Are The Recovery Footwear Useful?
Posted: Aug 25, 2020
Athletes train hard to reach their goals, usually by increasing the amount and intensity of their training. However, what has become clearer in recent years is that resting and not training is probably just as important as the actual training that they do. The rest or downtime is just as important at improving performance and is a key way to prevent injuries. Injury prevention is really important as if an injury develops then that affects the ability to train to increase performance. Whenever a training load is applied by a hard workout, there is some microdamage to the tissues. The body needs to recover from this damage. The body will come back from a hard workout stronger if it is allowed to rest. That damage also needs to recover. If a new training load is applied before that damage has recovered, then the damage accumulates and an injury eventually happens.
This is why so much research is going into the science of recovery. Athletes need to recover from competition and training workouts before the next one. Sometimes this is as simple as just training hard one day and taking it easy the next day. It also means that athletes and teams are looking for ways to speed up and enhance recovery. This includes expensive and not totally proven concepts such as ice baths and hyperbaric oxygen chambers. It could mean something as simple as what is known as recovery footwear.
After a workout, athletes like to kick off their shoes and put on something that is comfortable and frees the foot from the restrictions of those shoes. The most popular recovery footwear are typically flip flops or sandals that free the foot from the restraints of shoes. They are typically soft or well padded and they typically have some arch support. The purpose of these types of shoes are to help give the feet and leg muscles some rest so they do not work as hard. The aim being that this will facilitate recovery of those tired feet and leg muscles so they are better prepared for the next workout. The added advantage of those flip flops that have an arch support built in, is that they can be easily used by those athletes who need to wear foot orthotics in their training footwear. The amount of arch support that is built in them is typically is the same as that is available in over-the-counter supports that you can buy at retail.
There are several brands of these types of recovery footwear. One of the more popular in the USA is the Oofos brand. Their sandals have a lot of cushioning that is designed to really give the foot a rest after a hard workout. In Australia, a popular brand are the Archies. These are a flip flop with a good amount of arch support and good cushioning. With these types of footwear, less energy is needed to walk, so they enhance recovery and help the muscles and joints recovery from those little aches and pains that can follow a really hard workout. This means they are more ready for their next workout.
Craig Payne is a University lecturer, runner, cynic, researcher, skeptic, forum admin, woo basher, clinician, rabble-rouser, blogger and a dad.