As February turns into March it seems like there are more runners than ever on the streets, but it’s probably just the same number of runners staying out for longer, because it’s at this time of year that spring marathoners ramp up the distance of their long runs. Those following a strict training plan will probably have already hit the 20-25km mark on these runs, but now March has arrived it’s 30-35km that will become the norm – until the tapering period kicks in the final few weeks before the race itself.
You will probably have amassed a good deal of gear to support running all that way every weekend. Along with a trusty pair of running shoes, there will be technical T-shirts and shorts, and hopefully you’ve become well acquainted with on-the-go fuel like running gels and hydration tabs, because it’s worth getting used to these things long before race day.
But one piece of kit you might not have considered is a pair of recovery shoes. These can take several forms, with sliders and flip-flops the most common, but they all serve the same purpose – to help support your feet as they recover from long runs.
It might seem bit of an indulgence to treat your feet to a pair of dedicated shoes for recovery, but considering what you’re putting your trotters through it’s really the least you can do.
I started using recovery shoes in the build-up to the London Marathon last year, and I experience a very real feeling of joy every time I slip them on after a long run. I use a pair of Oofos recovery flip-flops at the moment, and have used Hoka Ora sliders in the past, and both have the same advantages – they are light, breathable and provide plenty of support, in particular, for my arches. And if you’re worried about foot injuries, it’s not wise to stroll around barefoot or in regular flip-flops after a long run, because it’s all extra impact on feet still recovering from the effort of the run.
Are recovery shoes a panacea for all running-related injuries? No, but it does feel fantastic when you put them on, and we all deserve a boost like that when we’ve chugged through a 30km training run. Here are a few recovery shoes to consider.
The Best Running Recovery Shoes
OOFOS Mens OOriginal
If you favour a flip-flop, this ultra-padded beauty from OOFOS is the way to go. There is a lot of cushioning all over the shoe to provide post-run support, and the extra-high arches do a phenomenal job of cradling the middle of your foot. £40, buy on oofos.co.uk
Hoka One One Ora
Hoka’s running shoes are renowned for the massive chunk of cushioning on the sole and the principle of maximum support has been extended to recovery shoes with this exceedingly comfortable slider. £35, buy on runnersneed.com
UA Recovery Training Shoes
If you still want to wear proper shoes during your recovery and don’t want to slip your supportive but sweaty running shoes back on, this pair of padded, lightweight trainers from Under Armour will fit the bill. £60, buy on underarmour.co.uk