You may have heard great things about Oofos sandals for recovery after running. These soft foam sandals are designed to help speed up recovery by reducing physical stress. I received a pair for Christmas last year and wore them after long runs or back-to-back run days but not very often otherwise. I could definitely tell they helped me recover but I only wore them for this purpose.
Last month I started experiencing aches and pains in my Achilles tendon, and I noticed that when I wore the Oofos, the pain and discomfort were reduced. My podiatrist confirmed that for someone like me, with high arches and a stressed Achilles tendon, foam recovery shoes like Oofos are perfect. The thick foam heel reduces stress on the tendons at the back of the leg and heel, the middle of the Oofos provide good arch support, and the flip-flop style allows for a natural foot motion when walking.
I decided to try out a competitor of Oofos, Telic, to see how they measure up against genuine Oofos. The standard Oofos flip-flops (OOriginal Sandal) usually retail for around $50, while Telics can go for as low as $25-$35 on Amazon, depending on size and color.
Here are some side-by-side images of the Oofos versus the Telics. The Oofos are size 43 (10 M / 12 W) and the Telics are XL (11 M / 12 W). Yes, I have big feet.
You can see that the Oofos have a more curved and natural foot shape, with a much wider toe box. The Telics have a much more defined ridge between the foot and toes. You can't tell from the photo but the Oofos have a lot more bounce to the foam, with a much more supple feel. The Telics feel harder and less forgiving. Since I have very wide feet and a bunion on my left foot, I need the width provided by the Oofos. Although the sizes are supposedly equivalet, the Telics are too small for my feet. Looking through the reviews on Amazon, other shoppers have experienced issues with confusing size changes from Telics, so be careful picking out a size if you decide to give them a try.
In this view you can see the foot shape difference again. The Telics appear to have a more rugged sole with deeper grooves between the blocks, though I have never had any traction issues when wearing Oofos both indoors and outside. In the far right picture, you can see that the heel foam is thicker on the Oofos. You can really feel this when you're wearing them. Along with the softer foam feel on Oofos, I believe the more expensive shoes warrant the fame and accolades. I would highly recommend Oofos recovery sandals for runners, especially for those who have high arches like me and who need extra heel support for injury recovery. I can't recommend the Telics.
Amazon shopping tip: I got my most recent pair of Oofos from Amazon Warehouse. They were like new but half price. Amazon Warehouse items are often just customer returns so the products are like new but no longer have their original packaging or sealed box, etc. Most of the time the same return policy applies for these items as for completely new items. You should check the terms per item you purchase, but all of the shoes and clothing I have purchased via Amazon Warehouse have had the same no-questions-asked return policy. The black Oofos you see above showed absolutely no sign of wear, soiling, or imperfections at all -- they were truly like new and a great bargain at half the regular price. Check out Amazon Warehouse periodically for running gear. You never know what you might discover!
Oofos shopping tip: When you shop for Oofos on their official website, Oofos.com, you'll find their latest products and best selection. In addition to their popular flip-flop sandals and clogs, Oofos now offers shoes and boots that you can't (yet) find on Amazon. In my experience, you'll also find a wider availability of sizes and colors.