I received a free pair of OOFOS sandals in exchange for this review. This post contains affiliate links, but if you’d prefer not to use them, you can shop directly from OOFOS.com.
I’ve been eyeing OOFOS sandals for years. All the running stores carry them. My runner friends rave about them. My friend Stacy (a runner) owns 5 pairs and swears by them! They’re the only shoes she wears besides running shoes.
But I’ve never purchased a pair for myself, and I’ll be perfectly honest why: they’re expensive. Expensive not only for sandals/flip flops, but also just for shoes in general. True, I’ve spent over $100 on a pair of running shoes, but I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than $50 for any other pair of shoes.
So as you can imagine, when I received an email asking me to review a pair of OOFOS OOlala sandals, I replied “yes” in about 7.2 seconds (which is really something, since I’m not the best at responding to messages). And when I saw the box from OOFOS on my front porch a few days later, I literally squealed.
What Makes OOFOS Sandals Special?
Let me stop here and tell you about OOFOS. They’re not just regular sandals – they’re “recovery footwear.” That’s why runners love them. They were designed by athletes, for athletes. OOfoam™ technology is a proprietary foam that absorbs 37% more impact than the foam typically found in athletic shoes. OOFOS were made to reduce the stress on your feet and joints by absorbing impact. And after a workout, the reduction in stress gives your body a greater opportunity to recover.
OOFOS also retain their structure longer than traditional shoes or sandals because they move with the ground and your foot at the same time. They work with hard surfaces rather than against them, which reduces the wear/abrasion you would see on a normal outsole.
Compare this to traditional flip flops, which typically have no cushioning or arch support. As much as I love my $2 flip flops, they’re not good for your feet. Remember, we’re a Florida family, so we basically live in flip flops all year. And walking around in bad shoes can have consequences. Case in point: we recent learned that Amelia is having some issues with her feet – nothing major, but enough to cause her quite a bit of pain when walking even short distances. There’s a good chance this was caused by frequent use of footwear with no cushioning and poor arch support.
My Review: OOFOS OOlala Sandals
Normally when I receive a product to review, I set it aside and leave it unopened/unused until I’m able to photograph it. But like I said, I was really, really excited about my OOFOS. I did manage to snap a quick picture right after I took them out of the box.
That was 3 months ago. And yeah, I know that’s a really long time to hold onto a review product without writing the actual review. (Sorry, OOFOS!) But on the bright side, I’ve now had the opportunity to wear the heck out of them, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that these shoes are amazing. I’m pretty sure I’ve worn them every single day for the last 3 months. Here’s the proof:
It’s embarrassing, but I don’t care. My OOFOS feel like a dream.
When I first tried them on, they immediately felt different than all my other shoes. They’re thick with a noticeably supported arch, but they’re also soft and flexible. The word “buoyant” keeps coming to mind as I write this. (I don’t know if that makes sense, but I’m going with it.) I’ve tried other orthotic shoes before, and I would not describe them as comfortable or pliable.
It took me a couple of wears to get used to them, but once I did there was no going back. I don’t want to wear anything else on my feet. My old flip flops are nearly intolerable now.
OOFOS are marketed as “running recovery” shoes, and to be fair, I can’t really speak to that. I’m not currently running (doctor’s orders), so my legs haven’t really had anything to recover from. But I have worn them on 1-2 mile beach walks, in the ocean, to the pool, in the rain, to the airport, on walks in my neighborhood, and to run about a billion errands. And that’s just off the top of my head. My feet have felt great during and after all of these activities.
So while I can’t say how well OOFOS work for running recovery, I CAN say that they are probably the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned. I can also say that wearing proper shoes is important for anyone with chronic back pain. And after back surgery (especially a spinal fusion), slip-on shoes will be essential (no bending allowed – plus it’ll take a while before you’re able to reach your feet, even after BLT restrictions are lifted). OOFOS also have some grip on the sole to help prevent falls, and they can be worn both indoors and outdoors. I’d even suggest packing them in your hospital bag, since your medical team will want you up and walking as soon as possible after surgery.
Are They Worth the Money? Or the Hype?
Now, the catch. Like I said, OOFOS are expensive – at least they are to someone like me, who usually grabs their summer shoes from the $2 flip flop bin at Walmart. The sandals start at about $50 (maybe a little less if you shop around). The model I’ve been wearing is the Women’s OOlala Sandal. Mine are black, but I’m peeking at OOFOS.com right now, and they’ve got some really pretty new colors that just came out:
I got this pair for free, so the real question is: would I buy them for myself next time?
I’ve thought about this a lot over the last 3 months because I wanted to give a thoughtful and honest answer. And the answer is yes, I would buy them for myself. Here’s why:
- I’ve spent twice as much on running shoes, which even in my peak running days I’d only wear less than 10 hours a week.
- In comparison, I’ve worn my OOFOS nearly every single day for 3 months. I would absolutely get my money’s worth with another pair.
- Prior to receiving my OOFOS, my everyday shoes were a pair of old, worn-out running shoes and cheap flip flops. My OOFOS are more comfortable than both types of shoes by far. I’d be willing to pay more for that comfort.
- My OOFOS are sturdy and durable. They’ve already been through a lot, and they’re still going strong. I don’t worry about a blowout, like I would with a cheap pair of flip flops. The official recommendation is to replace your OOFOS every 4-6 months with regular wear, and purchasing a new pair of shoes 2-3 times a year isn’t bad.
- Bonus: they’re easy to clean. Mine look as good as new with just a quick rinse, but you can also put them in the washing machine. So you can keep them looking new for longer. (Mine actually got gross at the beach yesterday, and they’re in my washing machine right now.)
Not only will I buy myself a new pair of OOFOS when the time comes, I’d like to buy a pair for Vic too, and maybe even for the kids. Amelia in particular would benefit from a pair, given her foot issues; but I need to wait until she grows a little bit more, since the smallest size is a women’s 4 (or men’s 3).
If you have any questions about my experience with OOFOS, drop me a comment. Or if you have a pair of your own, how do you like them?