Using Recovery Sandals?

While recovery sandals can offer numerous benefits for many people, it's important to note that they may not be suitable for individuals with severe foot or ankle conditions, and can exacerbate existing conditions or lead to new injuries.

Here are a few cases where the wearer needs to be cautious about recovery sandals:

  • Individuals with ankle instability or those who have recently had surgery on their feet or ankles may require more supportive footwear with a stiffer sole and additional ankle support to prevent further injury.
  • Individuals with diabetes, neuropathy, or circulation issues who may require shoes with covered toe boxes, and other specialized features to help prevent injury and promote blood flow, such as a wider toe box, softer materials, and a roomier fit.

Always consult with a podiatrist before using foot pain relief sandals or any type of footwear, especially if you have a pre-existing foot or ankle condition. They can provide guidance on the most appropriate type of footwear for your specific needs and help minimize the risk of injury.

Bonus Tip: Should I see a podiatrist or an orthopedist? Find out which medical professional you need to see for your foot pain here.

Why Quality Matters for Recovery Sandals

Not all recovery sandals are created equal. There are many different brands and styles of orthotic sandals on the market, and some are better than others in terms of quality and construction.

Poorly constructed or low-quality recovery sandals can have several drawbacks, including:

  • Inadequate support or cushioning for the feet. This can lead to discomfort, pain, and even injury over time, particularly if the sandals are worn frequently or for extended periods.
  • Hard or uncomfortable footbeds that don’t conform to the shape of the foot, leading to blisters, calluses, or other foot conditions.
  • Poorly designed or overly tight straps or buckles on the sandals may lead to irritation or chafing on the skin.
  • Short lifespan because they’re not durable enough to withstand regular use or exposure to outdoor elements.

That’s why Tread Labs' sandals have a rubber outsole, which is not only durable but also easily resoleable. This means that they can last long enough for you to break them in and enjoy them at peak comfort for ages.

What to Look for When Purchasing Recovery Sandals

When purchasing recovery sandals, several factors need to be considered to get the right pair for maximum benefits. 

Here are some crucial design elements to look for:

  • Rocker style soles: The upward curve at the toes enables easy heel-to-toe transition, reducing pressure on your feet and joint strain.
  • Contoured arch support: Recovery sandals with good arch support are usually curved at the center of the insole to minimize the strain on the feet. Their deep heel cup provides overall alignment to the body, reducing leg and back pain.
  • Cushioning: It provides the necessary comfort needed for sore feet or post-workout tiredness. Look for sandals with impact resistant midsoles made from soft and breathable materials like EVA, polyurethane or memory foam.
  • Breathability: Breathable materials keep feet cool, dry, and comfortable, and reduce the risk of friction, foot irritations, infections, and bad odors.
  • Flexibility: Ensure your recovery sandals provide flexibility, which allows your feet to move naturally when walking. Too much rigidity will cause discomfort and may compromise proper blood flow.
  • Durability: Since you will wear your recovery sandals frequently, it is essential to choose a pair that is built to last. Ensure the sandals are sturdy, well-crafted with quality material, and have a reliable grip.
  • Versatility and style: Don’t dismiss the importance of color options and stylishness. If the recovery sandals are hideous, you might find yourself reaching for other less ideal shoes when stepping out.
  • Comfort: It’s a result of a snug, sock-like fit that also allows your toes to splay out and relax thanks to fabrics with moderate stretch like 3D knit for the uppers. Correct sizing that’s not too tight or loose and lightweight materials like polyurethane enhance the comfort.

The Albion and Covelo recovery sandals tick just about every requirement above making them the kind of arch support footwear your feet need to thrive.

“I’ve hardly taken my tread labs off since I got them. Light weight, supportive, great materials, and good looking make these sandals excellent everyday summer footwear and a fantastic travel shoe that’s easy to pack. General around town use, boating, hiking, even a wedding! This does it all.
Adam Wales, Verified Buyer, Bar Harbor, United States

By considering all these factors when purchasing recovery sandals, you can ensure that you get the right pair for your needs and enjoy their full benefits.

Protect Your Active Lifestyle With Recovery Sandals From Tread Labs

Tread Lab’s recovery sandals

For anyone leading an active lifestyle or on their feet for endless hours, recovery sandals are the support system your feet need in order to thrive and be pain free.

Their specifically engineered support mechanism and materials help to alleviate pain and stiffness while offering comfort and support. They’re therefore ideal for athletes, outdoor enthusiasts, and individuals seeking relief from common foot ailments.

When purchasing recovery sandals, consider factors such as cushioning, arch support, and durability to ensure the sandals meet your specific needs.

Don't be afraid to invest in high-quality options as they can offer long-lasting benefits and are likely better designed thus avoiding the risk of pain caused by poorly-constructed shoes.

Whether you're recovering from an injury, seeking relief from sore muscles, or simply looking for a comfortable footwear option, recovery sandals from Tread Labs can help you gear up for your active lifestyle. 

Trust us, your feet will thank you.

Did You Know? The average person walks between 8,000 and 10,000 steps every day. In an average lifespan, this equates to nearly 115,000 miles – that's more than four trips around the world! Here are 8 more fun & surprising feet facts.

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